A black Mercedes roars out of the darkness and runs down a woman on a foggy San Francisco street. The dead woman is a model had posed nude for Full Disclosure, a raunchy men’s magazine. The magazine itself is almost as dead, a victim of Internet pornography. Circulation has plummeted, leaving its founding editor-publisher, Ted Calderone, in deep trouble.

Calderone may be down—but he’s not out. He folds
Full Disclosure, and launches Loving Couple, a new magazine that combines investigative reporting with relationship advice and fine-art erotic photography. At a gala bash to celebrate the launch, sexy models serve delicious appetizers from silver trays. But one item is not on the menu—poison mushrooms, death caps. Calderone and the writer of the premiere issue’s explosive investigative feature both swallow the mushrooms. The writer dies. The police call it murder.

Several other party guests narrowly escape being poisoned, including Ed Rosenberg and his wife, Julie. Rosenberg writes the popular local history column for the San Francisco
Foghorn—and gets sucked into the murder investigation.

But Ed has troubles of his own. He and Julie have a nine-year-old daughter. Julie wants a second child. Ed’s not so sure. The conflict threatens their marriage. Meanwhile, Ed’s recently divorced editor, wouldn’t mind seeing his marriage unravel.

While sparring with Julie, Ed chases the poisoning story from the hairpin turns on Lombard Street to the dark basements of Chinatown, from four-star restaurants on the waterfront to triple-X-rated movie sets in the San Fernando Valley, center of America’s pornography industry. More bodies drop, and Ed begins to suspect that Ted Calderone might be the murderer—or the killer’s ultimate target. Then Ed finds himself looking down the wrong end of a gun.

Meanwhile, in a room at San Francisco’s storied Palace Hotel, a mystery couple enjoys slow, sensual, steamy sex.

Death Caps is a sexy, compelling, intricately plotted thriller that makes San Francisco come alive. The writing is vivid, the action fast, the characters memorable, and the sex hot. In fact, Death Caps just might be the most erotic mystery ever written.