Cape Perdido

Cape Perdido

by Marcia Muller

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Marcia Muller, bestselling author of the acclaimed series starring San Francisco P.I. Sharon McCone, returns to the remote northern California coast of Point Deception and Cyanide Wells with an exciting new novel. A riveting mystery full of atmosphere and suspense, this tale explores the dark heart of a small town where passion-and murder-runs as deep as the river that flows through it... Amid ancient redwoods and sun-dappled reeds, the Perdido River runs clear and cold from the mountains of Soledad County to the blue Pacific. A wildlife refuge and a pristine recreational area, the river brings tourists to the old lumber town of Cape Perdido...and flows through the memories and hearts of the rugged people who have settled there since the Gold Rush days. Now that is about to change. An out-of-state corporation wants to pump the river nearly dry and float the water to southern California's thirsty cities in huge rubber rafts. With lobbyists, lawyers, and dirty tricks, the company intends to get what it wants-any way it can. Against this corporate Goliath, a community protest group and four unusual individuals are drawing a line in the sand. Flying in from New York City, ecologist Jessie Domingo hopes to grab headlines for her cause. Environmentalist Joseph Openshaw has come back to the home, and the secrets, he left behind decades ago. His former lover, local restaurateur Steph Pace, fears both the emotions and the ghosts arriving to haunt her. And old man Timothy McNear, owner of the defunct mill that once employed most of the town, silently broods about the sins he has hidden for too long. But no one envisions what will happen when the crack of a sniper's bullet sets off a chain of desperate acts. As the peace of this small town is shattered, murder stains Cape Perdido, and one by one, those who stand tall for a cause may be swept away by the current of a town's ugly truths-and a killer's revenge.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446509800
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 09/03/2007
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 279,382
File size: 429 KB

About the Author

Marcia Muller has written many novels and short stories. She has won six Anthony Awards, a Shamus Award, and is also the recipient of the Private Eye Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award (their highest accolade). She lives in northern California with her husband, mystery writer Bill Pronzini.

Read an Excerpt

Cape Perdido

By Marcia Muller

Mysterious Press

Copyright © 2005 Pronzini-Muller Family Trust
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-892-96006-X

Chapter One


From its source deep in the wilderness on Soledad Ridge, the clear, cold water of the Perdido River begins its journey to the sea. Twenty-seven miles of mostly navigable water held in the California Public Trust because it is deemed too valuable for individual ownership. A protected place-for now.

Imagine yourself standing near the spring where the river rushes from the earth. It flows rapidly, leaping and bounding over boulders that churn it to whitewater. Ancient redwoods crowd in upon its rocky banks, shafts of sunlight penetrating their dense foliage. The cry of a hawk splits the silence, and you look up in time to see it soar against the blue sky.

You follow the river miles downstream, to where it widens and moves under eucalyptus, tanbark oak, and pine. Its banks are reed choked, a nesting place for waterfowl. A great blue heron cranes its long neck, and an osprey rises up, its wings beating the air. Sun dapples the flanks of the coho salmon and steelhead trout that have swum upstream to spawn, and you spot the sleek brown flash of a river otter as it plays in the current. You sniff air laden with pine resin and the peculiar, mentholated odor of eucalyptus.

This is a place out of time-for now.

West, where the Perdido eases off to sea level, it moves lazily around sandbars and between white sand beaches, carrying with it kayakers, swimmers, and dogs splashing after Frisbees their owners have tossed. Many of these people are locals, but most are tourists, drawn here by the river's recreational activities. Tourists, who are the lifeblood of Cape Perdido, the seaside town to the north. You watch them and think it is wonderful that all this has been preserved in its natural state for everyone's enjoyment.

Preserved-for now.


Excerpted from Cape Perdido by Marcia Muller Copyright © 2005 by Pronzini-Muller Family Trust. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Cape Perdido 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
kakadoo202 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
first book, I heard from her. A book you can easly listen to while stuck in traffic. A little bit too many characters in the story. An ok book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whooo? ;-;
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
There couldn't be a better pairing of voice performers than Joyce Bean and Dick Hill. These audio book virtuosos are surely pillars of Brilliance Audio, always delivering highly listenable, thoroughly enjoyable performances. Hill has been named a 'Golden Voice' by AudioFile Magazine and, as far as this listener is concerned, Bean deserves to be gilded, too. With 'Cape Perdido' a doyenne of multi-faceted mysteries Marcia Muller takes us to an old lumber town in Northern California. It's an idyllic, unspoiled setting framed by giant redwoods and the crystalline Perdido River running with fresh mountain water. However, interlopers from another state have other plans for this recreational community - they want to pump water from the River, nearly drying it, for the benefit of cities to the South. Ecologist Jessie Domingo is against this, and she wouldn't mind bringing the situation to the attention of all via media exposure. She has an ally in Fitch Collier, a local attorney who knows all there is to know about water rights. But, what they don't know is that the North Carolina corporation that wants the water will go to any lengths to get it. Perhaps even murder - Gail Cooke
harstan More than 1 year ago
The North Carolina incorporated Aqueduct Systems, Inc wants to pump the pristine water of the Perdido River from California¿s serene Soledad County to the southern thirsty cities to the south. Friends of the Perdido River headed by Maine transplant Bernino Tobin and other pro environmentalists including internationally renowned activist but local resident Joseph Openshaw oppose the water grab that they feel will destroy the natural beauty of the area and harm the mostly navigational river. Environmental Consultants Clearinghouse has sent two specialists, water rights attorney Fitch Coller and ecologist Jessie Domingo, to assist the locals and testify in Sacramento as expert witnesses against the corporation..........................However, the environmental vs. development dispute turns dangerous when someone shoots the enormous bags used to tote the water. Additionally, instead of just obtaining supporting data on the water debate, Jessie finds herself in the middle of a cold case unsolved murder that have left angry memories that appear ready to explode with the return of Joseph...............The water rights issue has been around a long time with the demand of Southern California for the precious liquid vs. the environmental concerns of Northern California where the supply is. However, balance is lost in CAPE PERDILLO as the representatives of Aqueduct Systems, Inc are all avaricious suits wanting to make a quick buck at any cost to others while the environmental opponents, especially the outsiders, have pure motives. The murder mystery is fun to follow, but is two edged as it also takes away from the prime adversarial dispute. Though no McCone, Jessie is a terrific protagonist who should return with Fitch on future debates. Overall this is a fine tale but not quite as good as Marcia Muller normally provides............... Harriet Klausner