"Ranks with the work of Sue Grafton and Marcia Muller in presenting a tough, savvy heroine…Complex, suspenseful, socially conscious and riveting…It emanates eroticism and sensuality. Put it at the top of your spring reading list."
                         –The Cleveland Plain Dealer
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Whitney Logan, attorney-at-law, can count her billable hours on one hand, and with the rent two months overdue, she’s desperate for work. So when Monica Fullbright, an expensively dressed L.A. “housewife” turns up at her office needing a lawyer to track down her housemaid Carmen Luzano, an illegal alien, and offers a thousand-dollar retainer, Whitney doesn’t balk at playing sleuth at Immigration Services. After all, no one survives in L.A. just by being what they claim to be: even the guy who cleans your pool is an actor, she tells herself. And she can’t afford to be an exception.

But it’s soon clear that the missing woman might be anybody—anybody, that is, except Monica Fullbright’s housekeeper. And Monica herself is one of the reasons L.A. is famous for great acting: turns out she’s hardly the upper-middle-class mother her tasteful clothing, accessories, and classy job references imply.

Determined to discover the truth, Whitney and her adopted sidekick and Spanish translator, Lupe, a chicana prostitute who struts her stuff under Whitney’s office window, track her client’s missing person to an old building on the edge of the seedy garment district. But they discover they’ve bitten off more than they can chew, because just where they expected to meet Carmen herself, they stumble instead upon the woman’s dead body.

Whitney and Lupe follow a trail of latin lovers turned political activists, makeup artists turned drug smugglers, and actress/models gone wrong to Case Guatemala, the headquarters for a grassroots movement for Central American political struggles. There they’ll uncover the mystery behind Monica Fullbright’s quest, one that will put her life on the line—as well as the lives of Whitney and Lupe themselves.

Mercedes Lambert’s first mystery marks the exciting debut of the energetic, streetwise duo of the smart, blond Whitney Logan and her inimitable sexy sister-in-arms, Lupe, in a story of drugs, danger, and dog-eat-dog politics in a merciless city—in Dogtown, where being someone else isn’t vanity, it’s a necessity.

Cover Art
Stark House paper edition 2008
Viking hardcover edition
Penguin paperback edition
German paperback edition

Click here to view the entire cover of the Stark House reprint edition.

Cover Art Note: The Viking hardcover (1991) and paperback (1992) editions carry an illustration by internationally known artist, Dennis Ziemienski. Mr. Ziemienski, a native Californian, was born in the Bay Area and makes his home in southern California. He is familiar with the scenes and places mentioned in Dogtown. The art director at Viking thought Mr. Ziemienski's "LA/California Style" would capture the book's atmosphere. Mr. Ziemienski's website is www.ziemienski.com.


"Who says an entertaining, charming, unpretentious detective story can’t be…an authentic agent of social change? Without ever making a big deal of it, the author takes on dozens of issues that define our weird metropolis… Dogtown is an excellent, fresh, indigenous thriller." –Carolyn See in The Los Angeles Times

"Except for the bikini panties, that could be Raymond Chandler writing in 1939. The author is actually Mercedes Lambert…Lambert is part of a new generation of L.A. authors who are changing the face of American mystery writing" –Los Angeles Magazine

"Mercedes Lambert follows the grand tradition of the mystery novel by carefully constructing her complex and challenging story line. But Lambert gives us something more—and challenging and complex relationship between her two sidekicks. As in a good buddy picture, it’s this relationship that makes the reader eager for sequel after sequel after sequel." –Wilson Library Bulletin,

"Dogtown is a crackerjack novel with insight into the human condition. Lambert’s star should shine brighter and brighter for years to come." –John Lutz

"Ranks with the work of Sue Grafton and Marcia Muller in presenting a tough, savvy heroine…Complex, suspenseful, socially conscious and riveting…It emanates eroticism and sensuality. Put it at the top of your spring reading list." –The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Lambert debuts with a fast, colorful suspense tale: a savvy tour through L.A.’s gritty streets with two likable sleuths…engaging entertainment." –Kirkus Reviews

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"Whitney Logan is rough, tough, and likable." –Chicago Tribune

"The cultural friction between Whitney and Lupe sustains this lively…adventure through the seamy environs of East L.A." –The New York Times Book Review

"…a hard-boiled detective novel that can go toe to toe with the best of them. The plot is devious with tangled trails, that will keep the most serious mystery fans from differentiating between the bad guys and the worse ones…Fans of hard-boiled detectives will certainly be looking for one [a sequel] as Whitney Logan continues to venture through the streets of Dogtown." –Mostly Murder

Dogtown, Soultown, and Ghosttown now in print.