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A Plague of Secrets (Dismas Hardy #13)

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,775 Ratings  ·  234 Reviews
Dismas Hardy, Abe Glitsky, and Wyatt Hunt return in a compelling and timely legal thriller filled with blackmail, political intrigue, and multiple murder.

The first victim is Dylan Vogler, a charming ex-convict who manages the Bay Beans West coffee shop in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. When his body is found, inspectors discover that his knapsack is filled with
Hardcover, 413 pages
Published June 30th 2009 by Dutton (first published January 1st 2009)
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Lewis Weinstein
Mar 24, 2014 Lewis Weinstein rated it it was amazing
John Lescroart writes some of the best courtroom novels out there, and this is one of them. However, this novel also deals with a serious problem in the American justice system, and I expect Mr. Lescroart feels very strongly about it, as do I.

In "A Plague of Secrets," prosecutors and police, in their zeal for a conviction in a high profile case, violate their obligation to seek justice by ignoring evidence, or the lack of it, as they proceed against their target defendant. Combine that with a j
Jan 24, 2012 Johnny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I’m not a criminal attorney, so this may not be right. What are the three essentials for a murder case? Are they motive, means, and opportunity? Theoretically, one doesn’t even need definitive physical evidence to point to a defendant’s guilt provided these three factors are demonstrated convincingly enough. In A Plague of Secrets, my latest foray into the San Francisco world of erstwhile cop and assistant D.A. turned defense attorney Dismas Hardy and erstwhile social worker turned private inves ...more
James Thane
Nov 03, 2010 James Thane rated it liked it
A Plague of Secrets reunites John Lescroart's main series characters, Dismas Hardy, Abe Glitsky and Wyatt Hunt, along with the cast of minor characters that populates this very engaging series. The book opens with a personal tragedy that afflicts Glitsky, Hardy's best friend and the head of the San Francisco Homicide unit. Not surprisingly, the tragedy will distract Glitsky's attention from his duties in the department, and it probably goes without saying that this will not be a good thing.

Jul 12, 2010 Linda rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Lescroat's latest book is a full of action and suspense. Being from California, I love reading the mysteries that take place in places that I am familiar with, and San Francisco is one of those places. This book contains mystery, suspense and good characterization, though not as deep as many of his novels. San Francisco is a great place for this adventure, especially as Lescroat weaves in the local color with different food offerings, the scenery and with hilly and curved streets, bayside scenes ...more
Aug 09, 2010 David rated it it was ok
Shelves: completed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 22, 2009 Caitlin rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
In the world of legal thrillers John Grisham usually gets all the hype, but John Lescroart and Robert Tannenbaum are much better writers. A Plague of Secrets is Lescroart's twentieth book in his Dismas Hardy series; that's pretty impressive.

I like this series, set in San Francisco, partly because it's set in San Francisco, but also because the recurring characters & their lives are interesting. After twenty books in the series, I really care about these people, they feel fleshed out and real
Jul 14, 2009 Cora rated it it was ok
Being a huge fan, and having read most of his earlier books, I found this book which is four-hundred-thirteen pages long, at times to be moving at an excruciatingly slow pace that I actually thought about putting it down. There is more action in the last thirty pages than in the entire three-hundred-eighty-three previous pages put together. There are a number of mini-plots that are set up... but never culminated. This is not one of Lescroart's best works. "A Plague of Secrets" lacks the freshnes ...more
Jun 23, 2014 Ellen rated it really liked it
A Plague of Secrets by John Lescroart.

Maya Townsend is a wealthy (very wealthy) owner of a coffee shop.

Why she needs to be an owner of the Bay Beans coffee Shop did not become apparent.

Maya becomes Hardy's client after a murder takes place close to the store. It does becomes apparent that Maya tells half truths to any of Hardy's questions, if that.
Then another murder occurs and this victim is also an acquaintance of Maya's. Does Maya have something going on that she's been hiding? Is the Bay Bea
Nov 23, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a Dismas Hardy legal thriller with blackmail, political intrigue, and multiple murder.

The first victim is Dylan Vogler, a charming ex-convict who manages the Bay Beans West coffee shop in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. When his body is found, inspectors discover that his knapsack is filled with high-grade marijuana. It soon becomes clear that San Francisco's A-list flocked to Bay Beans West not only for their caffeine fix.

But how much did Maya Townshend-the socialite niece of t
Feb 01, 2010 Min rated it really liked it
Loved this book! Of course, I always love Lescroart's work (especially the Dismas Hardy series), but this book was better than usual. From the jacket copy, I wasn't sure I would like it, but it got off the ground quickly and it kept me reading nearly straight through.

