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Edwin of the Iron Shoes (Sharon McCone #1)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,546 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
It's Sharon McCone's first case as staff investigator for All Souls Legal Cooperative. She knows nothing about antiques, yet she has an affection for Salem Street with its charming mix of antique and curio shops. Now elderly dealer Joan Albritton has been found dead, stabbed with an antique dagger.

Her neighbors are shocked. Recurring vandalism has them frightened. Ferreti
Paperback, 215 pages
Published April 1st 1990 by Mysterious Press (first published 1977)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 05, 2014 Michael rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, detective, 2014
I really wanted to give this one up at the half way stage. But there were a few reasons I wanted to finish it poking me along. One being the shortness of the thing, and it features an early female P.I., predating Sue Grafton's 1980s creation, but the main and most persistent pokey thing was the knowledge that Marcia Muller is married to Bill Pronzini, author of the superb Nameless Detective series. Muller's P.I. also haunts the same San Francisco streets and eventually the two will come together ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
Number one novel in the Sharon McCone detective series, so one must begin with this book. It's a fast read, primarily because it has all of the complexity of a television detective show. While it is a suitably entertaining mystery, it is written in a wooden, declarative fashion. Everyone tends to explain themselves fully in as few sentences as possible. I'm in admiration of how the author, Marcia Muller, so quickly sets her scenes and moves the action with such quick word brushstrokes and descri ...more
Scott Rhee
Aug 09, 2012 Scott Rhee rated it liked it
Marcia Muller is one of the grande dames of the contemporary mystery genre, up there with Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky. Muller's female P.I. Sharon McCone has been long before most mystery writers writing today were in diapers. "Edwin of the Iron Shoes", published in 1977, is the very first McCone mystery. Set in her home town of San Francisco, "Edwin" starts off with the murder of a beloved owner of an antiques store. McCone is called in to investigate and quickly runs up a list of sus ...more
Dec 26, 2011 Spuddie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of the Sharon McCone series in San Francisco, this was published in 1977, which is the year I graduated from high school, so it's OLD. LOL The book has Sharon, a P.I. working for a law cooperative, looking into first a series of vandalism and property attacks in a small neighborhood to the murder of one of the proprietors, an older woman who ran an antique shop. Because Sharon had inside information about the locals from her investigation, she 'independently assists' the police with their ...more
Mar 14, 2016 Larraine rated it liked it
I started the Sharon McCone very late in the series - after her time with All Souls and as an independent investigator. So I thought I would go back to the beginning. Muller has never been on my top tier of authors, but I enjoy the series. Her later books investigate Sharon's past as well. This is her first book. Her skills are very evident here. It's an interesting book that explores the art world and describes Sharon as a young woman. The book was written in 1977. When one of the characters in ...more
Jul 01, 2015 Chrisl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cal-nev, 1970s, mys-pi
The setting helped hold my interest in the McCone series until about the 10th book. Four stars for the early stuff, declining to not interested in the later episodes.
Kathleen Hagen
Edwin of the Iron Shoes, by Marcia Muller, the 1st Sharon McCone, a-minus, Narrated by Laura Hicks, produced by Audiogo, downloaded from

It's Sharon McCone's first case as staff investigator for All Souls Legal Cooperative. Her boss asks her to investigate the ongoing vandalism going on on Salem Street itself. She does, but can’t reach a conclusion. Then, months later, an antique dealer is murdered, stabbed with an antique knife/dagger from her own store. Sharon believes that the for
Dec 13, 2009 Joy rated it really liked it
I went back to the first Sharon McCone, EDWIN OF THE IRON SHOES. It's hard to believe it's the beginning, Marcia Muller's first novel according to her website, because the writing and Sharon are both maturely developed. Muller relies on her characters from the start, instead of on fear and fireworks. (Both exist, but as support for the plot, not as sensationalism.)

Sharon McCone is dismayed when the loveable and whimsical antique dealer Joan Albritton is killed in her shop. That whole section of
This first book in the Sharon McCone series feels a little dated in both its attitudes towards women, as well as the mystery style, but given that it was originally published in 1977 that's understandable. This is an essential "who done it", McCone is a private investigator who works for a group of lawyers. She is called out to a murder scene, where the victim is one of the law firm's clients. The elderly antique dealer was murdered using one of her own items.

