John Lescroart (pronounced "less-kwah") writes intelligent mysteries set in San Francisco. The series features Dismas Hardy as the lawyer/bartender protagonist, but involves an elaborate cast of regulars.
There are even a couple books where Dismas steps aside and other characters take the protagonist role. These are not technically part of the series, but I include them because they are spin-offs and Dismas always makes a cameo.
These are meaty, character-driven stories with strong plots. Definitely enjoyable.
As a bonus, Lescroart uses San Francisco as more than a pretty backdrop for his stories. The city -- and its fictionalized but realistic politics, foibles, and history -- plays a major role. Characters eat at real restaurants, live in real neighborhoods, and drink at real bars, including the Little Shamrock partly owned by the protagonist. Anyone who knows San Francisco will appreciate the details.
I have read all but the last two. The list starts with the first book in the series:
Dead Irish (Dismas Hardy)
The Vig (Dismas Hardy)
Hard Evidence (Dismas Hardy)
The 13th Juror (Dismas Hardy)
A Certain Justice (starring Abe Glitsky and Wes Farrell)
Guilt (starring Wes Farrell)
The Mercy Rule (Dismas Hardy)
Nothing But the Truth (Dismas Hardy)
The Hearing (Dismas Hardy)
The Oath (Dismas Hardy)
The First Law (Dismas Hardy)
The Second Chair (Dismas Hardy)
The Motive (Dismas Hardy)
The Hunt Club (starring Wyatt Hunt)
The Suspect (starring Gina Roake)
Betrayal (Dismas Hardy)
A Plague of Secrets (Dismas Hardy) (reviewed here)
Treasure Hunt (starring Wyatt Hunt)
Damage (starring Abe Glitsky and Wes Farrell)
The Hunter (starring Wyatt Hunt)
Last updated on April 19, 2012.