Photo by Gillian Conoley

Photo by Gillian Conoley


DOMENIC STANSBERRY is the Edgar Award winning author of ten novels and a collection of stories.  His most recent, The White Devil, is a sultry, decadent thriller concerning a young American woman in Rome who finds herself implicated in a series of murders dating back to her childhood. The book received the Hammett Prize for Literary Excellence in Crime Fiction, in October, 2017.

Stansberry’s earlier work includes the North Beach Mystery Series, which received wide praise for its portrayal of the ethnic and political subcultures of San Francisco. Books from that series include The Ancient Rain, named several years after its original publication as one of the best crime novels of the decade by Booklist.  An earlier novel, The Confession, received the Edgar for its controversial portrayal of a Marin county psychologist accused of murdering his mistress.

Stansberry's books have been translated into numerous languages, with editions in Japanese, Italian, French, Spanish and Polish among others.



 Domenic Stansberry was born in Washington, DC, in 1952, and raised in California: the eldest of six children, son of Chadwick Leroy Stansberry, an aerospace engineer, and Avincenza Rose Musolino, daughter of Italian immigrants. The family migrated to California in 1966. Stansberry attended UC Santa Cruz for two years, before heading north to Portland, Oregon, then eventually receiving a graduate degree from the University of Massachusetts.

Early in his career, Stansberry worked as an itinerant reporter, writing for a number of newspapers, large and small, as well as for UPI, for whom he covered sports and politics.  It was at this time he wrote his first novel, The Spoiler, published in 1987 and nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award for its portrayal of a reporter covering a minor league baseball team in a Massachusetts mill town plagued by arson.


In 1989, after stints in New Orleans and Spokane, Stansberry returned to California, where he worked in the multimedia industry, writing for documentary film, video games, and avatar-based computer training.

A collection of his early stories, Exit Paradise, appeared in 1992.



After The Spoiler, it was ten years before the publication of his next crime novel, The Last Days of Il Duce, (1997) told from the point of view of Niccolo Jones, an ex-lawyer obsessed with his brother’s wife.  The  book was nominated for  both an Edgar Award and the Hammett Prize. Stansberry followed this with Manifesto for the Dead (1999), a fictional retelling of the last days of pulp novelist Jim Thompson.


Stansberry then wrote The Confession, a novel which sat unpublished for several years before being picked up by editor Charles Ardai at Hard Case Crime and winning the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original in 2005.  


 Stansberry's later work  includes  the popular North Beach Mystery Series, otherwise known as The Pelican Novels.   These books  feature  Dante Mancuso, AKA The Pelican, a melancholy investigator who cannot escape his questionable past, and so roams the gritty edge of the old Italian and Chinese neighborhoods in San Francisco.   Books in the series include, in order of publication, Chasing the Dragon (2004), The Big Boom (2006), The Ancient Rain (2008), and Naked Moon (2010).  The latter two were  finalists for The Shamus Award, and The Ancient Rain was included on a list of Booklist’s Best Crime Novels of the last decade.

In 2016, Stansberry published The White Devil,  a stand alone noir that has received numerous honors, including the Hammett Prize.

He lives in a small town north of San Francisco with his wife, the poet Gillian Conoley, and their daughter Gillis.