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A Miranda Corbie story and prequel to CITY OF DRAGONS in FIRST THRILLS

“Stanley, whose CITY OF DRAGONS is one of this year’s most impressive books, works her magic once again in a prequel to that title.”
Joe Hartlaub,

” … hands down one of the best short story collections you’re ever likely to read … a masterful collection.”
David Pitt, Booklist, starred review

“Some of the tales presented … such as Kelli Stanley’s ‘Children’s Day’, seem destined to become classics.”
Claudette Smith, San Francisco Book Review


The International Thriller Writers anthology FIRST THRILLS features a heady mix of thrilling short stories from some of the best practitioners of the art. Edited and with an Introduction by Lee Child, and with an Afterward by Steve Berry, the anthology is a stellar cast of favorite names in thrillers and crime fiction.

Short Stories

April 3rd, 1939 is Children’s Day on Treasure Island

“Children’s Day” is a haunting prequel to CITY OF DRAGONS. Set on Treasure Island, the man-made fantasy isle built for the 1939 San Francisco World’s Fair, new private detective Miranda Corbie works the “Gayway”, the amusement zone, protecting G-string queens and side-show midgets.

Then a clown steals a little girl … and the carnival  begins.

Join Miranda on her earliest published adventure.

The calliope is calling …

Short Stories

An original  Miranda Corbie story and prequel to CITY OF DRAGONS and CITY OF SECRETS

Available in E-Book Only

Meet Miranda Corbie, ex-escort, new PI, and old hand at working security for Sally Rand at the 1939 San Francisco World’s Fair.

Like the city of San Francisco, she’ll resonate in your own memory, long after you finish the story …

Short Stories
Short Stories

San Francisco, 1939. Take a page from a “Memory Book” …

The Golden Gate International Exposition has captured the imagination of the country. The fair is a spectacular blend of mankind’s newest innovations and basest urges, and Miranda Corbie is smack in the middle of it, working security at Sally Rand’s. A former Spanish Civil War nurse and escort and now a private investigator, she has seen more than her share of the glitter and the grit, the perennial cons and sly grifts.

Virginia MacAvoy’s grandmother seems to be a victim of a straightforward petty theft.   Mrs. MacAvoy came to the fair to give her granddaughters the inheritance that she had been saving for them, but it was stolen. It consisted of $500, four gold coins, and a memory book—a scrapbook where she has been saving family memories. While Virginia is convinced that Miranda will be able to track them down, her grandmother isn’t and only hires Miranda to convince her granddaughters of how there is nothing to be done.

Mrs. MacAvoy makes a good point, but Miranda can’t understand why she’s so quick to give up, and it isn’t long before she’s looking for more than a stolen bag but for answers as well.

With “Memory Book”, Kelli Stanley takes readers to a time and place where the sordid and the sublime come together, making for a stunning prequel story to her to acclaimed historical series.

Miranda Corbie in San Francisco Magazine

In February, 2019, San Francisco Magazine decided to publish fiction for the first time in its history.

The theme of the feature was “night life”—past and present—and Kelli Stanley’s short story, “A Night on the Town”, featuring her beloved protagonist Miranda Corbie, represented San Francisco’s storied and legendary nightlife from the age of Art Deco, Artie Shaw, and ferryboats plying the Bay.

“A Night on the Town” is the earliest story thus far told about Miranda … it predates “Children’s Day” by a couple of months and takes place almost immediately before the upcoming novel The Escort, which details Miranda’s first case: solving the murder of her P.I. boss, Charlie Burnett. 

It’s the night after Valentine’s Day, 1939, in San Francisco. Experience the House of Pisco, Tosca, Vanessi’s and other reputable and disreputable joints in the International Settlement. 

Walk San Francisco’s North Beach with Miranda Corbie in “A Night on the Town” … 

Short Stories

The House of Pisco, c. 1940s

The International Settlement with a White Front streetcar