Two witnesses see the man drag the old woman into a canyon while brandishing a rifle. As night falls, detective Jill Smith and the Berkeley police department set up a perimeter. The canyon is a hostage negotiator’s nightmare - dark, rough, and full of escape routes - and when she finally opens communication, the gunman doesn’t respond. Rather than wait for dawn, Jill leads her team into the darkness. At the bottom of the canyon they find a battered old mannequin and a box of stolen parking tickets.
In Berkeley, California, Telegraph Avenue is the headquarters for the city’s strangest inhabitants. Cultists, drug addicts, and hippie burnouts wander its streets, looking to raise their consciousness or, if that fails, to just get high. And Jill Smith walks with them, a beat cop with her finger on the pulse of one of the most unique neighborhoods in America. With time on her hands after her divorce, Jill lets a friend drag her to hear the district’s hot new guru, a Buddhist holy man from Bhutan.
Beautiful, blond Liza Silvestri has put her bad-girl ways behind her and is living the California dream in a Malibu beach house with her adoring venture-capitalist husband, Jay - until gunfire erupts one evening at their L.A. loft. Liza doesn't dare call the police - she's got a secret in her past - and it turns out Jay has secrets of his own.
After six months of perfect weather, the people of Berkeley, California, have forgotten how to drive during a thunderstorm. Newly christened homicide detective Jill Smith is on her way home to a chocolate ice cream dinner when she gets caught in a traffic jam at the city’s only roundabout. At the front of the line, she sees the trouble: a flipped-over Cadillac and one dead driver. The man behind the wheel was one of the city’s leading citizens, a philanthropist in a town that puts charity first.
A call from an ex-husband is never welcome. For Berkeley cop Jill Smith it wins a Nobel Prize for chutzpah. Her ex wants a favor. His "friend" and co-worker, Anne Spaulding, is missing. Anne's ransacked apartment - complete with blood-sprayed walls - gives Jill the chilling feeling that her ex may be up to his arrogant neck in murder. Now Jill's out with the street people of Berkeley and the crazies of People's Park to uncover the fate of a welfare worker. But her best suspect is her ex: the former "significant other" who still pushes her buttons.
Each year the Bohemian Club - a clique of powerful conservatives whose ranks include Nixon, Reagan, and Kissinger - gathers for a confidential meeting in the backwoods town of Henderson, California. Though their activities are shrouded in secrecy, Henderson meter-reader Vejay Haskell is about to get an all-too-close inside look. Searching the countryside for a coworker’s missing niece, she finds the beautiful gymnast lying dead in the bottom of a sewer drain.
Until the helicopter crash, Jill Smith never knew fear. A homicide detective in the leftist enclave of Berkeley, California, she has faced down her share of thugs, thieves, and killers, but since surviving the downed helicopter, her nerves have been shot. Unwilling to submit to her anxiety, she goes back to work. The chef and owner of Paradise, an upscale restaurant in Berkeley’s so-called “Gourmet Ghetto,” is found on the floor of his own kitchen, poisoned by the soup he was seasoning.
A town as diverse as Berkeley, California, is never without controversy. This year the uproar is over the Rainbow Village, a hippie-occupied bayside lot that has degenerated into a drug-infested cesspool. As the city tries to eject the squatters, two Grateful Dead fans are murdered and a developer is assaulted. But for homicide detective Jill Smith, the conflict at the Village is only a nuisance until the violence gets personal. While staking out a coffee shop, Jill sees Liz Goldenstern, a handicapped activist who has long been a thorn in the side of local business.
"Police procedural ala Dorothy Simpson"
Private detective and former medical examiner Kiernan O'Shaughnessy has been betrayed, framed for a death she is investigating. The true cause of death, a deadly and highly contagious case of Lassa fever, could have dire consequences for the public if it is unleashed. But the trail of clues she is following from her base in San Diego to the Nevada desert is agonizingly complex.
In Berkeley, people don't just disagree; they make careers out of it. And in a city where anything goes, where burned-out '60s hippies haunt the shadows along Telegraph Avenue, no one can outrun the past. Now police detective Jill Smith is plunged into a case that's pure Berkeley: a tangled tale of sins and retribution that has led to one man's disappearance, and another man's murder.
Natalie should have gone home after the party. One of New York’s hottest literary agents, she was celebrating her latest coup—next year’s mega-thriller, sold at auction for $1.5 million. When the party ends, Natalie retreats to the office to clear her head. Lost in thought, she steps to the window—and sees something that strikes fear into her heart. A man in a trench coat scurries down the sidewalk, stops in front of a construction site, and hurls a pistol over the wall. Natalie doesn’t realize the significance of this until the man sees her watching....
Berkeley cop Jill Smith is back in another adventure that could only occur in this brazen, eccentric town. Gym owner and former Olympic diver Bryn Wiley is in a turf war with sixties radical Sam Johnson, who owns a competing gym. When Bryn is shot, Sam is a prime suspect. Throughout her investigation into the naked truth, Jill is sidetracked by a band of nude citizens protesting the citys new anti-nudity ordinance.
When Philip Drem, the most feared and hated IRS auditor, is murdered, junk food junkie Jill Smith finds a long list of suspects among Berkeley's eclectic community.
Investigating the poisoning murder of one of the judges at the annual Slugfest, a celebration featuring slug races and a cooked slug cuisine, meter reader Vejay Haskell uncovers a missing document and a secret lover.
In the small woodsy town of Henderson, California, the electric company is strict about sick days. So when meter-reader Vejay Haskell decides to play hooky, her first concern is staying out of sight. She skirts around the edge of town, making her way to Frank’s Place, a cozy saloon owned by her friend Frank Goulet. After two cups of hot buttered rum, they have an argument and she storms out into the pouring rain. She goes home, takes a nap, and awakens sober, embarrassed, and ready to apologize. But by the time she gets back to Frank’s bar, he is dead.
As the dust settles on World War II, detective Lew Cassidy’s wife has come back from the dead. A German figure skater with a film-star face, she had returned to her home country when the war began to care for her ailing father; Cassidy later heard she died during an Allied bombing raid. But in the weeks after the German surrender, the US Army finds her in Bavaria, stricken with amnesia and married to Manfred Muller, an SS swashbuckler at the top of the army’s most-wanted list.
As a young girl in Baltimore, Kiernan O’Shaughnessy lived for gymnastics, where strict discipline and endless practice kept her centered even as her life fell apart. Her idol was the late stuntman Greg Gaige. Famous for pulling off the moves no one else could, and for scorning safety equipment, Gaige was the one man O’Shaughnessy truly admired. When a young gymnast dies performing Gaige's world-famous stunt, Kiernan suspects foul play.
Although the citizens of Berkeley are famously tolerant, that progressive attitude disappears at the property line between the homes of Dr. Hasbrouck Diamond and Leila Sandoval. In the Berkeley hills , there are no worse neighbors than Diamond and Sandoval. What began as a tiff about garbage cans and street parking has exploded into full-blown war, drawing in the city, the press, and now—to the irritation of detective Jill Smith—the police department.