The Poisoned Pen
September Is a Complicated Month
Table of Contents

The Poisoned Pen


The Poisoned Pen

4014 N Goldwater Blvd #101

Scottsdale, AZ



(480) 947-2974

(888) 560-9919 


Directions? Hours? Click here.

where not in stock
Click on the title to order

Virtual book launch
October 6
Real signed firsts due in for the event

Virtual Book Launch
October 7
Real signed books
A Fantastic New Fiction Book of the Month

Unrestricted Access
includes a new novella with Kane, the military dog
and signed with a doodle of the dog by Rollins
Inscriptions limited to 5 words
Escaping Dreamland
Our September Fantastic New Fiction Book of the Month
Due in this week
A joy for those remembering childhood favorites

A super spy story
Sequel to The Eighth Sister
Virtual Book Launch Sept. 21 6:00 PM
with Angie Kim
in stock now

Next to Last Stand
Virtual Book Launch
Sept 22 6:00 PM
with Special Guests
Our copies come with a holiday card of Craig and Judy on the ranch

Hugo Marston
Virtual Sept 23 5:00 PM
Signed Bookplates
in stock now

Jonathan Stride
Sept 24 2:00 PM
with Karen
in stock now

And Now She's Gone
Sept 24 6:00 PM
with Patrick
in stock Tuesday

Timber Creek K-9 Mystery
Sept 26 2:00 PM
in stock now

Signed UK edition
already a #1 UK bestseller
Our October First Mystery Book of the Month
Order now!!

Book Launch Live
in our parking lot
September 29 6:00 PM
Inscriptions welcome up to 5 words 

Orphan's Guilt
Joe Gunther
Virtual October 1 5:00 PM

The Reacher Guy
Our copies come with a custom designed bookplate that features the Coventry skyline (the city where Lee was born) and hides clues to all 24 sole-authored Reacher books. This limited edition print is signed by Child and Martin

Virtual book launch
Our copies come with a unique Christmas card for Poisoned Pen customers
in stock now

Forgery & Poe
This is a rare signed copy supply in stock now

Our September Crime Book of the Month
in stock now
A fabulous heist novel for fans of Thomas Perry and  Donald E. Westlake

a truly fabulous Scottish police procedural with DCI Karen Pirie
in stock now

Sister Fidelma
Medieval Ireland
Signed UK edition
4 remain in stock

Stories by Mosley
due in later in Sept.

A sensational debut
Our October (or November) Fantastic New Fiction Book of the Month
Much of it set in Kyoto
Virtual event to come

in stock now
19th Century Australia
by the author of The Orphan Train

Squeeze Me
in stock now
Wicked satire by the Jonathan Swift of our time

Library Lovers Mystery
A book cozy
in stock now

AND to go with
another book cozy

back in stock

in stock now

Signed UK Edition
due in soon
in stock now!
Signed by Diana with a special recipe card


The fall equinox. Hispanic Heritage Month. The Jewish High Holy Days. We've already passed by International Charity Day, International Literacy Day, to name but two.

But also Banned Books Week begins September 27, reminding us the world is always a mix of the light and the dark. And loss.

And among the losses, RBG.

Lesa presents a thoughtful post pointing out books about and by Ruth Bader Ginsburg on our Blog. The second woman to serve on the Supreme Court will be remembered in myriad ways but I like her own words best. Bold, articulate, impassioned, she was and will remain a beacon and an icon.

The Justice died on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the first of the Jewish High Holy Days and one that celebrates the creation of mankind.  

Connect with us: Podcasts YouTube Facebook,Instagram and
Twitter are all channels you can use. Enjoy book chats on our Home Page and shorter ones on our Instagram.

And you can find Staff Picks and more in our Webstore
We do rely on your purchases to fund this range of activities. But we think of them as a service to authors too, something to share and expand

Barbara and all The Pens

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter 
Thank you for supporting The Poisoned Pen, frequently named Best Specialty Bookstore by the New Times and by the  
Arizona Republic, one of 45 Great American Indie Bookstores 2013; Best Locally Owned and Operated Business: Scottsdale and more....
Visit by appointment
And call ahead if you're in the mood or the area as we are flexible

Please email to request one 
Appointments will be for 20 minutes on the hour and half hour, allowing us a short break inbetween to sanitize.

