Santa Teresa has been used by several authors as the name of an invented city.
Santa Teresa was created by Ross Macdonald as a fictionalised version of Santa Barbara, California in his mystery The Moving Target (1949). In his book The Underground Man (1971), he again uses Santa Teresa as the principal locale.
In the 1980s, the writer Sue Grafton began using a fictional Santa Teresa as the setting for her novels featuring her lead character Kinsey Millhone, a fictional female private investigator. Millhone is the protagonist of Grafton's ongoing "alphabet mysteries" series of novels. Grafton chose the setting as a tribute to Macdonald, an acknowledged influence. In the Kinsey Millhone version, the town has a population of 85,000 and has a small airport.
Roberto Bolaño set his novel 2666 (2004) in a northern Mexican city called Santa Teresa. The novel features female homicides as central theme, inspired largely by female homicides in Ciudad Juárez. This fictional city had already appeared in his earlier novel The Savage Detectives.