A Killing in Real Estate
MacAdam/Cage, Jul 10 2010, $13.00
A serial arsonist has been lighting up the Mission District. San Francisco Foghorn columnist Ed Rosenberg is concerned as the latest inferno was just a few blocks from the renovated Victorian where he, his wife Julie and their two kids (ten years old Sonya and infant Jake) live. He could smell the flames three blocks away
Although he did not sleep well and Julie pushed him again for them to move, Ed meets his friend from the paper real estate reporter Ryan Duffy for brunch and a discussion on a 1934 diary kept by his grandfather, a longshoreman during the bloody acrimonious strike; the scribble is impossible to read for a layman so Ryan hopes historian Ed can translate it. Ed arrives to find a naked Ryan dead; bound as if an S&M tryst turned ugly. Stunned he takes the diary with him and begins interpreting what looks like an arson’s scribble. Motivated Ed investigates his friend’s death and the fires creeping closer to his abode.
The 1934 diary refreshes the exciting investigative whodunit as the readers learns of a nasty period in San Francisco history. The present day inquiry into the murder and especially the serial arsons is cleverly designed as the audience wonders who is lighting the fires and why. A Killing in Real Estate is a fabulous San Francisco treat.