Dominic Stansberry revels in dying North Beach
Carolyn Jones, Chronicle Staff Writer
Domenic Stansberry's acclaimed novels portray North Beach as a
neighborhood with a heavy Italian ambience and a lot of secrets.
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Domenic Stansberry's North Beach is filled with ghosts, creeping through
the alleys like a malevolent fog.
His North Beach - which may or may not have ever existed - is populated by
doomed beauties, corrupt cops, scheming landlords, heroes thwarted by
their own frailties - all presided over by a chorus of old Italians
holding forth at the fictional Caffe Serafina.
"I like things that are dying or disappearing. It's a dark nostalgia for a
North Beach that, at this point, exists mostly in my imagination," said
Stansberry, the Edgar-winning writer from Marin who's chronicled the more
sinister aspects of San Francisco's historic Italian neighborhood in his
highly acclaimed four-part noir series.
The final installment, "Naked Moon" (St. Martin's; 304 pages; $24.99)
landed in bookstores in March. Like his previous novels, it's garnered
"We've said it all along: whereas others play at noir, Stansberry delivers
the real thing," a critic wrote in a Booklist starred review. "As always,
Stansberry combines his unrelenting noir worldview with remarkably lyrical
prose. You want a similar title? Try Mozart's Requiem."
The other books in the series - "Chasing the Dragon" (2004), "The Big
Boom" (2006) and "The Ancient Rain" (2008), all published by St. Martin's
- have been finalists for the Edgar, Shamus and Hammett awards, culminating in what the New York Times called "a habit-forming series."
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