Appointment Hours 11:00-4:00 M-F, also 6:00-8:00 W & Thu; and 11:00-6:00 on Saturday. 
The same hours apply for pickup.

For curbside pickup use 480-970-1534. And please call us to see if there is a space to come inside and browse. We must observe spacing guidelines but we want to see you! 
The same hours apply for pickup.
Plus pickup only Sunday 1:00-4:00
The webstore and email operate 24/7
For the best customer service other than curbside pickup please continue to email  
Please Help!

PLEASE HELP: Do Sign Up family and friends to our Enews

It's free, and adds no daily clutter to your In Box. 

And a Gift Certificate is a nice way to say Thinking of You to someone

It will also help expand coverage if you sign up for our 
You Tube channel to watch videos. We will have some exciting news about videos coming along as well as for podcasts.
The September
BookNotes plus Booknews & Staff Picks

Yay. Here's the link to the SEPTEMBER BOOKNOTES

For you fans of historicals there is an excellent section reviewing across genres. And some comments looking ahead to October.

Here's the link to the SEPTEMBER BOOKNEWS

You can find our September Paperback Picks and Book of the Month Clubs Picks in the webstore also.

And here are our September Staff Picks
I have a LOT as this is a remarkably good month for readers

More New Podcasts
New podcasts post frequently. We can see you are  enjoying them by the over 37,000 downloads. Lots of conversations here! And with lots of authors! 

For those who prefer not to stare at a screen but would like to enjoy our conversations with authors, these are for you.

Visit our new Podcasts Easy download links are provided. They are also available on ITunes and Google Music

Don't forget to search for a favorite author. There are many of them, often frequent visitors to The Pen, but some new to us.

New: Kyle Mills with Brad Thor; Bradford Morrow with Otto Penzler Wendy Walker with Megan Miranda; Charlie Lovett with Fiona Davis; LC Shaw with our own John Charles.

We are a partner with

Sign up for a membership  It's easy to set up an account. And a % of the revenue comes to The Pen.
Video Book Talks
 You can find some book talks, short recommendations, by me and on our Instagram courtesy of IGTV. Check out short videos by Patrick, Pat King,and John Charles of our staff as well.

You can also find  book talks on our Home Page

Running now: Alan Bradley visiting with me from the Isle of Man where the Canadian bestselling author of the Flavia de Luce mysteries has lived the past eight years.
Robert Dugoni Book Launch with
Angie Kim
Monday 6:00 PM

Robert Dugoni in conversation with Angie Kim
Dugoni discusses his spy thriller The Last Agent (Thomas & Mercer $24.95)
Signed books available

This is a terrific spy story, the follow up to Dugoni's The Eighth Sister  ($15.95wherein CIA case officer Charles Jenkins, in his early sixties, desperate for money (a new baby is on the way), accepts a risky assignment to take down a Russian agent believed to be receiving information that lets him kill members of a clandestine US spy cell known as the Seven Sisters. 

Is the mastermind the Eighth Sister? Why after a daring escape across the Black Sea to Turkey was Jenkins abandoned by the agency? Here now is where the story, which reminds me forcibly of an early John Le Carre but with  more action, continues.... 

It covers another daring voyage across the Black Sea, this time from Turkey to the Crimea, Jenkins' infiltration of Moscow and its dread Lefortovo prison where he learns a woman has been isolated. Is she Paulina Ponomayova, the agent who sacrificed her life to save his? I'm not saying why, but I really enjoyed the scenes in Oslo where I have visited the Akershus Fortress twice and think it to be awesome. It's just one of the many reasons to devour this exceptional thriller.

