There's another social media swarm mixing societal issues with literary one and targeting Jeanine Cummins' novel
. These things blow up and wreak havoc, and then people pile onto the next. I\'m sad to see outrage, or actual rage, so prevalent.
I have no patience with the cultural appropriation mantra. It's Fiction!! Fiction is fostered by imagination. If imagination is stifled we are all the poorer for it. So here at The Pen we continue to recommend books based on story, on literary and narrative merit.
Whew, that's my vent for today.
Moving on I do enjoy a different sort of mantra:
Books. Helping introverts avoid conversation since 1454.
Or, inverting this: Books, encouraging conversation since 1454.
To that end we offer two different conversation events, one tomorrow with Patrick on the first Haunted Library release, The Phantom of the Opera, which edition comes with discussion questions. And on February 29, one with author Vanessa Lillie who book, Little Voices, must be read before her appearance the morning of February 29 so we can talk about it as a whole, especially the ending!
for you now include Chad Dundas, author of our January Crime Collectors Book of the Month The Blaze (Putnam $26), Joseph Finder with another fine Nick Heller undercover investigation into a fractious and probably criminal family in
House on Fire (Dutton $28); and a rollicking discussion of historical fiction with Ann Parker and Rosemary Simpson moderated by temporary Poisoned Pen Team member author Dianne Freeman.
Enjoy two with Dana Stabenow, one on her mysteries in Alaska, one on her PI series set in Cleopatra's Egypt. I hope to add two new authors to the podcasts this week if my phone behaved and recorded. Sigh, no tech is friendly to me.
Do check our BLOG regularly. Lesa updates awards, news, and interviews. She reviews events with video links and casts a wide net for news, reviews...much more.
And thank you for supporting the authors!
Barbara and all The Pens
Thank you for supporting The Poisoned Pen, frequently named Best Specialty Bookstore by the
and by the
, one of 45 Great American Indie Bookstores 2013; Best Locally Owned and Operated Business: Scottsdale 2016; and Poisoned Pen Press, winner of the 2010 Ellery Queen Award from the Mystery Writers of America and named the 2011 Best Local Publisher by the
Arizona Republic and now the mystery imprint at Sourcebooks.
The January Booknews and NEW
The January BookNotes
John has cast a wide net in it, including some upcoming events and books to prep you for Valentine's Day
It covers books and events from today to February 1
you read first!!
Tickets On Sale
Monday March 2 7 PM
Saturday March 21
6 PM at The Pen
CJ Box signs
The 20th Joe Pickett
March 2, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center
12701 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale AZ 85254
COST:$32.00 admits one with book, $36.00 admits two with one book
Harlan joins us March 21 @ 6:00 PM at The Pen to sign
Cost: $32 single with book $37 two fans with one book
We'll be serving a treat or two from the new Virtu Pizzeria right across our parking lot along with Harlan's program
Tonight 7:00 PM
TUESDAY JANUARY 287:00 PM Double Publication Party
Detective D. D. Warren, Flora Dane, and FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy--here's a trio to be reckoned with.
The three sleuths pursue the trail of recently deceased serial
kidnapper Jacob Ness to the Georgia hills, trying to sort out his cases. There's something positively creepy about the little town where they've landed, and soon they realize that Jacob has left behind secrets darker than anything he did while alive....
"The sinister factor starts early and builds quickly as Southern town charm gives way to deadly menace and dangerous secrets in this twist-a-minute novel. A string of murders, a crack FBI team and a voiceless girl desperate for revenge..."-- Karin Slaughter
($9.99) was an exceptional thriller series start --it's our recommended Airplane Book as once Nelson DeMille's The Charm School was.
And the 4th for Orphan X,
Out of the Dark
($9.99), had me rereading the concluding chapters several time.
Now here we are at X's 5th outing in which he's wrestling with giving up his mission of helping those in crisis as sent to him by previous "clients" (not unlike the way the TV drama Person of Interest worked) and doing...what? Can he lead a civilian life off mission? Does he want to? Kudos to Hurwitz for raising this dilemma for X and also for recognizing that a series in which the hero can forge no personal connections has to evolve or die. (Think of Barry Eisler's John Rain books which flunked this design in the end.)
So what is the mission that X, aka Evan Smoak, takes on? It revolves around the torture/execution of accountant Grant Merriweather who gives up the name of his family black-sheep cousin Max before he dies as the person holding the key to...what? X, also known as the Nowhere Man, takes on saving Max. So X and his hacker protégé, Josephine Morales, then determine that a flash drive in Max's possession contains data detailing a money laundering scheme that ranges through L.A.'s criminal underworld. That's the set up. There are other plot dynamics in play and, as usual, Hurwitz ends with a line absolutely propelling you forward to the next book (presumably to publish in 2021-it had better!).
