The Spook Lights Affair (Carpenter and Quincannon, #2)
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The Spook Lights Affair (A Carpenter and Quincannon Mystery #2)

3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  234 ratings  ·  65 reviews
In 1895 San Francisco young debutantes don’t commit suicide at festive parties, particularly not under the eye of Sabina Carpenter. But Virginia St. Ives evidently did, leaping from a foggy parapet in a shimmer of ghostly light. The seemingly impossible disappearance of her body creates an even more serious problem for the firm of Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Det...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Forge Books
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May 21, 2014 Amy marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Oh, this just isn't going to work for me. I'm sure the story is good. Sadly, the audio narration left a lot to be desired. Meredith Mitchell in particular was reading as if she were reading a phone book. A little voice and expression would have been welcome. If I come back to this one, it will be in print format.
Carpenter & Quincannon Detective Agency is still in its youth so when a high profile client asks Sabina to babysit their spirited young daughter she grudgingly accepts. The young woman in question is Virginia St. Ives. On a foggy night, while attending a ball, and under the watchful eye of Sabrina, she commits suicide and the body vanishes. This turn of events creates scandal and serious problems for the C & Q Detective Agency. Sabina is determined to figure out what happen and clear her...more
I have to admit that the whole reason that I grabbed this book from my library was that I saw that Bill Pronzini was listed as a co-author. I love his writing so I was dying to see the influence of it in this book. It had very little of the tension that I love his books for.

This book had more of a "cozy-lite" feel to it which simply bored me. Although parts of the story grabbed me, the majority did not.

While I wouldn't continue on with this series,I did feel that it was written well enough to p...more
#2 Quincannon/Carpenter mystery

This is a good story, not too complicated plotwise, but enjoyable. I doubt I'll read more of this series, due to my long TBR.

I picked this up at the library because I liked the cover and title.
Set in San Francisco in 1895, the Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services finds itself involved in two separate cases that in the end become one and the same. While the storyline may prove simple and predictable, the descriptive passages of California living at the turn of the century makes this an enjoyable read.
This is the first book I have read in Muller and Pronzini's Carpenter and Quincannon series and I thoroughly enjoyed it not just for the story but for the historical facts included in the novel about the San Francisco and surrounding area. The story is set in 1895, Stanford was just starting up as a college, the Tenderloin area in San Francisco had debauchery parlors for the more well to do, while the Barbary Coast was considered the place where violent and hardened criminals hung out to gamble,...more
I didn't know it when I ordered this book from my library, but this is the second in a new series by husband-and-wife team Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini. Marcia Muller is the author of the present-day PI series featuring Sharon McCone, and Bill Pronzini created the Nameless Detective series. Both are excellent mystery writers. This book features a detective agency run by a woman who is a former Pinkerton detective (a Pinkerton Rose, as the women were called) and a male former Secret Service Ag...more
I didn't do a full review for this one on my blog because I didn't feel that that many people would be interested in it. This was an enjoyable mystery read. I really did like the fake or not Sherlock Holmes character, he was kind of fun. The main characters were okay and the mystery was okay as well. I thought it was a cool idea to have two mysteries intertwine to become one. I just felt that there wasn't the fun of being left enough clues for the reader to try and solve the mystery themselves....more
Sabina Carpenter has been hired to keep an eye on a young debutante who her parents suspect is carrying on a dalliance with an unsuitable young man. While at a party, the girl appears to commit suicide and Sabina must work on clearing her name and restoring her reputation.

Meanwhile, John Quincannon is attempting to find burglars who robbed Wells, Fargo so he can collect a $3000 reward. Towards the end, the two detectives find that their cases intersect.

Unfortunately, that does not mean that they...more
3.5 Stars. I enjoyed this more than the first book in the series. It didn't use all the period slang that I found distracting and was definitely more character driven rather than all setting and description. I like the characters of Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon and their dance of a possible romantic entailment. There were dual plots as in the debut that intersect at the end. Sabina's case involves Virginia St. Ives a young rich society girl. Her traveling parents hire Sabina to chaperone...more
BRNTerri marked it as to-read
Jan 16, 2014
Cecilia Rodriguez
The fourth book in the series. Set in 1895 San Francisco.
Quinn and Sabina run into Sherlock Holmes again, this time there is a hint that he may not actually be Doyle's famous dective.
The main plot deals with the suside of a debutant and the robbery of a Wells Fargo Office. The two cases are investigated by Quinn and Sabina, until they both find out that there might be a link between the two crimes.
Dianne Landry
Private detective Sabina Carpenter is hired to babysit the spoiled daughter of a rich family only to watch her apparently commit suicide by jumping off an overlook. Her partner Quinncannon is on the trail of the person who robbed Wells Fargo of $3,500. All in all it was not a very good book although I did manage to finish it. I wouldn't recommend anyone bother with this series.
There are some authors that I have read for years. When I see new books by them in the library, I have to pick them up. The is a new series for me from Muller and Bill Prozini. I'm more acquainted with the McCone series from Muller. This is a period mystery and tightly written. I enjoyed it and might look into the other books by the duo. This is a good read set in early San Francisco.
Lynda Coker
~ "Do as you were told. Let the woman go."
"You won't shoot, lady...."
"Won't I? I've shot bigger men than you, and slept like a baby afterward." She took a step closer cocking the weapon with an audible click. "Release her--now!" ~ Page 149

