Stranger than Fiction: Author William Dietrich is right. Before Hitler came to power, no editor would have believed such evil existed.

Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark

Janet Rudolph gives great salon.

Last night 'round dusk, much of the San Francisco Bay Area enjoyed sunshine and balmy breezes, but it was a darkening and foggy night as I zigzagged around Berkeley Terrace's Fish Ranch Road toward Janet''s house, where she and her husband, Frank, hold ongoing salons for the murderati: readers and writers of mysteries and thrillers.

What nudged me across the Bay was the chance to meet one of my all-time favorite authors: William Dietrich, whose novels include the historical adventure/thriller series starring the Indiana Jones-like hero, Ethan Gage (Napoleon's Pyramids, The Rosetta Key, The Dakota Cypher,  The Barbary Pirates). Okay, admittedly, there is also a bit of Candide and Tom Jones in Nathan, as he's always getting himself into trouble when he should know better. Take your pick, he's a  rounder/roue/rogue.

And that's part of the fun. He may be as naughty as Casanova, but when the fate of the world is as stake, he's as honorable as Indy.  The books' ironic humor and edge-of-the-seat plots which are seeped in history and mystic lore keep Mr. Dietrich's fans such as myself pining for the next volume.

But don't take my word for it. Pick up the series for yourself.

Blood of the Riech Or better yet, start with his latest novel, Blood of the Reich. It's a stand-alone which steps away from Ethan to introduce a whole set of new characters: zoologist Jonathan Hood, Aviatrix Beth Calloway, PR girl Friday Rominy Pickett. Its jaw-dropping plot weaves three moments in time into a lanyard of intrigue and deceit involving Tibet, the Cern Supercollider, and yes: NAZIS.

"Why haven't your books been turned into movies?" one salon regular asked.

Great question.

Indiana Jones was the inspiration for Ethan Gage. Here's hoping that Bill Dietrich inspires Steven Spielberg – or perhaps the renowned director's latest protoge, J.J. Abrams – to take it on as a film series. Frankly, these stories are just as thrilling, and are instilled with a heckuva lot more history and humor.

It's a perfect movie franchise: complex and witty.

In other words, great FOR ADULTS.


— Josie

HAH Hanging Man V2

Murder. Suspense. Sex. 
And some handy household tips.

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