Domenic Stansberry

North Beach Series,    featuring The Pelican

Ancient Rain
Naked Moon
Chasing the Dragon
Big Boom

In order of publication:






"This series... revitalizes the classic detective story, injecting it with a noir sensibility that both evokes the old masters and seems altogether new. "

Booklist on NAKED MOON (Starred Review)

“[it's] TRANSPORTING to view San Francisco's colorful Italian-American neighborhood, North Beach, through the eyes of Domenic Stansberry. ... this underrated crime novelist really GETS UNDER THE HOOD of this part of the city.... in a HABIT-FORMING series about Dante Mancuso, a private eye who knows everyone to talk to—or goes to the funeral of anyone unable to talk."

New York Times Book Review on THE ANCIENT RAIN

"Dante Mancuso... is one of the most tight-lipped and tightly wound protagonists in contemporary crime fiction."

San Francisco  Chronicle

"Compelling….Equal parts contemporary crime fiction and dark, existential poetry."   Publishers Weekly on NAKED MOON

"Excellent… fans will read this strong suspenseful tale in one shocking sitting.”  The Mystery Gazette on Naked Moon                                                          

"To all those mystery readers who believe that the classic detective story has played itself out, Stansberry delivers a bracing slap upside the head.  And it feels so good."  Booklist on The Big BOOM (starred review)


"A hypnotic, compelling read.  It’s one part Sopranos, another part Greek Tragedy. " The Boston Globe on THE BIG BOOM

"Broodingly atmospheric… Readers will find themselves absorbed."            San Francisco Chronicle on THE BIG BOOM

“Stansberry’s strong, no nonsense crime novel, the first in a new series, pulls few punches…. This gritty, noirish exercise in murder and drugs feels uncomfortably like the real thing."                                            Publishers Weekly (starred review)  on CHASING THE DRAGON

Perfect…with its lonely lyric voice raised in lament for the old people and the old ways that are dying out.  While all the characters have strong faces, what lingers in the mind are the group studies: of fishermen hanging out on empty wharves, of grandfathers crouched over their bocce games, and of all the ghosts of the dead who wander the streets, pointing their fingers at the living"

The New York Times Book Review on CHASING THE DRAGON

“Triumphant… a wonderful exercise in lyrical simplicity… noir in its finest form with near flawless execution and style.”


“Brilliant and evocative…  The author brings the streets of North Beach alive … Anyone familiar with that lovely old section of San Francisco - and even those that aren't - will feel the fog brush against their cheeks and their calves begin to tighten as he or she walks with the novel's characters up the steep stairways and sidewalks…”

  Mystery News on CHASING THE DRAGON

An exciting crime thriller where actions are shades of gray and people are not always who they seem.”

Midwest Book Review on CHASING THE DRAGON

“The demographic collision of the area's Italian and Chinese residents serves as an apt metaphor for the cultural (and criminal) forces at play in this complex yet unvarnished story…  Stansberry doesn't write with a lot of frills and flourishes. Instead, he stays out of the way of his characters and develops a strong sense of place in which his tale can unfold.”

San Francisco Chronicle on CHASING THE DRAGON


(prequel to the North Beach Mystery  Series)

“Suspense....   Illicit Passion....  Murder....  Stansberry does it with originality, through the freshness of his imagery and the lyricism of his lament for times that change, neighborhoods that grow old and people who can never find their way home."

       New York Times Book Review

"The real thing....  Superb....   Stansberry has done it again with this gut-wrenching tale of doomed lovers in San Francisco's North Beach-- Stansberry understands the way neighborhoods and families can imprison as they nurture, and he tells Nick's story in the hard-edged prose it demands. Straight noir, no chaser.”


"An intriguing picture of Italian Fascist activity in San Francisco during World War II.  Stansberry blends his ingredients with definite panache."

Publishers Weekly

"A murky, moody slice of noir."


© domenic stansberry