2020 Edgar winner Angie Kim, whose debut is the sensational Miracle Creek ($17), joins me in the virtual book launch
Craig Johnson
Special Guest:
Walt Longmire
Tuesday 6:0 PM
Craig Johnson discusses his new Walt Longmire Next to Last Stand (Viking $27.99)

Walt Longmire, ie actor Robert Taylor, joins us from Australia and does a reading!

Signed books available. Our copies of Next to Last Stand come with a special holiday season card featuring Craig and Judy at the ranch. It's really nifty. And there is a Longmire sort of truck in the picture. To make this a teaser, I hid half of the card with a Diana Gabaldon book so you can't see Judy or the truck....

We will show you an image of the famous painting in the story....which is an art heist.

One of the most viewed paintings in American history, Custer's Last Fight, copied and distributed by Anheuser-Busch at a rate of over two million copies a year, was destroyed in a fire at the 7th Cavalry Headquarters in Fort Bliss, Texas, in 1946. 

When Charley Lee Stillwater dies of an apparent heart attack at the Wyoming Home for Soldiers & Sailors, Walt Longmire is called in to try and make sense of a piece of a painting and a Florsheim shoebox containing a million dollars. Where did the money come from? Is there more? Did Charley Lee really have a heart attack? And was the painting really destroyed in the fire?
Mark Pryor
Wednesday 5:00 PM
Mark Pryor discusses his new Hugo Marston Paris thriller 
The French Widow (Seventh Street $15.95)
Signed bookplates

A young American woman is attacked at a historic Paris chateau and four paintings are stolen the same night, drawing the American Embassy's security ace Hugo Marston into a case where everyone seems like a suspect. 

To solve this mystery Hugo must crack the secrets of the icy and arrogant Lambourd family, who seem more interested in protecting their good name than future victims. Just as Hugo thinks he's close, some of the paintings mysteriously reappear, at the very same time that one of his suspects goes missing. 

While under pressure to catch a killer, Hugo also has to face the consequences of an act some see as heroic, but others believe might have been staged for self-serving reasons. This puts Hugo under a media and police spotlight he doesn't want, and helps the killer who is hunting him.... 

There are some very clever twists in this new and excellent novel by Pryor who is a Brit living in Austin, Texas, and working as a prosecutor. Truly he personnifies global as does this 
Hugo Marston series which we here at The Pen highly recommend you read all the way through.
Lee Child
The Nicotine Chronicles
with a guest or two
Wednesday 6:00 PM
Lee Child hosts authors contributing to The Nicotine Chronicles (Akashic $15.95). Patrick moderates

In recent years, nicotine has become as verboten as many hard drugs. The literary styles in this volume are as varied as the moral quandaries herein, and the authors have successfully unleashed their incandescent imaginations on the subject matter, fashioning an immensely addictive collection. 

Featuring brand-new stories by: Lee Child, Joyce Carol Oates, Jonathan Ames, Eric Bogosian, Achy Obejas, Michael Imperioli, Hannah Tinti, Ariel Gore, Bernice L. McFadden, Cara Black, Christopher Sorrentino, David L. Ulin, Jerry Stahl, Lauren Sanders, Peter Kimani, and Robert Arellano
Joanne Fluke
A live event!
Tuesday September 29
6:00 PM in our parking lot
Joanne Fluke presents Christmas Cupcake Murder (Kensington $22.95)

Fluke joins us for a socially distanced, masked, outdoor signing for her fans who can assemble in our parking lot. Admission to the signing line will require the purchase of the book. 

There will be a table of individually wrapped cupcakes. Plus Joanne is providing light-up champagne glasses for you to keep after you drink a bit of bubbly.

We will record a closed conversation with Fluke at 5:00 PM in our usual set up in the store so that her far flung fans can watch her discuss this new investigation then or later.

Bookshelves Giveaway
In order to make social distancing more possible at The Pen, we will be installing a new row of bookcases along our north wall that will be on casters, thus moveable. They will also allow us some window displays not possible during our first 21!!! years at this location. (The Pen turns 31 on October 3.... hard to believe)

So we are removing the current bookshelves as pictured and offer them to anyone who might like one. One of our staff has already requested a shelf.

