“He must be in his fifties, but he’s still movie star handsome—like the old timey actors, I mean, not the new ones who look like girls.”

—Denise Seibel, Palimpsest

“He liked the man on sight. He (MacCrimmon) was middle-aged, probably six feet tall, with broad, heavily muscled shoulders. He was a handsome man with a strong, square face and wavy brown hair. His hooded eyes flashed when he smiled as if he had just remembered a joke. A crusted vertical scar on his left cheek looked like he had scraped it or picked at it.”

—Shally Behr   The Sacred and the Profane

“It’s impossible to understand,” she said. “You’re so handsome, so unbelievably handsome. You’re as close to perfect as any man could be. That makes you even more at fault.” She slapped his thigh. He flinched—she’d hit him exactly where the Mexican had shot him.

—Mystery Woman    Where the Dead Walk

Karen smiled at her sister, Kay, for calling Andrew a quai loh, a “foreigner.” “He is Scots, so he is a kind of foreigner. He was raised by his Scottish grandfathers. His parents were killed in a car wreck when he was very young, and he didn’t have grandmothers.”

—Karen Ting    HammerJack

“Why do I love him, Karen? Are you serious? Have you smelled him?—that fresh spicy scent that makes your legs go weak?... Have you heard him speak?—that low, rich voice that makes you feel like your belly’s on fire… Have you looked at him, Karen?... He’s gorgeous! I can’t take my eyes off him.”

—Kay Ting  The Rose and Woodbine Twined

Mac (MacCrimmon) pulled off his running shoes without untying them, stripped off his sweat-soaked T-shirt and running shorts, and stepped onto the pallet. During his quick shower, and afterward while he dried off, he kept his back to her as if he knew she was watching him. Still, she saw enough. He may have been middle-aged but he had heavily muscled shoulders and a flat belly, a body any young man would envy.

—Señora Magdalena Alconchel-Ruiz de Castilla   Palimpsest

“You pompous, you condescending, presumptuous—,” he paused, “—supercilious swine.”

—Richard Eichel   The Stonemason’s Daughter

“You’re an arrogant asshole, Doc. But you already knew that, didn’t you?”

—Lt. Mick Santorello, SFPD  The Rose and Woodbine Twined

(Karen) reminded (MacCrimmon) that, generically, he was a pig, and, specifically, he was, and always had been, a chauvinist and a racist.

—Karen Ting   The Rose and Woodbine Twined

Harley shook MacCrimmon’s hand.  “So, you did the right thing with Claudia?”
“Well, I did the best that a miserable, selfish, low-life, cruel son-of-a-bitch could do.”
Haley said, chuckling, “I never called you a ‘low-life.’”

—Harley David  The Sacred and the Profane

“How can anyone so smart still be so stupid?”
—Karen Ting  Where the Dead Walk

“It’s hard to believe a man as intelligent and sophisticated as you could be so dense.”
—Lena Montoya Where the Dead Walk

“You’re really quite pathetic.”                             
—Dre MacCrimmon-Silliphant  Where the Dead Walk

“‘ ‘It’s a bluidy shame that sooch a bra’ headpiece be wastit on sooch a loon.’”

—Malcolm “Papa Mac” MacCrimmon, quoted in  Dogs’ Bodies: A Love Story

(Karen) marched around in a circle, muttering. “You bastard! You horrible bastard! I’ll never forgive you as long as I live!… I hate you!” she shrieked. She rushed toward him. He stood waiting, his arms at his sides. She swung her hard little fist in a wild flailing roundhouse blow that hit his left cheek exactly where it had been ground into the rough asphalt paving.

—Karen Ting  Things in the Seed

“You’re looking well, Dr. MacCrimmon.”
MacCrimmon, his hair mussed, his face massively bruised and unshaven, the right sleeve of his shirt torn, his right arm bleeding—he hadn’t even realized he’d been cut—and his left pant leg torn where Buster had bitten him, said, “I’m doing fair to middling, all things considered.”

--Lt. Dan Fujioka, SFPD  and Andrew MacCrimmon  Things in the Seed


As a private investigator and Andrew’s best friend, he seemed the logical person to give her advice. Harley, sitting behind his desk like a huge, grey-haired African-American Buddha someone had dressed in an elegant three-piece suit, had looked at her suspiciously….

