Maeve Malloy’s Walking Tour of Anchorage

Maeve's officeIn DEADLY SOLUTION, my protagonist, Maeve Malloy, is an attorney in private practice in Anchorage, Alaska. Her office is on the second floor of an older building just a block down from the courthouse. I imagine it to be in the corner office facing us just over the Trustees for Alaska sign.

At one point in my career, I had an office in that building. In DEADLY SOLUTION, the first floor was vacant. Nowadays, it houses Snow City Café — a trendy breakfast/lunch place with excellent coffee.  It is so popular that Obama stopped in to pick up some pastries for his secret service guys: Obama visits Snow City Café. So if you ever come to Anchorage, you too can buy pastries, or even a sandwich, in the same café that served the secret service. And, by the way, it has the best coffee in the neighborhood.

Adorable bears at Boney Courthouse

There are actually two courthouses on Fourth Avenue standing side by side. The “old” Boney Courthouse takes up half a block with a lovely garden and walkway in front of it. I say “old” because when I started practicing, the Boney Courthouse was the new courthouse. We thought it was quite flashy: it had elevators!

The old courthouse was the Kalamarides Courthouse which sat where the garden is now. It was demolished because it was so unsafe in the event of an earthquake, some judges refused to go in it.

On the nextCourthouse block is the new, new courthouse, the Nesbett Courthouse. Tourists love to take their photos with the totem poles. By the way, the totem poles depict the Tlingit lovebirds, Eagle and Raven. This is the courthouse described in DEADLY SOLUTION. The hallways on each floor run the length of the south side of the building overlooking Anchorage and the Chugach mountain range, and there are stained glass embellishments in the windows of each floor. It is quite a pleasant place to hang out, if you have to be at court. If you’re visiting, you can go inside and look around.

Captain CookIf Maeve turned left when she left her office building instead of turning right to go to court, she could walk around the corner to visit a statue of Captain Cook staring nobly towards the direction of Hawaii, where he visited after leaving Alaska, and where he was murdered by the locals.  In Alaska, we prefer our tourists to go home happy and tell everyone about their wonderful adventure. So, just tuck that into your hat next time you go on vacation. Hawaii or Alaska?

Up the street from late, great Captain Cook and around the corner is the Oscar Anderson house, an adorable little — I mean little — craftsman built in 1915. It is one of the oldest houses standing. Tours are given in the summer: Oscar Anderson house.


Oscar Anderson house


True story: I was on the elevator at Left Coast Crime in Reno, Nevada, a few months ago wearing my lanyard that identified me as coming from Anchorage, Alaska, when a man asked, “You’re from Anchorage?”

“Yup”, I said.

“Know the Oscar Anderson house?”


“I used to live there.” And then the elevator stopped and he strode off into crowd before I could think of something to say.

So, former resident of Oscar Anderson house, if you’re reading this, your house is still there, it’s being landscaped even as I write this and it’s just as adorable as ever.

And for the rest of you tourists, if you come up by boat, you’ll probably stay in the Captain Cook hotel directly across the street from the Boney Courthouse and a block away from Snow City Café (remember: best coffee downtown) and Maeve Malloy’s fictional office. Hope to see you in your travels!


17 thoughts on “Maeve Malloy’s Walking Tour of Anchorage”

  1. What fun! My husband desperately would like to visit Alaska, and I have to admit, it’s sounding more appealing – I tend to prefer those vacations where I can snorkel and nap on the beach – but I’m learning so much about Alaska these days. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There is so much to do here. Tons of hiking, boating, camping, fishing and some serious sight seeing. In Denali National Park, they have an all-day bus ride into the park (cars aren’t allowed in most of the year). It’s supposed to be awesome. I’ve never done it. In a couple of weeks, I’m going to post about a train trip we took to Seward for whale viewing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I did that tour of Denali, and it was awesome. You’ve got to go. We did the grand tour of Alaska by boat and train a few years ago, and it was fantastic. So much to see and do, and so little time there. Alas, we only got to glimpse Anchorage through the train windows, and I promised myself I would go back one day, preferably for northern lights. Thanks for the nudge!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fun tour!

    I’m not a fan of the cold, so Alaska was never really on my radar til a friend told me about the cruise she took up there and how beautiful it was. Plus seeing the Aurora Borealis is on my bucket list, so I might have to visit after all.

    I enjoy learning more and more about Alaska through all your posts. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hope you make it up someday! Right now the highs are almost hitting 70. Some summers, we get to high 70’s in Anchorage. Fairbanks and Denali can be much warmer as they get more light. I’ve never done the cruise; I’m thinking about doing that sometime. May have to conjure a story line so I can write it off!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Wonderful tour, Keenan! One of these days, I war weather, I’ going to have to make the trip u to visit you. And BTW, from your lips to God’s ear, I sure hope you become as rich ad popular as the great Mr. King!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay, we did an Alaskan cruise several years ago. Where did we likely go? I don’t think Anchorage was part of it. It was in June. The weather was perfect. We had some awesome salmon. Brought home a contemporary bear carving and shipped home a globe, both of which are in our family room.

    I love to install some real landmarks into my stories because I know how much I appreciate them as a reader.

    Liked by 1 person

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