This third volume of the Carpenter and Quincannon historical mystery series is set in 1890’s San Francisco. I assume Marcia Muller wrote the chapters labeled “Sabina” and Bill Pronzini wrote the chapters labeled “Quincannon.” Sabina Carpenter is a woman private detective who once worked for Pinkerton. John Quincannon was once a Secret Service agent. Together, Carpenter and Quincannon formed a partnership where their individual talents as detectives help to solve their cases. In The Body Snatchers Affair, two bodies go missing and Sabina and Quincannon are hired to find them. From the mansions of the Bay Area to the squalid opium dens of Chinatown, the parallel investigations produce surprising results. If you’re in the mood for a light-hearted historical series written by two consummate mystery writers, the Carpenter and Quincannon series delivers.

Carpenter and Quincannon Series:
1 The Bughouse Affair (2013)
2 The Spook Lights Affair (2013)
3 The Body Snatchers Affair (2014)
4 The Plague of Thieves Affair (2016)
5 The Dangerous Ladies Affair (2017)

16 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #402: THE BODY SNATCHERS AFFAIR By Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini

  1. Todd Mason

    As I note on John Norris’s blog, at least two (and I miscounted, it’s at least three already) in this series have been tapped for this week’s FFB…cool. I’ve read only the Carpenter and Quincannon stories that had appeared in LOUIS L’AMOUR’S WESTERN MAGAZINE and perhaps one or two others (In EQMM, as sieve-like memory recalls)…so clearly it’s past time! Thanks.

    1. george Post author

      Todd, I started reading these Carpenter and Quincannon stories with Crippen and Landru’s collection Carpenter and Quincannon : Professional Detective Services . Entertaining!

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    Isn’t it Sabina rather than Sabrina?

    Pronzini alone started the series with 1985’s Quincannon, which was more of a western, followed by a collaboration with Muller (and her second detective, Elena Oliverez) in Beyond the Grave (1986), which I mentioned on FFB today. He had one more solo effort, Quincannon’s Game (2005) (which I haven’t read yet) before the current reboot. And of course there was the superior short story collection you mentioned (in 1998).

    Good choice. I need to catch up on the new ones soon.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, you’re right! It’s Sabina, not Sabrina (I must have been thinking of the Witch). I’ll make the correction. Stacks of Marcia Muller books and Bill Pronzini books wait for my Retirement so I can finally read them!

  3. maggie mason

    I’ve read the first in the series and really loved it. I have the 2nd, but it’s languishing on the TBR mountain. I don’t think I got the 3rd one for review, sigh.

    I also liked Beyond the Grave. I am one of the few who isn’t a fan of the Nameless series, but I do love Sharon McCone.

    my info is on, and Maggie is back

  4. Rick Robinson

    I forgot about the special FFB. Too much going on. I pulled an old review from Perp days, best I could do.
    Nice review, I haven’t tried any of this series, in spite of good reviews. One of these days.

  5. Denny Lien

    When I read through the series a couple of years ago I noted that two or three of the novels were expanded/revised versions of previously published (and previously collected) shorter stories, though I no longer recall the details. Fun series. / Denny Lien

    1. george Post author

      Bill, I’ve read reading your work since the 1970s. I admire your quality control (you’ve never written a mediocre novel) and your productivity! You’re one of my go-to writers when I’m looking for a good mystery to read.


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