McCone has to learn about the convol
Nov 03, 2010 Beverly rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-series
I noticed that Marcia Muller recently released book 26 or 27 in this series. I stopped reading it a long time ago, but I became nostalgic for it and decided to revisit it. I always like Sharon McCone, and this reintroduction to the series (it is the first)reminded me that the strong, self reliant McCone was ahead of her time as a woman detective. In this episode, McCone solves the murder of a beloved and eccentric San Francisco antiques and junk dealer. It involves stolen art, which is heavily f ...more
Oct 31, 2014 Ed rated it really liked it
#1 in the Sharon McCone series. With this 1977 debut novel for female PI Sharon McCone, author Muller broke the ground for the likes of Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone and Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski, who both debuted in 1982 with Sharon McCone's #2 Ask the Cards a Question (1982).

Sharon McCone had been investigating arson and vandalism in a rundown S.F. neighborhood of antique and junk shops. The properties have been condemned by the city and various organizations are interested in buying them
Written in 1977, a quote on the book jacket calls Marcia Muller the "founding mother of the contemporary female hard-boiled private eye". While a short read of 178 pages, this first mystery featuring San Francisco private investigator Sharon McCone is good. The sexist, demeaning attitude of detective Greg Marcus clashing with the demeanor of McCone, makes for an intriguing sidebar.
Jun 27, 2016 Donna rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime-mystery
This was a short book which meant a super fast read.....that worked in its favor. This was just okay for me. It read like a Doris Day movie...golly gee. Being like Doris Day is not a bad thing. The 2 star rating was because of a few things. The forced romance, for starters, wasn't believable and it was very predictable. The awful dialogue was also a turn off. I liked the MC as a character, but I expected more. Another thing that bugged me was the title. It made this book sound interesting....but ...more
Jun 15, 2014 Christyn rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Edwin of the Iron Shoes was a fairly solid mystery. By that I mean while I did figure out whodunit, it was only slightly (a few chapters) ahead of the lead character (Sharon McCone). However, I did enjoy watching things unfold as clues were revealed.

Certain attitudes and aspects of this book were dated but that's understandable given it's original publishing date in 1977. The mystery itself, was as I stated earlier fairly solid - with enough to keep me guessing and putting the clues together
Jan 09, 2015 Dyana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book three stars because it is the 1st in a long-running series. From reading reviews, the author gets better and the female character matures in later books. That being said, the story was a fast read and enjoyable.

Sharon McCone is a staff investigator for All Souls Legal Cooperative, a low-income legal service. Her boss, Hank Zahn, sends her out to Salem Street in San Francisco to investigate the murder of one of their clients - an antique dealer named Joan Albritton who was murder
Jan 13, 2013 Lee rated it liked it
Shelves: sharon-mccone
I finally found a copy of her first Sharon McCone mystery. Was on the lookout for it, after reading that Ms. Muller was considered the "founding mother" of the modern day hard-boiled P.I. I can see some of that in her to the point writing style, and the character of McCone. Fairly typical who-dun-it. But, being her first novel and also being Mrs. Bill Pronzini.....this is quite the mystery writing couple. 3.5 stars
Jun 07, 2015 Jess rated it really liked it
Three and a half stars. I had low expectations but really enjoyed this. Very short and quick read. She got straight to the point, no extraneous information. I'd definitely be interested in reading more in this series.
Mar 08, 2015 Cynthia rated it it was ok
I know I am in the minority in only thinking this book was - eh. Okay. I see it has an average of over 4 stars here, and by the sheer volume of her books on the shelves I know she is very popular. I will persist in this series hoping it becomes more multi-dimensional and fleshed out as it continues because I do see potential in this heroine and her (obvious from the first meeting) cop beloved. No real explanation was given for his change from obnoxious mcp to kind understanding supportive resour ...more
#1 Sharon McCone, PI, San Francisco; cosy PI.

This first of the Sharon McCone series (and Ms. Muller's first novel) is surprisingly good, with a tight, well-constructed plot, a fast-enough pace, and interesting characters, all set in a seedy, run-down part of San Francisco in the mid-1970s (the book was originally published in 1977).

