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The Cheshire Cat's Eye (Sharon McCone #3)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  1,133 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Sharon McCone investigates the murder of her best friend in San Francisco, pursuing a single, valuable clue and becoming, herself, implicated in the murder.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 1st 1990 by Mysterious Press (first published 1983)
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Feb 09, 2014 Marty rated it it was amazing
I've been reading this series randomly for 15 years. It really doesn't matter where you start, the Sharon McCone stories are pretty much timeless and you don't need to read the books in order to enjoy them.

In this installment, Sharon is called upon to unravel the mystery of her friend Jake's murder. Jake, who transformed San Francisco Victorian houses into the archetypal "Painted Ladies" is found dead in a pool of clumsily spilled red paint - a clear indication to Sharon that this is a staged s
Jun 30, 2012 Marsha rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Still watching the evolution of Marcia Muller's PI Sharon McCone. In this one the focus is on the restoration of the Victorian 'ladies' and the preservation of houses in general. I enjoy seeing San Francisco through McCone's eyes even though I'm not that familiar with the city. At last she got together with Marcus and had some liberated sex. It's funny how morals were changing then and how dated some ideas seem when you look back 30 years.
I like this series, but it seems a lot grittier than oth
Jun 02, 2017 Kim rated it it was amazing
Excellent early entry in the Sharon McCone mysteries. In succeeding books, she changes a great deal and becomes an excellent PI. In this one, you can see how young she is and how much she has to learn. Love the character development.

Contrary to the book's blurb, the person who dies is not a "best friend", but rather a friend. Very suspenseful and puzzling. Highly recommended.
Oct 16, 2016 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A San Francisco murder.

Well written detective murder mystery, Sharon is working for a coop law firm and takes on a case when an old friend is murdered. She is quite willing to put herself in danger and with twists and turns the killer is finally found.
#3 Sharon McCone, PI, San Francisco; almost, but not quite, cosy. Another strong early entry in a long series, by an author that only seems to improve with each book. Sharon McCone gets involved with the cutthroat business of historical house preservation and repair, gets threatened, takes a lover, loses a friend. Nice mystery, not too dark but not quite cosy either, well-paced, but very 1980s - she's a mite softer-edged than modern readers might expect from a tough PI.

San Francisco has some lo
Mar 08, 2016 Dyana rated it liked it
A lot of these series murder mysteries have a theme with each book. This time around the backdrop involves the restoration of San Francisco Victorian "Painted Ladies". Our heroine, hard-boiled Private Investigator Sharon McCone, gets an urgent call from an old friend named Jake Kaufmann who paints and restores Victorian row houses. His claim-to-fame is painting houses in bold color combinations. Sharon arrives late and finds Jake dead in a pool of red paint which obviously appeared staged. Her b ...more
John Marsh
Feb 26, 2016 John Marsh rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 30, 2012 Spuddie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Third in this series featuring San Francisco PI Sharon McCone. Sharon discovers the body of a client and old friend who had asked to meet her in a house he was in the process of restoring. She is then hired by the man who owns the house in the hope that she can solve the crime and clear the name of his business. The investigation then leads back to another murder three years previously in the same house, and a missing Tiffany lamp, a valuable stained glass featuring characters from Alice in Wond ...more
It was interesting to me to come to this 3rd book in the Sharon McCone series directly after the 4th one (Games to Keep the Dark Away) because that's one of my favorites in the series, and this one...isn't.

Despite being about SF's famed "Painted Ladies" and the romance of architecture in general, this book felt much less polished than its successor. The mystery unfolds in fits and starts, and parts of it felt like McCone was turning into the suspects' therapist. There's a whole murder in here th
Feb 14, 2013 Jim rated it liked it
This was an average book that I think could have been better. The plot was pretty good, the setting was interesting and the main characters were solid, but the book turned out average. Why? The story is written in the first-person but I never feel any emotion from the central character. Everything that happens is written in an even, sketchy manner that does not let me get close to the character. The story feels detached, the emotions second hand. There is no sense of immediacy. There is also a ...more
Oct 21, 2012 Smoochys rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 12, 2010 Beverly rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-series
I'm glad I started re-reading the Sharon McCone series. I forget why I stopped, but I do remember liking McCone a lot. In the third book of the series, Sharon and her her author find their legs. Sharon emerges as the first (and perhaps best, though I do like Kinsey Milhone) of the women hard-boiled detectives, a much more balanced and interesting character than Phillip Marlowe. In this episode, Sharon captures the murderer who is interfering with the renovations of a block of old San Francisco V ...more
Dec 22, 2011 Marci rated it really liked it
Shelves: p-i, read-in-2011
Sharon is growing on me. I wasn't sure I liked her in the first couple of books. Now I find her charming. It all starts when Jake, an old friend and client asks her to meet him at an old victorian house he's renovating. Jake is known for painting these victorian houses bright gaudy colors, which disturbs renovation purists who think the old victorians should be painted grey. When Sharon arrives she finds Jake dead, obviously murdered. When the owner of the house hires Sharon to find out what hap ...more
May 04, 2010 Bob rated it liked it
Another early Sharon McCone tale involving a murder in a Victorian style house under going renovation in a San Francisco neighborhood under going gentrification, McCone is still working at the Co-Op in this one and takes this case on the side because the victim was some one she knew. Not as good as her later books, but fine for a quick fill in read.
ISBN - 0-445-40850-2, Mystery, Pages - 207, Print Size - R, Rating - 3.75
All books reviewed are from the library or purchased by the reviewer.
Ginger Weirich
Feb 25, 2016 Ginger Weirich rated it liked it
I have to say that this one is a bit better that #5, the first one I read, but still rather flat. Again, the setting is San Francisco in the early 70s. PI Sharon McCone is hired by a general contractor to investigate a murder that took place in a home he was restoring. It leads both backward and forward to two more murders, all of which (of course) are solved. While it wasn’t readily obvious “who dun it”, I didn’t find the tale sufficiently engaging to peak my interest. I think this is the last ...more
Apr 17, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it
Shelves: serial-mystery
In the third installment of Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone series, The Cheshire Cat's Eye, Sharon McCone returned to another classic and early mystery. For Sharon, her quiet San Francisco neighborhood were feuding with ambitious developers who were pushing for restoration, until they've found a controversial restoration developer dead. It was up to Sharon to stop the bitter feud between them, until she uncovered a treasure of antiques and a glowing Cheshire Cat's eye from a Tiffany lamp. She must ...more
May 12, 2009 Maria rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Sharon McCone is advertised to be a "hard-boiled female private detective" so I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book but it was on an "I recommend" shelf with Patricia Moyes, who I do like, so I decided to try it. I was pleasantly surprised. I particularly enjoyed the Victorian house rehab descriptions and the references to San Francisco's old district, which I visited for the first time a few years ago, making many things in the book familiar to me.
Jun 30, 2014 Ed rated it really liked it
#3 in the Sharon McCone series. Author Muller, and her P.I. McCone, are at there very best evoking the atmosphere of historical San Francisco. Recommended.