Please email if you are interested in reserving one. 

You will need to arrange to haul it away.

Please do NOT call the store about this. It's John's project and his hours are evening. So please just use the EMAIL.
Our September Calendar
Please check frequently for more dates 
Robert Dugoni in conversation with Angie Kim
Dugoni discusses his spy thriller The Last Agent (Thomas & Mercer $24.95)
Signed books available
Craig Johnson discusses his new Walt Longmire 
Next to Last Stand (Viking $27.99)
Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) joins Craig

Signed books available. Our copies of Next to Last Stand come with a special holiday season card featuring Craig and Judy at the ranch
Mark Pryor discusses his new Hugo Marston Paris thriller 
The French Widow (Seventh Street $15.95)
Signed bookplates
Lee Child hosts authors contributing to The Nicotine Chronicles (Akashic $15.95)
Brian Freeman in conversation with Karen
Freeman discusses his 10th Jonathan Stride Funeral for a Friend (Blackstone $27.99)
Signed books available
Rachel Howzell Hall discusses And Now She's Gone (Forge $27.99)
Signed books available
Hardboiled Crime Club discusses Jean-Patrick Manchette's 
This is not a live event but will post later in the day
Martin Edwards and Ann Cleeves in conversation
Cleeves discusses The Darkest Evening (St Martins $27.99)
Signed UK copies available
Edwards discussed Mortmain Hall (Poisoned Pen $15.99)

UK author Richard Osman in conversation with Mark Billingham
Osman discusses his debut The Thursday Murder Club
(Viking $26)
Our October First Mystery Book of the Month in the Signed UK edition. And currently the #1 bestseller in the UK so don't delay reserving one of our few extra signed firsts
Scott Graham discusses his new National Parks mystery 
Mesa Verde Victim (Torrey $15.95)
Margaret Mizushima discusses Hanging Falls (Crooked Lane $26.99)
Signed books available for Mizushima
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 28 2:00 PM Virtual Book Launch
James Rollins presents Unrestricted Access (Morrow $27.99)
A full length novella with Tucker Wayne and his war dog Kane plus short stories
Signed copies, can be personalized up to 5 words and each has a doodle drawn by Rollins
Joanne Fluke presents Christmas Cupcake Murder (Kensington $22.95)

Fluke joins us for a socially distanced, masked, outdoor signing for her fans who can assemble in our parking lot. Admission to the signing line will require the purchase of the book. There will be a table of individually presented treats set up outside as well.

We will record a conversation with Fluke at 5:00 PM in our usual set up so that her fans can watch her discuss this new investigation then or later.

Our Revised October 1-11 Calendar
October 3 is our 31st
Archer Mayor discusses his new Joe Gunther Vermont thriller Orphan's Guilt (St Martins $27.99)
Signed books available
Smith Henderson & Jon Marc Smith discuss Make Them Cry (Ecco $27.99) with Patrick
Books signed by Henderson with a letter signed by Smith available

Our 31st birthday
Val McDermid, there from the beginning, joins us to discuss
Still Life (Grove $26), our October British Crime Book of the Month. Policing in Scotland, England, and Ireland in this gem.
Signed UK copies link in the left hand column.
MONDAY OCTOBER 5 6:00 PM Virtual Book Launch
Lee Child and Heather Martin in conversation
They discuss The Reacher Guy (Pegasus $29.95), Martin's authorized biography of Child that includes 16 pages of photos, most never before seen

Our copies come with a custom designed bookplate that features the Coventry skyline (the city where Lee was born) and hides clues to all 24 sole-authored Reacher books. This limited edition print is shared exclusively with us by Kenilworth Books in Warwickshire. It is signed by both Lee Child and Heather Martin 

