What Are Three Teenagers Supposed to Do When the FBI Raids Their House?

The Wild Story of My Dad’s Mysterious Scraps of Paper, the Agents Who Wanted Them, and Our Race to Find Them First

A Rangers hockey game was on TV as I folded the warm pile of laundry splayed out on the couch. It was a brisk, fall Saturday afternoon in the suburban part of Schenectady, upstate New York’s Electric City. I was 12 years old and into hockey back then before the sport became the joke: I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.

My mother was in the kitchen doing what she characteristically does on a Saturday, making spaghetti sauce, meatballs, sausage, and braciole for the week. The comforting …

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What Raymond Chandler Didn’t Understand About L.A.

His Southern California Was About the Darkness Under the Glitz. Mine Is About the Smell of Smog Mixed With Sea, the Gardeners of the San Gabriel Valley, and the Neighborhoods Philip Marlowe Ignored.

I have to make the kind of confession that is just terrible for an L.A.-based mystery writer: I am not a fan of Raymond Chandler. He has set a tone …

Meet the Philip Marlowe of 15th-Century Paris

At a Time When Detective Work Meant Putting Suspects on the Rack, a Meticulous Sleuth Untangled a Political Conspiracy and Changed the Course of History

On a chilly, moonless Parisian night, Jacquette Griffard was putting her baby to bed when she heard shouts in the street: “Kill him!”

This shoemaker’s wife looked down from her upper-story …