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Book reviews, author interviews and other material from the old Triviana.
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"Our Lady of West 74th Street" is a wonderful novel by Harry Steven Ackley about faith, Mary, Mother of Jesus, angels, and modern-day heroes. We will post a review as soon as we can. The book was released today, Novemeber 1, 2014, because it is All Saints Day. Buy at

Visit Harry Steven Ackley's page for "Our Lady of West 74th Street."

Three books about the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. A review from 2001, recently reformatted for Triviana's new design scheme.

"And When She Was Good," by Laura Lippman

"Into the Darkest Corner," by Elizabeth Haynes

"XO: A Kathryn Dance Novel," by Jefferey Deaver

"Shadow of Night," by Deborah Harkness

"A Discovery of Witches," by Deborah Harkness

"The Chalk Girl," by Carol O'Connell

Crimson Shore
"Crimson Shore" is a highly satisfying addition to the long list of Agent Pendergast thrillers by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and sees the unusual hero and his ward dealing with the locals, including monsters, in Massachusets. Read John Orr's review.

The Bay Area Books Festival kicked off its inaugural event June 6, 7, 2015 in Berkeley, and Cy Ashley Webb was there. Read her report.

Arcady's Goal
Eugene Yelchin
Arcady, who's never had his own bed, contemplates a baby blanket made by Ivan Ivanych's late wife, in "Arcady's Goal," by Eugene Yelchin.
"Arkady's Goal" is another brilliantly told story about the sad lives of children and families in Stalinist Russia, but has a glimmering light of hope about it. Eugene Yelchin wrote and illustrated the beautiful, meaningful book. John Orr reviews.

The Book of Life
"The Book of Life" is the highly satisfying end of Deborah Harkness's All Souls Trilogy, and makes John Orr hope that she is planning to write more stories about the witch Diana Bishop and the vampire Matthew Clairmont. The entire trilogy is fascinating — it is a thinking person's magical vampire romance. Read the review of "The Book of Life."

Spirit and Skull
"The Spirit and the Skull" is another in a long line of books from J.M. Hayes that we very much enjoyed, and something of a departure from his modern mysteries. It is the story of Raven, the spirit man of a band of paleolithic indians, and how he goes about solving a murder case, 15,000 years ago. And his travel in spirit, in his skull, to modern times. Fascinating book. Read John Orr's review.

Sakey books
"A Better World" is Marcus Sakey's brilliant sequel to his fabulous science-fiction thriller "Brilliance," and we like them both a great deal. Completely enjoyable reads with something important to say. Read John Orr's review.

Kepler's mystery
John Orr photo
Lookin' for clues: Kepler's Books in Menlo Park held a Mystery/Thriller Day, and John Orr was there, and allowed to sell a few copies of his novel. And he got to meet some other wonderful authors! What fun. Check out Orr's column about the experience.

The Martian
From the cover of "The Martian." Design by Eric White. Original astronaut photo by NASA. Digital manipulation by Regarding Arts.
"The Martian," by Andy Weir, is the most fun we've had between hardcovers for a while, an excellent thriller about an astronaut stranded on Mars and his onegoing struggle to stay alive and hope for rescue. It's a fascinating read, filled with palatable science, charm and humor. Read John Orr's review.

Changing the Way We Die
"Changing the Way We Die" is an excellent book about the hospice movement, covering it from its beginnings centuries ago on the trail to the Holy Land to the United States today, where it has begun big business and has big bureaucracy hanging around its neck. It's a better way to shuffle off this mortal coil, and writers Fran Smith and Sheila Himmel have produced an excellent book about it. Read John Orr's review.

White Fire
"White Fire" is a return to high form for Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child in their mostly excellent series about FBI very Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast. In this one, his protegee, Corrie Swanson, gets in trouble when she visits a Colorado town for rich people to do forensics on some very old bones. A fun read, with plenty of thrills. Read the review by John Orr.

Never Go Back

A surprising turn in a Jack Reacher story

"Never Go Back" is another fun read from novelist Lee Child, but it's kind of a departure from Reacher's usual kick-ass ways. In this one, he meets a woman who is his match. Read the review.

Someone Dark Has Found Me

Creating a fantasy world
in Palo Alto

"Someone Dark Has Found Me" has witches, wizards, geniuses, homeless people and a lot of kissing. Mark Johnson, former Page-Turners columnist at the San Jose Mercury News, reviews. Read his review.

The Kill Room

Lots of twists and turns to get to Deaver's 'Kill Room'

"The Kill Room" is another superlative thriller from Jeffery Deaver, the unmatchable master of intelligent plot twists. This one has the brilliant quadriplegic detective Lincoln Rhyme, and his life and professional partner, Amelia Sachs, investigating a crime that could reach all the way to the president. Read John Orr's review.

From Rum to Roots

The trip from Jamaican cane fields to San Francisco

"From Rum to Roots" is an excellent first novel by photo journalist Lloyd Francis. It touches on the history of Jamaica and its people, but mostly is a well-told tale of people born on the island who want more for their families, in Jamaica and in the United States. Read John Orr's review.

Little Green

Walter Mosley brings Easy Rawlins back from the dead

"Little Green" is a great story that finds our hero back from a two-month deep sleep to find hippies, peace and free love on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. And, some very nasty drug dealers. Read John Orr's review.

Another Harlan Coben hero finds a lost love

"Six Years" is another in Harlan Coben's recurrent plot of guys who lose the loves of their lives (how careless!), then find them again, then get severely punished. Some of the books are great. This one, not so much. Read John Orr's review.

Adrift in the mountain states

 "Edward Adrift" by Craig Lancaster is a fine and entertaining novel that shows Lancaster's continuing growth as a novelist. See John Orr's review.

Anastasia and the Spanish flu resurface in thriller

 "The Romananov Cross" by Robert Masello is a fun read that brings together some historical and modern what-ifs in a consistently entertaining page-turner. Read John Orr's review.

Exploring guilt and redemption with Walter Mosley

 "All I Did Was Shoot My Man," by Walter Mosley, is another brilliant and entertaining read by one of the greatest writers working today. Read John Orr's review of the Leonid McGill mystery.

Pendergast digs up trouble in 'Two Graves'

 Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child conclude their "Helen" trilogy by sending their strange hero on an adventure to Brazil to fight the Fourth Reich in a Brazilian volcano. Read John Orr's review of the new thriller.

Spooky thriller puts some chills in rainy Seattle nights

 Blake and Jordan Crouch team up for "Eerie," a creepy good read about a cop's reunion with his hooker sister that goes very badly, in some very weird ways. Read John Orr's review.

Michael Connelly keeps Harry Bosch busy in L.A.

 One of the most solid crime writers working today brings back one of our favorite cops in "The Black Box." Read Oline Gogdill's review of the new thriller.

A meaningful story from Laura Lippman

 Laura Lippman writes deeply and well about women finding their way in a sometimes cruel and difficult world. In "And When She Was Good," whe writes of a woman who crosses legal lines to do what she must to raise her child. Read Oline Cogdill's review of the novel.

A cautionary tale from Elizabeth Haynes

 Oline H. Cogdill says "'Into the Darkest Corner'" is a terrifying cautionary tale of modern relationships. Read Cogdill's review of the novel.


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