TUESDAY OCTOBER 6 5:00 PM Virtual Book Launch
Dean Koontz discusses his new novel Elsewhere (Thomas & Mercer $28.99)
Signed copies available
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 7 6:00 PM Virtual Book Launch
Alice Hoffman discusses Magic Lessons: The Prequel to Practical Magic (SimonSchuster $27.99)
Signed copies available
Vicki Delany discusses  Tea and Treachery (Kensington $26) and Dying in a Winter Wonderland (Berkley $7.99) plus A Death Long Overdue (Crooked Lane $26.99) written as Eva Gates 

Victoria Laurie discusses To Coach a Killer (Kensington $26)
Stuart Turton discusses The Devil and the Dark Water (Sourcebooks $26.99)
Signed bookplates. And for the first dozen orders, a nifty tote bag

A Discussion Club with Brad Thor for his latest Scot Harvath thriller Near Dark
SPOILER ALERT: we will be discussing the entire book so be sure to read it before you join us. Link to come. The discussion is free but you will have to register
Lisa Unger in conversation with Karin Slaughter
Unger discusses Confessions on the 7:45 (Park Row $27.99)
Our October Crime Book of the Month
Signed copies available for both authors
Karin's book is The Silent Wife ($28.99)

SATURDAY OCTOBER 10 3:00 PM Cozy mini-Con
Anna Lee Huber discusses A Pretty Conceit (Kensington $15.99)
Verity Kent Mystery
Alyssa Maxwell discusses Murder at Kingscote (Kensington $26
Gilded Age Newport Mystery
Sherry Thomas discusses Murder on Cold Street (Berkley $16)
A Lady Sherlock Mystery
SUNDAY OCTOBER 11 1:00 PM Virtual US Launch Party
Ian Rankin discusses A Song for the Dark Times
(Little Brown $27)
Inspector Rebus
Signed UK edition available 
A Song for the Dark Times
(Orion $45)
Our September Books of the Month
First, thank you for your response to The Pen's Books of the Month. The rise in membership means we can do a better job securing signed and unsigned books for you. It's not too late to join one or more clubs.

The Crime Book of the Month One Signed hardcover First per month
Parish, Stan. Love and Theft
British Crime Book of the Month One unsigned hardcover or paperback per month
Cleeves, Ann. The Darkest Evening
Cozy Crimes Book of the Month One unsigned hardcover or paperback per month
Fantastic New Fiction Book of the Month One Signed hardcover First per month
Lovett, Charlie Escaping Dreamland
First Mystery Book of the Month Club One Signed hardcover First per month
Pavesi, Alex. Eight Detectives
Historical Fiction Book of the Month One Signed hardcover First per month
Clarke, Susanna. Piranesi
International Crime Book of the Month One Unsigned hardcover or paperback per month
SciFi/Fantasy Book of the Month One hardcover or paperback per month signed when possible.
Pyper, Andrew. The Residence
Please email for details and to sign up. 

Mystery-of-the-Month Club 

Looking for something new to read each month and aren't sure what to choose?  Let us help... And it makes a great gift 
The Mystery-of-the-Month Club is individually tailored to each customer's specific tastes.  Just let us know what kinds of mysteries you enjoy, whether your looking for signed hardcover books or paperbacks, and we'll take it from there!
For more information, drop Patrick King a line at
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The Poisoned Pen
Is a full service general bookstore with a specialty in fiction of all kinds, and in history. When books are not on our shelves we can order them for you quickly or, if British, it takes a little longer.

Email any requests to It's all part of the experience. Thank you for supporting The Poisoned Pen.

Winner, 2001 Raven Award from the Mystery Writers of America! Winner,
2012 The Arizona Republic and the New Times Best of Phoenix and Best of Scottsdale, Best Bookstore! 2013 Arizona Republic's Critics' Choice and Reader's Choice Best Specialty Bookstore
12-time Nominee, Publishers Weekly's Bookseller of the Year
Winner, James Patterson Page-Turner Award
Poisoned Pen Press, Winner, The 2010 Ellery Queen Award from The Mystery Writers of America
Member of the Crime Writers of Canada, British Crime Writers Association, The American Booksellers Association,