—Karen Ting   Dogs’ Bodies: A Love Story

Harley’s speech was always deliberate, sometimes professorial, with just a slight African-American Southern accent as the only trace of his rural Louisiana upbringing. But every once in a while—like now—he waxed pompous, which always struck MacCrimmon as funny. And at a certain blood alcohol level Harley was not above using black patois, and on rare occasions he even broke into an Amos ‘n Andy dialect of the most heinous political incorrectness.

—Andrew MacCrimmon   HammerJack

Alan said, “Where did you get it?—the forged money, I mean.”
“That information, my voluminous God-nephew, I’d best not make available to the laity. It could mire me in the labyrinthine machinations of our republic’s so-called legal system.”
Alan and MacCrimmon both laughed at Harley, even more pompous than usual.

—Harley David  Dogs’ Bodies: A Love Story

“Oh, yeah, the big, good-looking black man I saw the other day,” Kay said.
“Yes. He’s a private investigator.” MacCrimmon held a forefinger to his lips. “It’s all hush-hush.”
“He’s so big. And with that grey hair and that deep voice, I can just imagine him as a patriarch with a long staff, leading a band of runaway slaves to freedom.”
“Colorful. I’ll pass that along.”

—Kay Ting and Andrew MacCrimmon  The Rose and Woodbine Twined

“But seriously, Harley” Alan said, “you dress well, you talk like a college professor, you’ve got some money. You just need to lose about fifty pounds. What are you, about 300? Six-foot five?”
“Thereabouts. Anyway, who are you to talk about losing weight? You weigh as much as I do.”
“Yeah, but I’m six-eight, and mine is mostly muscle.”
“Beer muscle doesn’t count. Anyway, what are you, the white giant community’s answer to Ann Landers?” Harley shook his head and said to the world at large, “All this from some clown who’s never had a relationship in his entire life that lasted longer than two weeks.”

--Harley David and Alan MacCrimmon  The Stonemason’s Daughter


(Shally) had seen few women in the building, and none as attractive as this one. Her tight jeans showed off rounded muscular buns like maybe she was a retired sprinter. She wore no bra under her loose white silk shirt—she had small pert tits and didn’t need one. Her curly dark hair, lightly salted with grey, was cut just long enough to part.
He had only seen her face for a second or two, long enough to see that she was in her mid- to late forties, that she had strong handsome Mediterranean features. But it was her eyes that grabbed him. He had always been partial to brown eyes, and hers were the kind that made his knees go weak—large, soft, and sad, with long lashes and heavy dark brows. He said in a quavering voice, “I’m Shally Behr. I just moved in.”

—Shally Behr The Sacred and the Profane

“She’s incredibly sensuous. It’s her eyes, her body, the way she walks. Her hostility only amplifies it, like a positive-negative, yin and yang kind of thing. It’s as if the sensuous beauty of a callow girl had been refined and perfected and given to a mature woman. She leaves you feeling empty, like there’s a hole in you that can only be filled by having her.”

—Shally Behr The Sacred and the Profane

“She is attractive, sexy as hell. She looks like what I imagine a Hittite warrior princess might have looked like. I admit I envy you your, mmm, private times.”

—Robbie MacDougal  Dogs’ Bodies—A Love Story  (deleted material)


Andrea MacCrimmon-Silliphant—she used the entire consonant-peppered, tongue-numbing name—was how Karen had always imagined homecoming queens, tall, blonde, and shapely. Like Alan, she had twinkly eyes, and an air of incompletely suppressed merriment that forced you to smile at her. At first glance she did resemble Andrew, mostly in her dimples and her eyes, but her face was heart-shaped, not square like his, and her features were finer, more like her mother’s. But when they spoke, Karen found her intelligence and wit were much like her father’s. Her mannerisms, too, were like Andrew’s—the instant intimacy, the bright-eyed attentiveness, that same air of complicity, as though the two of you were planning some naughty scheme together. She shook hands man-like and joined Karen on the couch.

—Karen Ting  Dogs’ Bodies—A Love Story

“My God, those dimples,” Eichel said. “For a moment you looked exactly like your father.”
Many people had said that. She had the same hooded, Asian-looking, blue-grey eyes, the same sparkle, and the same dimples high in her cheeks. But her mouth was smaller and her face was oval, like Shawna’s, not square like her father’s.

 —Richard Eichel   The Stonemason’s Daughter

Harley held the tall blonde girl at arm’s length. “Good gracious, Dre, how beautiful you are. If there was any taste or judgment in the world, you’d be elected queen of the whole shootin’ match.”

