From Tacoma Curiosities: Geoduck Derbies, The Whistling Well of the North End, Alligators in Snake Lake and More: When the Northern Pacific Railroad laid its final tracks within the fledgling hamlet of Tacoma, it brought opportunity and wild characters by the car full. Seemingly overnight, the Puget sound village transformed into a booming metropolis and eccentric playground with its fair share of growing pains. On one unlucky evening, residents awoke to the cries of a man who fell into the sewers after a road collapsed. Tacoma’s first school avoided demolition for a time thanks to a band of enterprising tramps who converted the place of learning into the Hotel de Gink, complete with unique minstrel shows. . . . these and many more stories [are part] of the quixotic and curious history of the City of Destiny.
From: Murder: When One Isn’t Enough: When Mercedes Mackaill has a month off work in which to house and dog sit at a waterfront home, she soon finds that too much of her own company palls. Then the body of an old woman is pulled from the water in front of where she is staying and Mercedes discovers she’d talked to the woman just days before the drowning. An unexpected meeting with Dorsey Finch, the victim’s tenant, leads to [their investigating] the woman’s strange past—a story reaching back to 1940-s Hollywood and a well-known house on Nob Hill in San Francisco.
From A Feather for a Fan: In the late 1870s, twelve-year old Hildy Bacom and her family leave Pennsylvania and head west to New Tacoma in Washington Territory, a community that is barely four years old [and] with a population of approximately one hundred and fifty. New Tacoma is very different from Pennsylvania, but gradually Hildy adjusts to her new life and makes friends with some unusual people: Mrs. Money, who runs her store with a parrot on her head; Miss Rose, a lady of questionable reputation; and especially Nell Tanquist. With Nell or alone, Hildy has adventures—with a bear, a skunk, and a lost Chinese baby, among others. Then Hildy’s life is complicated by two unexpected events: her growing feelings for the French-Indian boy Samuel, and her cousin, Elsie, who arrives unexpectedly with a problem no one will talk about. The challenges of hew new life force Hildy to draw upon inner resources she didn’t know she had.