RT Book Review’s

Reviewer’s Choice Finalist

“Lean and mean, Kelli Stanley’s gritty 1940s-set mystery series gives readers a compelling snapshot of the past—a past as smart, complex and jaded as her lead character, female P.I. Miranda Corbie. A razor-sharp, tightly-plotted noir page-turner.”

Allison Brennan

CITY OF SECRETS is a superb mystery, a noir tale of high order. Stanley has crafted an intensely readable story set in World War II San Francisco.  Her eyes and ears are keenly tuned to the parlance of that time, to the fears and hatred that informed those troubled years.  This novel rings across the decades with an eerie truth.

T. Jefferson Parker

The sequel to the explosive smash hit CITY OF DRAGONS … meet Miranda Corbie, and discover why 1940 San Francisco is a city of secrets …

“As she did in last year’s excellent CITY OF DRAGONS, Stanley richly explores San Francisco’s history, politics and culture during the pre-WWII days. She gracefully weaves in anti-Semitism, the rise of the American Nazi party, the World’s Fair and nude models into a cohesive plot, and brings fresh storytelling to CITY OF SECRETS … an outstanding addition to what will prove to be a superb series.”

Oline Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“Miranda Corbie, the character at the heart of Kelli Stanley’s CITY OF SECRETS, combines the tropes of femme fatale and wisecracking private dick. She’s a hard drinking, chain smoking, spunky dame who would shoot me as soon as look at me for calling her spunky … Stanley has a distinctive writing style, conveying thoughts and ambience with poetic brush strokes.” Hallie Ephron, Boston Globe


“You’ll want to grab CITY OF SECRETS … This is neonoir in a classical five-act structure, starring one of crime’s most arresting heroines: angry, big-hearted, and fearless Miranda Corbie.”

Library Journal (starred review) (click on the link for the entire review)

“The historical details shine in this perfectly drawn mystery and Stanley doesn’t blink at showing the ugly truths of the time such as race relations, sexism and anti-Semitism. This shows how historical mystery can not only re-create the sights but also the atmosphere of the time.”

RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 Stars; Top Pick)

“Be warned: when you open the book and begin reading the first page, you are leaving the 21st century and wherever you happen to be behind. By page nine, you will be so thoroughly immersed in the San Francisco of the mid-20th century that your contemporary surroundings will seem to be the product of an inferior imagination.”

Joe Hartlaub,

“Gripping … powerful … it takes a gift to create a detective who can walk the dark streets of her own time, while frightening us with our own dark streets. CITY OF SECRETS is Kelli Stanley’s gift to readers who appreciate history, mystery, and truth.”

Lesa Holstine, Lesa’s Book Critiques

“Kelli Stanley is such a master of noir one could swear that she’s Raymond Chandler reincarnated, and Miranda Corbie is the epitome of hardboiled.”

Marlyn Beebe, Stuff and Nonsense

“In best pulp fiction style, suspects lounge about with slick hair and cheap suits, blondes are chain-smoking broads, and the nightclubs are smoky and languid.”

Publishers Weekly

“Kelli Stanley is a writer who knows her place. It’s mid-20th century San Francisco, same place Hammett knew, and with a detective as unique and unyielding. If you haven’t been reading Kelli Stanley you’ve been making a mistake and it’s time to do yourself a favor: Grab up this book.”

SJ Rozan

“I will tell you that this is an outstanding book.  My mind was taken away to another time and place where the worries of the real world do not exist.”

Mike Philman, TracyReaderDad (4 Water Towers)