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San Francisco Secrets – “A Foggy Time”

June 2, 2013

30901890_thbSan Francisco Secrets

by Gret Messel

Atria Books

450 pages, $15

I like this book, because I was in San Francisco in the early sixties and the author does a great job of capturing that time and place. There are dual plots which keep us curious, though both tend to be resolved a little too conveniently. I like the “1958 Cost of Living” chart. Gas was 24cents a gallon; a postage stamp, 4 cents.

The reference to Dashiell Hammett, one of my favorite writers, reminds us, painfully, that the private detective Sam Slater is not Sam Spade. Sure, I’m happy that Slater and his stewardess partner, Amelia, end up “flying” together at the end, but after four hundred plus pages, I expected a little more perspective on those times (perhaps on my own San Francisco experiences).

The departure of the Seals baseball team to make room for the Giants is an interesting mirror. It just doesn’t carry enough weight for me as an outsider—I only lasted two months there.

4 out of 5Order directly from Amazon. Click here: San Francisco Secrets

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