Ever since San Francisco decided its seven square miles were too good for dead people and moved all cemeteries out to Colma, "cemetery city" has been way more interesting. A movie musical, Colma: The Musical has been a local sensation without even leaning too hard on the whole "the dead outnumber the living" thing (If you haven't seen it, see it.) Doug Dorst's new novel, Alive in Necropolis, takes a sort of Dashiell Hammett point of view in its good-cop-in-deadland story. It's a ripping yarn full of Bay Area historical figures (they're all buried out there, after all) and the kind of police drama we all love so well: The book opens with a mystery assault on a teenager in a fancy part of Cypress Lawn East, brings in the ghost of Lillie Hitchcock Coit, and goes from there. This thing has beach read and film option written all over it.
Tue., July 29, 7 p.m., 2008