Author Murillo’s The Make-Up Room Steps into Hollywood’s Golden Era

(Elana O'Loskey, Photographer)
Robert Murillo stands with his time-travel mystery The Make-up Room in front of Orinda Books, where he’ll be reading from his work on March 13.

    Take a trip to Hollywood’s Golden Era – that’s where you’ll find Mike Lundy and the bevy of Hollywood beauties he always seems to have on his arm. Longtime Orinda resident Bob Murillo describes Lundy, his protagonist, as a cross-time traveler. This way Murillo gets to spend time – now that he’s retired – between 2014 and 1941.
    Perhaps the word retired can’t be used to describe Murillo. At 75 he was often up at 5 a.m. during the five years it took to write his latest Mike Lundy page-turner. 
    He counts author Jack Finney (1911 – 1995) as a big influence. Finney’s books were categorized as a combination of noir fiction, science fiction and thrillers. But why time travel? When Murillo was 10 or 11 years old he discovered Finney’s The Body Snatchers and Time and Again. Wikipedia lists nine films based on books Finney authored. Traveling in time to the past was something Finney explored; Murillo took to it as well. 
    Part historical novel and part mystery, Murillo’s The Make-Up Room centers around a letter written in 2014 that must be delivered to someone in 1941. There are some recurring characters from Murillo’s earlier Lundy novel, The Vanity. Connie, Mike’s girlfriend is one, and neighbors Lorraine and Jay Johnston complete the list of people he is closest to. 
    Murillo will read from The Make Up Room on March 13 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Orinda Books where light refreshments will be served. Travel with him back to 1941 where the as-yet undiscovered Veronica Lake and her sidekick Linda Darnell figure in some fancy but shady footwork. 
    Orinda Books is at 276 Village Square, Orinda. Call 925-254-7606 or go to

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