A couple from 25-30 years ago and another-new-to-me author, Mercedes Lambert.
Mercedes Lambert wrote three novels featuring lawyer, Whitney Logan and her friend Lupe Ramos - these two plus Ghosttown. Ghosttown was published posthumously in 2007. She also had a fourth novel, El Nino published under her real name.
Mercedes Lambert - Douglas Anne Munson sadly passed in 2003.
Her books have been praised by Ken Bruen, Michael Connelly and John Lutz to mention a few
LA setting, a couple of strong female characters, a missing person, armed robbery, death, secrets what's not to like?
Whitney Logan, attorney-at-law, is broke. So when Monica Fullbright shows up with a thousand dollar retainer wanting her to locate her missing housemaid, an illegal immigrant named Carmen, Whitney takes the job. She may not like playing sleuth, but she can't afford to be picky. Enlisting the aid of Lupe Ramos, a chicana prostitute who works the street below her office, she soon finds out that Monica is not all she seems. And when the two of them stumble on the housemaid's dead body, they quickly find themselves on a fetid trail of Latin politics, drug smuggling and misguided allegiances. Nothing is as it seems in Dogtown