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Edwin of the Iron Shoes (Sharon McCone #1)

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  5,102 Ratings  ·  125 Reviews
When an elderly antiques dealer is murdered, Muller's popular P.I. Sharon McCone follows a killer's trail to a museum where San Francisco's most elegant socialites gather. "Muller and McCone are still the class of the field".--San Diego Union-Tibune.
Unknown Binding, 178 pages
Published January 1st 1977 by David McKay Company
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Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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 18, 2011 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
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#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
Nov 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 21, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Muller is one of those writers I discovered as a teenager and then when I became a librarian, went back and started listening to on audio. I stopped keeping up with her around Listen to the Silence, because I couldn't get my hands on the audio at that time and I wasn't keen enough to switch back to reading in print. But I'm feeling nostalgic and I'm in the mood for a mystery - so I've decided to go back and and revisit this series.

I remembered quite a bit about this book, although there were a f
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dated in just a couple ways. Otherwise pretty damn solid.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
pretty good... I'll read a few more
2.5 stars- just ok, good audio
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story and fun characters
Andrea Baron
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read but nicely written. Will read the next one.
Jean Doane
I was a bit disappointed with this book. The title suggested to me a historical mystery set perhaps in the Middle Ages. I couldn't have been more wrong. It's a modern private eye story set in San Francisco. The main character is Sharon McCone, who works as a PI for a legal aid lawyer. Sharon is Native American. Apparently this is the first novel of a series. I might try reading another one to see if the characters grow on me.
Jun 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 03, 2015 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
Cynthia Kauffmann
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read others in this series and like them. This is the first in the series and I have wanted to read it for a long time. I'm glad I did. I enjoyed it, as I knew I would.
Dec 30, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
was ok, wasn't my favorite
#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
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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)
  • 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

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“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.”
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