Sharon McCone investigates the death of an antiques/junk dealer in a poor neighborhood ripe for demolition and real estate speculation. Along the way she tangles wit
Feb 13, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it
This is the first of the Sharon McCone novels and maybe the first novel published by Ms. Muller. As such, it was interesting for me to see what came across as beginner mistakes that took something away from the story but did not damage the story enough to make it unpublishable. First, her descriptions are pretty sketchy. Second, she tends to introduce characters when they are convenient to the plot. She needs an art critic and viola, she introduces one as an old friend. This can be dismissed par ...more
Jul 11, 2012 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
This is the first book in the Sharon McCone Mystery series by Marcia Muller, but I read Ask the Cards a Question first. Both books were quick reads and decent brain candy. I really like Sharon and would like to read more of the books in this series.

Some of the dialogue in this book seemed a bit forced and clunky, but otherwise, it was an entertaining tale. I liked the art theme, especially, and was fascinated by the explanation of fake antiques. Overall, a fun book to read on a trip.

Until I rea
Nat Kidder
May 11, 2015 Nat Kidder rated it really liked it
Antique dealers are harassed to vacate their seedy stores so a developer can transform them into high-rent complexes. The harassment is mostly vandalism until one of the store owners is found murdered.

Complex plot makes it a cerebral whodunit, much in the tradition of Ellery Queen. The final struggle scene (in a room full of knick-knacks) could have been better, but overall solid.
Dec 15, 2014 Kathy rated it it was ok
The story appeared, initially, to be an interesting one. However, as the story progressed, I had it figured out (way too early). Maybe it's because the book was published in the '60's, and in my opinion, we were all pretty naive back then. I don't think I would recommend this book, not if you like a challenge.
Chris Wolak
Aug 25, 2011 Chris Wolak rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I read this book because I'm told it is the first mystery with a female PI (1979), beyond the cozy genre. It was an interesting read, but toward the end I wanted it done though. The antagonism between Sharon Malone and the cop was a bit over-done in the "oh, geez, they're actually attracted to one another" mold. I think it would be interesting to read this whole series in order to see how Malone develops. It has to be fascinating to see the changes in how women are perceived and "accepted" into ...more
Gillian Murrell
Mar 28, 2016 Gillian Murrell rated it it was ok
I found it difficult to get invested in the story. Under developed characters in a murder mystery come art theft. In a book this short it needed something outstanding to get my attention at the start but it just was not there for me.
Sep 23, 2012 Smoochys rated it liked it
Sharon McCone is a 30ish detective for a law firm. Her firm and by extension Sharon has been hired to determine the culprit behind vandalism of a client's property. Unfortunately that client is killed before Sharon has a chance to prove who done it. That doesn't stop her from investigating the murder, and coming up with a list of realistic suspects. The author leads us on one road showing exactly why one guy did it, and then does an excellent job of doing the same thing to another guy. When she ...more
Jul 26, 2016 Debbie rated it liked it
Published in 1977 it was dated but as the first in a long series I am curious to see if/how the characters evolve. Do they age or are they stuck in the same era?
Marcia Barr
Aug 02, 2016 Marcia Barr rated it liked it
This was entertaining. I do like a good mystery book. This was part of the challenge for 2016 to read a book by an author who shares my first name, Marcia.
Jul 05, 2014 Marilynt55 rated it really liked it
This is the first in a series that made me want to read the next book. Maybe a little dated but then I remembered it was written almost 40 years ago.
Apr 05, 2014 Kim rated it it was amazing
The first in a series new to me. Just sad I read it after going to San Francisco and not before. I enjoyed reading about some place I've actually been.
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A native of the Detroit area, Marcia Muller grew up in a house full of books and self-published three copies of her first novel at age twelve, a tale about her dog complete with primitive illustrations. The "reviews" were generally positive.

In the early 1970s, having moved to California, Muller found herself unemployable and began experimenting with mystery novels.

In the ensuing thirty-some years,
More about Marcia Muller...

Other Books in the Series

Sharon McCone (1 - 10 of 31 books)
  • Ask the Cards a Question
  • The Cheshire Cat's Eye
  • Games to Keep the Dark Away
  • Leave a Message for Willie
  • There's Nothing to Be Afraid Of
  • Eye of the Storm
  • There's Something in a Sunday
  • The Shape of Dread
  • Trophies and Dead Things
  • Where Echoes Live

Share This Book

“Ever think of becoming a cop?"

"I did, but at the time there wasn't much opportunity for women. Lady cops were confined to typing, taking shorthand, and the juvenile division."

"And I don't suppose you have any womanly skills like typing or taking shorthand?"

I smiled. "No, but I'm a mean shot with a .38 and I bake terrific bread.”
More quotes…