—Harley David   HammerJack

“She’s cautious around men, isn’t she?—at least around me.”
“Her mother was very strict,” MacCrimmon said. “Their home was like a nunnery. I don’t think she’s had much experience with men.”

—Gino Antonelli and Andrew MacCrimmon   Where the Dead Walk


(MacCrimmon) looked on as Cam’s partner, Roger, slender and spiffy in a maroon tux, diamond ear stud, and glossy shaved head, joined Karen. They both laughed at the jumble of steel.

—Andrew MacCrimmon,   Dogs’ Bodies—A Love Story

Roger may have called him “Uncle Andrew,” but he thought of him more as a foster father than an uncle, just as MacCrimmon considered the slender good-looking young man as much a step-son as he did Cam and Alan.

—Andrew MacCrimmon  Where the Dead Walk


Kay was two or three inches taller than Karen, and finer featured, pretty in the classic Chinese way. Unlike Karen’s angular face, Kay’s was a slightly elongated oval; and while Karen’s eyes were cat-like, slanted up at the corners, Kay’s were almond-shaped. Still, there was a definite resemblance. She, too, had flawless skin; and she, too, moved with easy feminine grace. But as pretty as she was, she looked sad and tired, and her face showed every one of her fifty years.

—Andrew MacCrimmon  The Sacred and the Profane

The only normal one in the list (of women MacCrimmon had been around during the past couple of years) was his sister-in-law, Kay—bright, funny, pretty, and fabulous with Alex. He’d spent a lot of time with Kay during Karen’s various periods of lunacy, enough time to know she would have been a wonderful wife, a woman he would have been happy with. The last he’d heard she was seeing someone up in Portland. He was a lucky man indeed.

—Andrew MacCrimmon  Where the Dead Walk


(Karen) squinted at (MacCrimmon) and asked in a harsh whisper, “Are you real?”
It had been three and a half months since he had last seen her. He had forgotten how small, how exquisitely beautiful she was. Even as a pallid emaciated lunatic, the sight of her made his knees wobble and his throat tighten. He dropped his coat on the grass. “Yes, Karen, I am real.”
“You did come for me!”
“Yes, I did.”

—Andrew MacCrimmon  The Sacred and the Profane

“She had, like, cat eyes, and rully good skin. And she had big tits for an Asian.” Carine chewed on her lip. “Oh, yeah—when she was thinking, she looked like she was drinking through a straw.”

—Carine Milton  Dogs’ Bodies—A Love Story

Karen took his bare arm and led him to the couch. Her touch, electric as always, sent a fiery pulse through his entire body, taking his breath away. She didn’t notice—she’d never noticed—how viscerally she affected him.

—Andrew MacCrimmon  Where the Dead Walk

“You may not know this, Doctor, but (Karen) gets into you, she does something to your standards. Every one since her has been like a third rate actress play-acting at being a woman. She ruined my life… Don’t get angry—I’m not blaming her, of course.”

—Thomas Polliver  Dogs’ Bodies—A Love Story

In the six months since he was shot, MacCrimmon had gotten out of the habit of looking at his wife, appreciating her beauty. Her face, the planes and angles, the way her eyes angled up sharply at the corners—a millimeter here or there and she could have been hard-looking, even ugly. But, beyond her appearance, her dignity and strength amplified her beauty above all other women he had ever known or even could have imagined.

—Andrew MacCrimmon  HammerJack

At this point Karen began to cry. Her angular face, in its resting state or when she was smiling, was as beautiful as anything this planet had ever seen. But when she cried, and the planes and angles shifted and twisted, and her face turned blotchy shades of pink and red, and the tears and mucus flowed, she was really quite hideous. MacCrimmon, for some reason, found this comforting.

—Andrew MacCrimmon  Where the Dead Walk

Waine had watched closely as (Karen) poured the coffee. “Mrs. MacCrimmon is a remarkably beautiful woman,” he said. “She looks much different than when I saw her the first time.”
“She’d been through a rough patch. She has fully recovered.”

—Thomas Waine  The Rose and Woodbine Twined

MacCrimmon had speculated that Gods of genetics, in one of their little balancing acts, had compensated for oversupplying Karen with beauty and character by undersupplying her with driving skill. As quantitative proof of this theory he had offered their astronomical insurance premiums.

—Andrew MacCrimmon  The Rose and Woodbine Twined

(Karen) blushed—MacCrimmon recognized it as a blush of guilt, the type that accompanied a confession, usually some misadventure with her car. That Karen had a drivers’ license at all was a sad indictment of the traffic laws of the Golden State.