The manager of a successful Bay Area coffee shop is murdered, and it's soon discovered that he was using the coffee shop to sell marijuana to numerous customers. One thing leads to another and soon enough, the owner of the shop is H
Dec 18, 2015 Cheryl rated it liked it
Shelves: own-on-kindle
OK, so I'm jumping into the author without having read his prior 19 books which could be part of the problem. I had some issues trying to follow the characters (wait...who's wife is she?) and since I was reading it on my kindle, didn't have the patience to backtrack and figure it out. I remember thinking at one point that I should map everyone out with their relationships and jobs, but decided that this was more effort than I wanted to exert for a mystery/thriller novel. Historical fiction, mayb ...more
Aug 03, 2011 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Legal thriller fans.
It's good having Dismas Hardy back. He gets better with age. It also feels good to read a story that harks back to San Francisco in the 60s and 70s, years I remember with great affection as chaotic as they were.

The story begins at Bay Beans West, a coffee shop in the center of the Haight-Ashbury district, the epicenter of the now vanished hippie culture. It's very popular and its manager, Dylan Vogler, can take credit for a lot of its success. Problem is, he's found shot to death behind the sho
Jan 06, 2013 Mary rated it liked it
Shelves: listened-to
This is a Dismas Hardy legal thriller with blackmail, political intrigue, and multiple murder.

The first victim is Dylan Vogler, a charming ex-convict who manages the Bay Beans West coffee shop in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. When his body is found, inspectors discover that his knapsack is filled with high-grade marijuana. It soon becomes clear that San Francisco's A-list flocked to Bay Beans West not only for their caffeine fix.

But how much did Maya Townshend-the socialite niece of t
Oct 23, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
The manager of a popular San Francisco coffee shop is found dead in the back alley. It soon becomes apparent that he was selling more than lattes. One of the suspects is the shop owner, Maya Townshend, who is running a sort of hobby business. When another of her former acquaintances is murdered, she's indicted.

Dismas Hardy agrees to defend Maya, whether she committed these crimes or not, and he has to admit that she seems to be guilty. Her maddening refusal to discuss her relationship to the tw
Eric Wright
Oct 15, 2011 Eric Wright rated it liked it
Shelves: own, mystery
Lescroart tells a convoluted tale full of lies, deception and secrets going back decades. Maya Townshend, owner of a popular coffee shop in san Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district is charged with the murder of her manager who is found with his knapsack full of high grade marijuana.

Maya and her husband enlist lawyer Dismas Hardy to defend her before a judge with a axe to grind about Hardy. Throughout the book, Hardy's investigative team uncovers secret after secret. The end reveals one final, and
Jul 30, 2010 Chuck rated it really liked it
I have sworn off legal thrillers for awhile but I was forced into the emergency book stash and came up with this one. I learned that this is one of a series but it stands alone very nicely. It features Dismas Hardy, a criminal defense attorney, who takes on as a client a woman who owns a trendy coffee shop. She is accused of a double murder one victim of whom is the manager of her coffee shop. I suggest that you just read and enjoy the ride because any attempt to figure it out on your own will s ...more
Apr 12, 2014 Judie rated it it was amazing
I had forgotten how much I like legal thrillers until I read John Lescroart’s A PLAGUE OF SECRETS.
The basic plot was straight forward: Dylan Vogler, the manager of a popular San Francisco coffee shop was killed. He was wearing a backpack, filled with marijuana. Maya Townshend, the wealthy, beautiful, politically connect absentee owner of the coffee shop claimed she knew nothing about the pot but she had been paying the manager an excessively high salary.
In order to find the murderer, the pol
Feb 09, 2015 Judith rated it liked it
I registered a book at!

Dismas Hardy is hired as a precaution when Maya Townshend, owner of the Bay Beans West coffee shop in the Haight-Ashbury district, is questioned about the murder of the manager of her store. She does start to look like she's hiding something rather early. Why was she paying the dead guy, Dylan Vogler, 90K a year? What was their relationship really? Why did she go to the shop early the morning he was shot?

Nov 02, 2011 Joe rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
and yet again...realize I am starting this character at his 13th outing! None the less....I loved meeting these characters...Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky as they challenge Mr John Grisham in the courtroom. Great legal thriller. Very complicated plot, in a good way. Definitely kept me on my toes, following the plot right up until the end.
Jan 11, 2014 Neeka rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: john-lescroart
Talk about getting it completely wrong... And then the murderer being so close to home....
Now I can go to the next Hunt Club book and I know what happened to the people in that business...
This was an interesting book but not really up to par as Lescroart's usual writing. There was a lot of character developments that I have already seen in Treasure Hunt (thus the reason why I had to stop reading to find out why and where a lot of things were coming from). I would have liked to see more court r
Nov 01, 2015 Beth rated it really liked it
Coming back to Lescroart is like visiting old friends; the characters are well developed and have a wonderful chemistry. The story is always engaging; a good puzzler. In this one, A wealthy woman with a secret in her past is implicated in a double homicide. Her sister and brother are influential politicians, and everyone has a secret. I felt a tiny bit cheated at the end, because the author left a trail of red herrings, and when the true "Paco" was revealed, I felt a but duped.
Good story nonethe
V.R. Barkowski
Feb 15, 2015 V.R. Barkowski rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
In Lescroart's 13th Dismas Hardy novel, Maya Townsend, a politically connected socialite is linked to the murder of an employee. Along with the dead body, police find a backpack full of weed. Seems the victim was selling more than lattes out of Maya's coffee shop, and his clientele included some of San Francisco highest rollers. Dismas Hardy to the defense! If you enjoy legal thrillers, I highly recommend Lescroart's Hardy series with one caveat. While there's nothing wrong with A PLAGUE OF SECR ...more
Jul 27, 2013 J rated it liked it
Bummer I just wrote a review, but it slipped away when I mistyped. Whenever that happens, my second version of the review is shorter.