Sharon McCone series - Investigating her friend's murder, private eye Sharon McCone follows a trail into San Francisco's glamorous architectural community in search of a very valuable clue--a Tiffany lamp adorned with the grinning face of a Cheshire Cat.
Chris Wackett
Feb 17, 2015 Chris Wackett rated it liked it
Back to 1983 for a nostalgia kick with the lovely Sharon mccone. No internet or mobile phones. Just a brilliant p.i. On the case. Magic . This was an audible book and the narration took a wee bit of getting used to as I have read all the books in this series and MY Sharon is a bit different to the narrators .
That said this was an enjoyable listen with good old fashioned detective work to the fore . Well written
May 10, 2012 Dorothy rated it it was ok
I had not read this author before but found her books on the audio shelf at the library and decided to give her a try. Her stories are set in San Francisco and I like the descriptions of that city's architecture. Her main character is a female PI and I find her rather stereotypical. The writing is OK but somewhat cliche driven.
Nov 01, 2010 Maggie rated it liked it
Marcia Muller writes mysteries that occur in S.F. so it's fun for me to read. This mystery occurs in the Western Addition, and she even clarified for me the difference between Edwardian & Victorian buildings (not that I remember it!). The detail and way she describes things I find interesting and easy to read. She's written A LOT so at least I have a fall back author.
Kathy  Petersen
Third time's a charm. I enjoyed this, Muller's #3 in the McCone series, more than the first two. Her insurance investigator (who always manages to stumble upon a murder) finds murder and mystery among the Painted Ladies of San Francisco, thus I get a look at a part of my favorite (second favorite) city. The series still appears nothing special, but very readable nonetheless.
Pat Turner
Jun 08, 2013 Pat Turner rated it liked it
I really dislike it when female PIs fall prey to the "it's so obviously stupid/dangerous to do X, but I'm a tough lady so I can get away with it", and then she does X anyway. Why can't writers find another gimmic

McCone is only slightly afflicted by this disorder, but this seems to be her worst showing. Hoping for improvement in later volumes.
Michelle Beese
Aug 08, 2013 Michelle Beese rated it really liked it
I'm on my Marcia Muller journey this summer! Sharon McCone is a spunky P.I. in San Francisco. what could be more fun than that?!?! I'm loving her fun and fast to read stories. I'm on to book number four: Games to Keep the Dark Away. I'm sure I will be reporting in soon. Her books as like potato you can't read just one!
Dec 19, 2009 Joy rated it liked it
Sharon's friend Jake paints houses in psychedelic style. The way Muller tells it, his houses are beautiful but so unorthodox that they make enemies for him. When he is found murdered there is a surprisingly large cast of enemies. This book evokes more of the atmosphere of San Francisco than the previous ones, and includes some fascinating inanimate characters.
Feb 07, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it
Third book in the series. Murder, mystery, and mayhem. Again, fast-paced, good plot, entertaining.

Investigating her friend's murder, private eye Sharon McCone follows a trail into San Francisco's glamorous architectural community in search of a very valuable clue--a Tiffany lamp adorned with the grinning face of a Cheshire Cat.
aPriL does feral sometimes
Number three in the series and showing improvement over the first two. The dialogue isn't so unreal, which really helps. However, it reads like a beginner's clunky first novel, and McCone's relationship with her cop boyfriend is as undeveloped as a crudely drawn paper cutout.

I want a lamp like the Cheshire Cat's Eye!
Sep 19, 2014 Rmacaskill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I enjoy Marcia Muller's books. I like Sharon McCone, and I like reading about the San Francisco Bay Area.

In this one, Sharon finds a body in one of the Victorian houses called Painted Ladies. So interesting!
Chris Leuchtenburg
Jan 29, 2013 Chris Leuchtenburg rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This diminutive (150 pages) mystery, the first I have read in this series, is a combination of cozy and PI tale. It was barely diverting, with a thin but well-paced plot, little character development and not enough made of the San Francisco setting. It’s like Sue Grafton on Valium.
Jun 07, 2015 Roberta rated it liked it
I read several books in the Sharon McCone series some years ago and remember enjoying them so I picked this one up when I saw it at a library sale. Written as a contemporary mystery in 1983, it seems very dated now. Still an OK read.
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Around the Year i...: The Cheshire Cat's Eye, by Marcia Muller 1 14 Mar 27, 2016 09:23AM  
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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 32 books)
  • Edwin of the Iron Shoes
  • Ask the Cards a Question
  • 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

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