| Jul 31, 2012
| 10:56 PM
Gore Vidal was impossible to categorize, which was exactly the way he liked it.
The reading public knew him as a literary juggernaut who wrote 25 novels —from the historical "Lincoln" to the satirical "Myra Breckinridge" — and volumes of...
| Oct 4, 2010
| 7:53 AM
Stephen J. Cannell -- the surname rhymes with "flannel" -- was best known for the scores of TV series that he either dreamed up or produced or wrote. Often, he did all three. He was a creative juggernaut in Hollywood, and if you're anywhere north of, say,...
| Mar 22, 2012
| 9:29 PM
Coming unstuck in time, Pamela Regis was investigating the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime. When the clocks struck 13, she dreamt she went to ... to Manderley? — no, McDaniel.
Strange as it might seem, Regis' dream of jumbled-up...
| May 3, 2012
| 5:23 AM
This week's episode of "Revenge" was a much needed reminder of why I love this show.
Just the right amount of mystery, plotting, surprise turns and catty back stabbing to make me excited for the twists and turns that seem to be in store for the next...
| Nov 27, 2011
Last summer, while browsing in a used bookstore in San Luis Obispo, I discovered something I thought no longer existed — an Agatha Christie novel I had not read. Anyone monitoring my vital signs would have thought I had discovered the next Gnostic...
| Jun 14, 2012
| 1:37 PM
What are your summer plans? Plenty of people prefer some quiet, idle time in a hammock or lounging beside the body of water of their choice. And what better time to relax with a good book? Here is a selection of books to keep you occupied no matter...
| Jul 28, 2012
| 5:08 PM
In the early days of their marriage a few years ago, Chicago attorney Brett Nolan and his wife, the thriller novelist Gillian Flynn, were having drinks with a group of friends when Flynn posed a surprising question. "Does anybody have any idea," she asked...
| Aug 2, 2012
"From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" by E.L. Konigsburg
Every child fantasizes about running away from home to teach his or her parents a lesson. One summer, 12-year-old Claudia showed me exactly how it could be done, in comfort and...
| Jan 14, 2011
Joe Gores, a former San Francisco private investigator who became a prize-winning author of hardboiled mysteries such as "Hammett," "Come Morning" and "Spade & Archer," has died. He was 79.
A resident of San Anselmo, Calif., Gores died of a stomach...
| Oct 30, 2011
Florence Parry Heide, a prolific children's book author best known for her droll illustrated picture book "The Shrinking of Treehorn" and her ability to convey in her writing what it is like to be a child, has died. She was 92.
Heide died in her sleep...
| Jul 29, 2012
Shadow of Night
Viking: 584 pp., $28.95
Writing second installments of planned trilogies is harder than you think. There has to be enough background from the first novel — but...