Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
City of Ghosts

City of Ghosts

A Miranda Corbie Mystery

A Miranda Corbie Mystery (Volume 3)

Kelli Stanley

Minotaur Books




June, 1940.

For the United States, war is on the horizon.

For Miranda Corbie, private investigator and erstwhile escort, there are debts to be paid and memories—long-suppressed and willfully forgotten—to be resurrected. Enter the U.S. State Department and the man who helped Miranda get her PI license. A man she owes. A man who asks her to track a chemistry professor here in San Francisco whom he suspects is a spy for the Nazis. Playing along may get Miranda a ticket to Blitz-bombed England and answers about her past…if she survives.

Through sordid back alleys and art gallery halls, from drag dress nightclubs to a Nazi costume ball, Miranda's journey into fear takes her on the famed City of San Francisco streamliner and to Reno, Nevada, the Biggest Little City in the World…where she finds herself framed for a murder she never anticipated. Forced to go underground, Miranda soldiers on alone, determined to find the truth about a murder, a Nazi spy, and her own troubling past.

But Miranda will have to learn the difference between reality and illusion, from despair to deceit and factual to fake, as she tries to get her life back…and navigates a City of Ghosts.

Miranda Corbie's back. Noir will never be the same.

And Kelli Stanley will once again mesmerize readers with the most thrilling novel yet in her award-winning series.



Miranda watched as the thin arm, pocked and dotted with needle points, snaked under the dirt-gummed bars of the pawnshop.

Swan dance, like a prima ballerina. Except the fingernails were chipped and filthy, the muscle...


Praise for City of Ghosts

“Full of evocative detail (the scent of Hills Brothers Coffee, the sound of Artie Shaw's "Frenesi"), City of Ghosts has the vigor and pace of a terrific Warner Bros. film noir…Ms. Stanley brings 1940 San Francisco to life in flamboyant language, reminiscent at times of such period prose-poets as radio's Norman Corwin and Bay Area newspaperman Herb Caen.” —The Wall Street Journal

“A love of San Francisco--its flaws, strengths and eccentricities--permeates Kelli Stanley's intriguing novels about private detective Miranda Corbie.…The author's clear-eyed view of San Francisco and of Miranda's character adds to the strength of the novel's engrossing historical fiction.” —Associated Press

“[Stanley] once again showcases her ability to transport the reader back in time. The atmosphere, character, dialogue and setting all feel authentic to the point that one wonders if Stanley has a device to go back in time, record events and come back to transcribe them. Fans and newcomers alike will be eager to see what happens to Miranda next.” —RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

“Stanley's protagonist looks like Rita Hayworth and talks like Sam Spade in pumps, but Miranda is nobody's fool, as she proves time and again.” —Kirkus

“Stanley's tenacious research into time and place is evident in every sentence on every page, with the result being that anyone reading the book, as well as its two predecessors, surrenders the reality of the present for Stanley's presentation of the past. And what a past it is.” —Bookreporter

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Kelli Stanley

KELLI STANLEY is the author of two previous Miranda Corbie mysteries, most recently the award-winning City of Secrets. The first in her highly acclaimed series, City of Dragons, has won the Macavity and Bruce Alexander awards for best historical mystery and was a finalist for The Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a Shamus Award nominee. She lives in San Francisco, California.

Kelli Stanley

© Lisa Keating Photography



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