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Kelli Stanley's Biography

Member Info

San Francisco, CA
Feb 2008

Kelli Stanley is an award-winning author of crime fiction, and writes two series—one set in 1940 San Francisco (CITY OF DRAGONS), the other in first century Roman Britain. She lives in San Francisco and holds an MA in Classics. When she’s not writing, she can be found in bookstores, classic film festivals, speakeasies and anywhere the fog blows.

Her next novel in the Miranda Corbie series, CITY OF SECRETS, hits the shelves on September 13th, 2011. T. Jefferson Parker calls it "a superb mystery, a noir tale of high order." Library Journal (starred review) proclaimed CITY OF SECRETS "neonoir in a classical five-act structure, starring one of crime’s most arresting heroines: angry, big-hearted, and fearless Miranda Corbie."

A trade paperback of CITY OF DRAGONS releases on August 30th, and an original Miranda Corbie short story, "Memory Book", will be published as an e-book on September 6th.

CITY OF DRAGONS, the first book of the Miranda Corbie series, was an Indie Next Pick for February, 2010, a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews, an alternate selection of the Mystery Guild, and earned three starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist and Library Journal.

The novel is currently nominated for a Shamus Award and a Macavity Award (Sue Feder Memorial Historical Mystery Award), and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Bruce Alexander Award, and the RT Reviewers Choice Award for best historical mystery. It also made the list of the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Best Fiction by Bay Area Authors” for 2010. CITY OF DRAGONS was  declared one of the best crime fiction books of the year by influential critic Oline Cogdill in the South Florida Sun Sentinel. It is currently available in hardcover, e-book, large print and audio.

"Children's Day"—a short story prequel to CITY OF DRAGONS--is included in the bestselling International Thriller Writers anthology FIRST THRILLS: High Octane Stories from the Hottest Thriller Authors, available in e-book, audio, large print, and paperback.

THE CURSE-MAKER—the sequel to Kelli’s debut "Roman noir" novel NOX DORMIENDA—released on February 1st, 2011, from Thomas Dunne/Minotaur to outstanding reviews, including a star from Booklist.

NOX DORMIENDA, Kelli's debut novel, won the Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Award for best historical mystery of 2008. It is currently available as an e-book for all platforms. 

Kelli also contributed a story to the first-ever charity author anthology SHAKEN: STORIES FOR JAPAN. Her work is entitled "Coolie", and is set in the immediate aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

For more more information about Kelli and her work—including interactive, multimedia maps, videos, photos and ephemera—please visit her website.


Raymond Chandler, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Dashiell Hammett, Tennessee Williams, Cornell Woolrich, Shakespeare, and many others.

Upcoming Works

Cover of City of SecretsCITY OF SECRETS (September 13, 2011)


Pandora Blake wanted to be famous. Instead, she wound up working at a peep show on San Francisco’s Treasure Island. And on May 25th 1940, opening day for the World’s Fair, the stage hands find her stabbed through the breast, an anti-Semitic slur scrawled in blood across her white skin …

Enter ex-escort and Spanish Civil War nurse Miranda Corbie, the one detective the carnies can count on. Summarily dismissed from the fair and the case, Miranda embarks on a quest for a new job and justice for Pandora Blake.

From dingy hotels in the shadow of San Francisco’s City Hall to the bright, sunny spa town of Calistoga nestled in the Napa Valley, Miranda’s follows the trail of a vicious murderer.

Is he a member of one of the American fascist groups that support Nazi Germany? Is he the brutal animal trainer who likes to brand women? Or is it, after all, the Irish cop who hates her—Gerald Duggan?

CITY OF SECRETS is a powerful, heart-pounding sequel to Kelli Stanley’s scorching thriller and first-in-series CITY OF DRAGONS, which introduced her unique and unforgettable series heroine, Miranda Corbie.

Stanley writes 1940 without gloves on, without censorship, evoking the beauty of Benny Goodman swing and the brutality of a synagogue stained by a swastika.

Against the backdrop of a Europe defeated by Nazi Germany and an America unsure of where to turn, Miranda Corbie fights on, a lost soldier … but never a lost soul.


And available as an e-book on September 6th!

"Memory Book", a riveting short-story prequel to both CITY OF SECRETS and CITY OF DRAGONS.


Kimberley Cameron, Kimberley Cameron and Associates

Recommended Links


Minotaur Books/St. Martin's Press

Interests & Hobbies

Reading, writing, traveling, nature preservation, historical preservation, education, literacy, the environment, animal rights, horse-back riding, art, comic book collecting and cultural archaeology.