From: mhall@berkeley.edu
Date: 15 May 2010

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    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. View Larger Image

    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 rave reviews.

    "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."

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/05/15/DD001CUCAD.DTL&type=books#ixzz0o0bmVNJr

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