—Andrew MacCrimmon Where the Dead Walk

“She’s beautiful—I mean, she’s takes-your-breath-away beautiful. But it isn’t just her looks—it’s her dignity and femininity, everything about her, the way she walks, her low sensuous voice, the graceful way she moves her hands, her legs, her tits… ”

—Pavo Makkonen  Palimpsest

Dre, watching Karen drag up the stairs, said, “She’s eerily beautiful, isn’t she?—almost not human, like one of those marble statues in a museum you’re tempted to run your fingers over.”
“Odd you’d say that. Sometimes I’m afraid to let her out of my sight for fear she might just—poof!—evaporate, and I’d realize it’d all been a dream.”

--Andrea MacCrimmon-Silliphant and Andrew MacCrimmon  The Second Grave


The (Mystery woman) ignored the Krouse kids and squatted in the sand next to Alex. This was not unusual—people came up to him all the time. He was an exceptionally beautiful child, a perfect blend of his father’s Scots and his mother’s Chinese blood.

Where the Dead Walk

Waine pointed at Alex, who had just chased a much larger boy screaming into his mother’s arms. “Your boy, obviously. He looks just like you. I think he’s the most beautiful child I ever saw.”

—Thomas Waine The Rose and Woodbine Twined

(Danielle)   picked up Alex’s picture. “This little number looks like he’d be a handful.”
“And a half. That’s Alex—Alexander Malcolm MacCrimmon.”
“He’s adorable. And with that name you can almost hear the bagpipes wheezing or screeching, whatever they do.”

—Danielle (Hattis) Bugiardini  HammerJack

Karen hadn’t noticed. She was reprimanding Alex for his deplorable table manners—he’d been eating his oatmeal with both hands. MacCrimmon suspected from Alex’s mischievous look that he’d been doing it on purpose to tease his mother.

--Alex MacCrimmon  Things in the Seed

Alex had watched the workmen with great interest, and had even asked one of the carpenters if the new front door would “keep out dinothaurth.” Reassured on this point, he demanded of his father, “Where’th my rocking chair?” a question his mother had been unable to answer.
“Broken. It’ll be back in three days.”
“Why ith it broken?”
“Long story… I’ll tell you when you’re grown up—that and about a thousand other stories.”

Alex and Andrew MacCrimmon   Things in the Seed


Alan walked up to the table, wringing his hands, leering hungrily at Cynthia. “Meester Anchrew, I vant to buy yoor vooman. She to bear and suckle for me many fine sons. For her I give you seex goat, ten cheecken.”
“Throw in a couple ducks and a cat,” MacCrimmon said, “and you’ve got a deal.”
Cynthia turned to MacCrimmon with a wide-eyed, open-mouthed look of horror, entirely appropriate for the situation.

—Alan MacCrimmon and Andrew MacCrimmon  Dogs’ Bodies: A Love Story

“Dre said this Alan is a giant.”
“He has the same vertical and horizontal dimensions as a standard American doorway.”

—Gino Antonelli and Andrew MacCrimmon Where the Dead Walk

(Claudia) allowed his outstretched catcher’s-mit paw to engulf her small hand. He was a good-looking giant, stoutly built, but not fat. He looked something like Andrew—he had the same square head, wavy brown hair, and twinkly blue eyes—but his features were heavier, more leonine. He resembled his uncle more in his expression than his features; he had that same look of barely suppressed merriment.

—Claudia Franchini   The Sacred and the Profane

(Danielle) finally found the buzzer button by (Harley’s) desk. The door slowly creaked open. A giant stood in the doorway, staring at her. His eyes glazed over and rolled up. He stretched his arms out and shuffled toward her stiff legged. She opened her mouth to scream.
The giant stopped. “Me Frankenstein,” he said. “Me need bride.”
Danielle Hattis, despondent, premenstrual, a little hung-over, and in no mood for buffoonery, snapped, “Try the zoo, Bozo.”
The giant grabbed his chest, staggered backwards, and mumbled something about “the big one.”

—Danielle (Hattis) Bugiardini  HammerJack

“But can he be controlled?” Harley said. He reminded MacCrimmon of his nephew’s bizarre ways of interacting with people. Recent episodes included confiscating, then throwing, the cell phone of a man who was talking into it loudly during a movie; criticizing an old lady, a complete stranger, for wearing expensive jewelry; and confiding to adjacent diners in a restaurant, also strangers, that his Uncle Andrew had been raised by gypsies.

