Bevan Atkinson


Author of The Tarot Mysteries series

Bevan Atkinson has been a writer since receiving the Prose Award at Winchester-Thurston School in Pittsburgh, PA. 

Ms. Atkinson wrote business documents of all kinds in corporate environments (Pacific Bell, The Bank of California, MHI Global, etc.), and was the Director of Retail Training for Apple Computer, designing and developing the training for the most successful retail launch in history. 

She is a long-time Tarot reader, and after venturing briefly into fiction writing with a children’s book and an original screenplay, she began The Tarot Mysteries series in 2006 with The Fool Card, introducing its witty heroine, Xana Bard, to the world.

Ms. Atkinson’s aim is to complete a 22-book series based on the Major Arcana of the Tarot, doing for the Tarot what Sue Grafton did for the alphabet. As an homage to Ms. Grafton, in the series, one of Xana’s dogs is named Kinsey.

For more on Bevan, visit her websiteRead our review of her latest book, The Hierophant Card, here.


The Fool Card (2008) (Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Magician Card (2012) (Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The High Priestess Card (2013) (Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Empress Card (2015) (Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Emperor Card (2017) (Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Hierophant Card (2019) (Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Your biggest literary influences: 

George Eliot (for elegance and humanity), Jane Austen (for humor and observation), Robert B. Parker (for brevity and pace and Hawk), Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich (for the series pattern, the characters), Thornton Wilder (for kindness without mercy), Colin Cotterill (for the humor, the magical realism), Elmore Leonard (for pace, writerly advice), Alan Bradley (for characters, humor), Rex Stout (for the orchids, the story structure), Stephen King (for “On Writing”), J.K. Rowling (for telling the same story at increasing length seven times and captivating us every time), Craig Johnson (for the sense of place), C.J. Box (ditto), Erik Larsen (for telling us what we think we already know but can’t stop reading about anyway).

Last book read: 

Theophilus North by Thornton Wilder

The book that changed your life: 

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. And Illusions by Richard Bach. Those two shaped my understanding of how humans can come to terms with their genuine selves and live honestly afterward.

Your favorite literary characters: 

Archie Goodwin in the Nero Wolfe mysteries. And Hawk in the Spenser mysteries. And Elouise Norton in Rachel Howzell Hall’s series. Three people who are uniquely themselves, a level up from street smart, and just fine with who they are. 

Currently working on: 

The Lovers Card, the seventh Tarot Mystery.

Words to live by: 

“The readiness is all,” from Hamlet.

Advice for aspiring authors: 

They don’t need any from me. I think writers write because that’s what they do.


San Francisco Book Review

Adventures on the Fault Line” (review by Valerie Ceriano)

“Mystery readers are always asking for a new series to read, especially ones with a woman sleuth. The Tarot Mysteries — well written, fast and fun, set in San Francisco and laced with a soupçon of the occult — are easy to recommend.” —Eric Whittington, Owner, Bird & Becket Books and Records

“Get this if you like Stephanie Plum.” —Neil Edwards

“Ms. Atkinson’s debut novel is a fast-paced romp through the hills of San Francisco starring an engaging heroine, Xana Bard, who modestly attributes her intuition to reading Tarot cards.” —Julia M. Shumway

“This is a good, fast read, very smart and very funny in places. I recommend it for anyone who’s into mysteries, snappy dialogue and local color. Also for anyone curious about what [the] Tarot is. On top of which, it contains one of the most thoroughly satisfying murders I can remember. It went by so fast I would have liked another few hundred pages. But you can’t have everything.” —Joan Kraus