Yes, I enjoy Lescroart's novels about Dismas Hardy, who, we're always reminded, was named after the good thief who hung on a cross next to Jesus' cross. (It makes for a good nickname -- Diz.)

But this installment is not a favorite.

Yes, it was interesting to see Abe Glitsky - head of the police homicide squad, an
Carl R.
May 16, 2012 Carl R. rated it really liked it
So, it looks like I’ve started a trend for myself. First three Percival Everetts in a row, now two John Lescroarts. I have a non-Lescroart on deck, but suspect I’ll return to him for a third round soon. A Plague of Secrets might be an appropriate title for many of J.L.’s books, since he’s a black belt at inventing dark corners in the lives of everyone, respectable or non. Sometimes only we, the readers, and the characters themselves get to know the secrets. Sometimes the clandestines go public. ...more
May 01, 2009 Russell rated it it was amazing
Plague of Secrets by John Lescroart
Reviewed by Russell Ilg

John Lescroart has taking the art of legal thrillers to new highest. John
characters are by far the best in the industry I have the feeling that I am
right there sitting in the connor watching the whole drama unfold. Dismas
and Abe are like old friends I have known my whole life and can not wait to
great carried away in the best thriller of the year. The story unfolds as a
run away fright train and never slows down it only picks up speed as yo
Janis Knecht
May 05, 2015 Janis Knecht rated it really liked it
I'm a fan of the Dismas series, good characterization, interesting plots. But one constant theme running through is how dangerous it is to be one of Dismas' or Abe's family or friends. Chances are you are going to be sued, falsely accused, blackmailed, run over by a car, attached, murdered or something else bad.
This time it's Abe's son, struck by car and someone was killed. While it makes this interesting, if you were Abe's/Dismas' next door neighbor, you might want to move,

This one was enjoyabl
Feb 26, 2011 Kevin rated it it was amazing
When I picked this book up at a local tourist hot-spot in Virginia I didn't figure I would be picking up a new favorite book.

The book starts out with the murder of Dylan Vogler, the manager of a coffee shop in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Fransisco. Just by knowing the setting of this book, you may be able to guess one of the themes of this book, the "victim less crime" as the author calls it. Despite having different opinions on the matter than the author, this was still a very enjoyable
Jul 16, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-bought-this
I didn't see the end coming on this one. Might re-read to see where I slept, or what happened...actually I DIDN'T sleep last night much, and read between 1 and 5 AM which is when I finished it, so that may be why I didn't pick up on any clues? Anwyay, I loved it.

Diz is still Diz and there really isn't anything re Frannie in this one, but lots of other regular characters, with interesting bits that make us know them more and possibly understand what is making them the accident to Glit
Karen Hufman
Aug 12, 2014 Karen Hufman rated it liked it
Dismas Hardy is the lawyer for Maya Townsend, a wealthy socialite accused of killing the handsomely paid manager of her coffeehouse. There was high grade marijuana found on the body and it turns out the dead guy may have been blackmailing his boss. There's some political things at play. I enjoyed the characters, it was an easy read but didn't appreciate the way the case wrapped up.
Sep 24, 2010 Kathie rated it really liked it
I am a fan of John Lescroart and his recurring characters, Dismas Hardy, Abe Glitsky, and Wyatt Hunt.

In this work a coffee shop manager is discovered murdered outside his San Francisco shop with a backpack full of marijuana. The coffee shop owner, Maya Townshead is linked to the murder and soon linked to a second murder.

Dismus Hardy is hired as Maya’s defense attorney. Maya is the wife of a wealthy real estate executive, niece of a well-known actress, and of the San Francisco’s mayor. Over tim
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John Lescroart (born January 14, 1948) is an American author best known for two series of legal and crime thriller novels featuring the characters Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky.

Lescroart was born in Houston, Texas, and graduated from Junípero Serra High School, San Mateo, California (Class of 1966). He then went on to earn a B.A. in English with Honors at UC Berkeley in 1970. In addition to his nov
More about John Lescroart...

Other Books in the Series

Dismas Hardy (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Dead Irish (Dismas Hardy, #1)
  • The Vig (Dismas Hardy, #2)
  • Hard Evidence (Dismas Hardy, #3)
  • The 13th Juror (Dismas Hardy, #4)
  • The Mercy Rule (Dismas Hardy, #5)
  • Nothing but the Truth (Dismas Hardy, #6)
  • The Hearing (Dismas Hardy #7)
  • The Oath (Dismas Hardy, #8)
  • The First Law (Dismas Hardy #9)
  • The Second Chair (Dismas Hardy #10)

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