—Harley David   HammerJack

Alan yawned like a lion roaring, and stretched so violently the SUV rocked. He turned and announced to his Aunt Karen, “Bananas have nipples too, you know.”

—Alan MacCrimmon  The Rose and Woodbine Twined

“This Alan, he’s the same nephew who threw a would-be assassin out a third story window, and according to Antonelli, participated in the tarring and feathering of a respectable insurance executive who for some reason never identified his assailants?”
“One and the same.”

--Lt. Dan Fujioka, SFPD, and Andrew MacCrimmon   Where the Dead Walk


Even as a high schooler (Cameron) had made the huge cumbersome instrument sing. One Christmas, when he was in college, he’d serenaded Karen with her favorite aria, ‘O, mio babbino caro,’ on the big Meinl double B-flat tuba MacCrimmon had given him that very day. It had brought tears to Karen’s eyes, which was almost unheard of as she never wept.

—Andrew MacCrimmon   Dogs’ Bodies: A Love Story

(Alex) broke loose from his father’s hand, rushed into the street, and grabbed Cameron’s pants leg. Cameron, whoheld the larval form of the human species in low regard—and his little cousin was only a reluctant exception—lightly patted Alex on the head as he might pat a dog he suspected might bite him, and didn’t miss a single toot or oom-pah—the band was playing Onward! Christian Soldiers.

--Things in the Seed 

One might legitimately ask why Cameron, the principal tubist for the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, was playing in this ragtag outfit. The answer was simple. Cameron loved playing the tuba anytime, anywhere—the opera, of course, but also brass ensembles, music festivals, duets with advanced students, experimental jazz groups—even if it meant playing a Sousaphone in the Green Street Mortuary Band.

--Things in the Seed

Cameron rose out of his customary reserve to interrupt: “I haven’t ‘oom-pahed,’ as you so colorfully put it, since I was twelve years old.”

—Cameron MacCrimmon to Alan MacCrimmon   Dogs’ Bodies: A Love Story

After Cam left, Danielle said, “He has to be gay. Nobody that tall and good looking could be straight.”
MacCrimmon and Karen both nodded.

—Danielle (Hattis) Bugiardini  HammerJack

“Having a tuba player for the opera orchestra in the family—that’s quite impressive.”
“Yes,” MacCrimmon said, “Cam is an impressive man. And I ask you, Ms. Massey, what better endorsement could a man have?”

—Doreen Massey and Andrew MacCrimmon  HammerJack

Lena Montoya

Just after the bar opened on Thursday, the day before BS and Denise were due to leave, a petite Hispanic woman marched in and took the center barstool. Mac, washing glasses, turned to serve her. He started. For an instant (MacCrimmon) thought it was Karen. The resemblance was astonishing—the same triangular face and squared off chin; the same high cheekbones, straight nose, and strong mouth. The eyes were different, though: Karen’s slanted up at the corners, cat-like; this woman’s were almond-shaped. Like Karen, she had large breasts, shown off to full advantage by her tight black blouse.

—Mac (Andrew MacCrimmon)   Palimpsest

“You’re not the guy who played 007 in the old James Bond Movies?”
Lena, grinning ear to ear, caught his eye and mouthed, “Old.”
“Sorry to disappoint you, young lady. I’m just a regular guy.”
Lena said to the girl, “Look him up on the internet, chica. He’s no ‘regular guy.’”
The girl slouched away, unimpressed.
“As soon as she said ‘autograph,’” he said, “I thought they’d confused you with Salma Hayek. But you’re prettier.”
“Oh, much prettier. And younger too.”
“And more modest,” he said with a sidelong grin.
“Modesty,” she said with a sniff, “is for people who have no choice in the matter.”

—Lena Montoya and Andrew MacCrimmon  Away So Hasty

“… you’ve never been more beautiful,” MacCrimmon said.
As (Lena) smiled at the compliment, her eyes scrunched. The resemblance to Karen was astonishing. “I’m lucky. I lost all the weight I gained, and my stretch marks went away.” “That’s just the mechanical stuff. Beyond that you have a softness about you, a beatific beauty I’d never seen or even imagined in you. You’re like a Madonna in a renaissance painting by, say, Boticelli.”
“You can thank your daughter for that.”

—Andrew MacCrimmon and Lena Montoya  The Countess of Bassigny