cover image Drake’s Bay

Drake’s Bay

Rebecca Kai Dotlich, . . Permanent, $28 (240pp) ISBN 978-1-57962-197-1

Roberts (Beyond Sara ) ventures into religious thriller territory with mixed results. On a whim professor Ethan Storey, an expert on California history, and his younger girlfriend, Kay O’Toole, visit the Williams Institute, located in “a 1920s folly of a manor house” in the Berkeley Hills. Ethan ends up with an unusual job offer—to catalogue a book collection of mostly 15th- through 17th-century first editions that the institute plans to sell off. The assignment becomes even more intriguing after a fellow academic tells Ethan that the library may include Sir Francis Drake’s personal logbooks from his time commanding the Golden Hinde . Soon, Ethan loses the slip for the wooden schooner he and Kay live on in a San Francisco Bay marina, his superiors at the university threaten his job, and the forces out to thwart his research at the institute resort to violence. History buffs who don’t mind coincidences and contrived resolutions will be satisfied. (Apr.)