Fun, likable characters make this mystery even more compelling. Sabina and John are polar opposites in almost every aspect of life and work. But that doesn't stop them from making a dynamic investigative team. A suicide without a body sets the stage for an ad...more
Lance Wright
The second mystery in this series, consisting of two cases investigated separately that are (of course) connected, is an enjoyable one, and takes advantage of and makes clever use of several unique elements from the time and place that the action is set, San Francisco in the late 1800s. Read our full review, here:
Debra Davis
The detective agency of Carpenter and Quincannon are delightful. The setting is late 19th century San Francisco and the differing investigative technics of Rabina Carpenter and James Quincannon are different as night and day but together they make a formidable team that the criminals of San Francisco are doomed. A very cleverly written plot with fleshed out characters.
Ruth Ellen
a very interesting story set in the late 1890's. tow detectives male and female sovle cases together yet separately. both figure it out but come together to finish the case. I liked both characters. He is in love with her but she isn't willing to mix business with pleasure. yet their relationship works. Highly recommend this story.
Lynn Lerch
This book is by Marcia Muller and her husband, Bill Pronzini. Pronzini's detective John Quincannon is back and now is in San Francisco and has a partner,Sabina Carpenter. John is working on a Wells Fargo theft and Sabina is following an heiress who leaves a party at the Mayor's house and falls or jumps to her death...or did she die? I hope this couple write many more Quincannon and Carpenter mysteries.
Mar 28, 2014 Val rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
Book #2 of the Carpenter and Quincannon series finds Sabina babysitting a debutante while John is tracking down the missing $35K from a train robbery. This didn't live up the the opening books charm, sorry to say. Perhaps #3 will deliver where this one failed.
Sharon Bengel
Disappointing. Mullers parts are good but her husband are less so. Lots of oddball terms like "stem winder" and "addlepate" thrown around to give a false period feel. The plot was predictable and weak and the fake Sherlock is just silly. Plenty of better series out there.
This book was very different from what I expected - not it's fault, I need to pay attention. I sw the name Marcia Muller and thought "yippee skippee, I LOVE her writing". I do love her writing and have read every Sharon McCone mystery she has written. This book ws not that calibre.

If you are a fan of Amanda Quick, you will enjoy this book. The plot ws pretty transparent and at the end, I skimmed it because I was close to loss of interest. It was barely ok for me.
Cindy S
Another historical mystery with the duo, Sabina and Quincannon hot on the trail of a mysterious suicide with no body and a daring robbery of a Wells Fargo office. Interesting period piece where the two stories interweave.
Lin S.
Sometimes you reads a hit and other times a miss. For me this was a miss. Too predictable, strange characters and one character was left dangling. I don't know what happened to him!? Probably won't read this set of authors again.
Dave Hoff
Reads like an Ann Perry book, except Sabina and her partner are in San Francisco, not London but in the 1890s also. Each working a case which merge before the book ends, the man's case not quite solved to the point he gets his finder's fee. End leaves an opening for a sequel.
A decent historical mystery set in late 19th century San Francisco. Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon work on separate cases that end-up intertwined by the end of the tale. There was enough period detail, action and romance to keep the reader entertained and reading. Will have to be on the lookout for the first in the series.
Easy reading, but not without some engaging substance. I enjoy the work of both of these authors, and find their partnership in fiction to be generally interesting and entertaining. Books like this one are a bit of fresh air between heavier works of fiction.
Laura Chase
This is the second in a new series. I thought the pace seemed slower and more disjointed than the first. I plan on giving the series at least one more novel before I give up on it.
I absolutely whipped through this book today while waiting for my students. It was very readable and undemanding, and I enjoyed it even though I did guess some the plot twists.
Anne Thorpe
When is the next one coming out??? I love the period, late 1800's, and the setting, San Francisco. Having heard both of the authors speak at Left Coast Crime was a treat. More, please!
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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
More about Marcia Muller...
Edwin of the Iron Shoes (Sharon McCone, #1) The Broken Promise Land (Sharon McCone, #17) A Wild and Lonely Place (Sharon McCone, #16) Trophies and Dead Things (Sharon McCone, #11) Burn Out (Sharon McCone, #26)

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