New: Classics Club
Join us for a Discussion
Email email@example.com if you are interested in discussing classics, mostly mystery but not always. We'd like to form a regular monthly book club group.
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 29 2:00 PM
Patrick leads a discussion of the first Haunted Library release, Gaston Leroux's
Phantom of the Opera
(Haunted Library $15.95).
This edition comes with annotations and the discussion questions created for this handsome edition by award-winning anthologist and editor Leslie S. Klinger. You can join in even if you haven't read Phantom
Introduction by Nancy Holder. You may think you know Phantom from the stage version but...
Other titles releasing in 2020 will be The Beetle by Richard Marsh; Vathek by William Beckford; House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson; The Parasite and Other Tales of Terror by Arthur Conan Doyle; and The King in Yellow by Robert Chambers.
The Gothic genre is storming back along with horror so you will be on the cutting edge of literary trends.
A Book Discussion/Signing
Saturday February 29
Buy the book now and join us for a lively discussion on February 29, 10:30 AM, with the author.
We can arrange to do this with FB Live so if you can't attend you can follow along and, if we are clever, ask questions. We recommend this for fans of Tarryn Fisher
Devon Burges is in the throes of a high-risk birth when she learns of her dear friend's murder. The police quickly name another friend as the chief suspect, but Devon doesn't buy it-and despite her difficult recovery, she feels impelled to investigate. Haunted by postpartum problems that manifest as a cruel voice in her head, Devon, caring full time for her baby, exhausted, is barely getting through each day. Yet her instincts are still sharp, and she's bent on proving her friend's innocence.
This well wrought tale of suspense has such a kicker of an ending that instead of the usual book signing format we're asking you to buy the book early and read it so we can discuss the story as a whole.
Those who attend will be offered a free book by another author.
Thursday 7:00 PM
THURSDAY JANUARY 30 7;00 PM
An IQ Novel
My review is in the January Booknews.
Here is Tom Nolan in the Wall Street Journal
This marks the return of Isaiah "IQ" Quintabe-the brilliant young African-American private investigator working in East Long Beach, Calif. IQ, known to have the largest brain in the neighborhood, continues to accept payment for certain cases (such as the safe return of a kidnapped Pomeranian) in goods and services (such as "a hearty stew of vegetables, spices and pork cooked in butter"). But his latest "client" is no good-hearted local citizen; Angus Byrne is a loathsome arms dealer whom IQ calls "a plague on the world."
Byrne wants--demands--IQ to clear his troubled daughter of suspicion in the murder of a goon's partner, who was killed while being fitted for a suit at the daughter's boutique. If IQ doesn't comply, Byrne promises to smash his violinist girlfriend's fingers in career-wrecking fashion.
The job seems impossible: Security footage shows no one else entering or leaving the scene of the crime. The daughter herself is a split personality whose five elusive "alters" bring further suspicion that she herself committed the deed.
Mr. Ide is a remarkable writer, inhabiting the personae and rendering the back stories of a diverse assortment of characters: the brutal Angus Byrne (whose personal history makes his professional behavior understandable if not excusable); his daughter's multiple personalities in their bickering disarray; and IQ's own intuitive but socially inept psyche.
more than earns its triumphant title.
And rounding out the month:
FRIDAY JANUARY 31 7:00 PM
James Sallis and Three Legged Dog play
A Novel of Queen Victoria and a chef
(there's a murder)
Saturday 2:00 PM
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 1 2:00 PM Publication Party
Ignore the February 11 publication date showing in our web store-Rhys will present and sign her latest novel on February 1 at a tea.
And tea it is as our heroine, a young woman of good family forced into servant's work by her alcoholic father, learns basic cooking skills for an exacting employer who exploits her. A street accident kills a young woman who, as she dies, thrusts a letter at Bella Waverly. It confirms employment in the kitchens at Buckingham Palace. Desperate to escape her position, Bella assumes the identity of Helen Barton from Yorkshire and bluffs her way into the Queen's employment. As she is a good cook and learns quickly, another break brings her to Victoria's attention. When the queen, who loves her food and is by now as wide as she is tall, elects to visit the Riviera for a health break, Bella is taken along as part of the royal household. And again, despite blackmail by Helen Barton's scummy brother and a death in the royal household, Bella's life changes again.
This is a terrific book for foodies, royal watchers, cozy fans, and readers of historical fiction-and thus it is our February Cozy Crimes Book of the Month.
Calendar This for February 17
Meg Gardiner &
More on Tess' amazing book set in a huge and possibly haunted house on the coast of Maine where a cookbook writer hopes to both work and heal.... Lots of surprise in
The Shape of Night
As for Meg... and notice how the titles sort of match....
Our February Calendar
It is so packed we don't want you to miss anything
February Discussion Clubs are now included.
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 1 2:00 PM Publication Party
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 4 7:00 PM
presigns and join in by Skype
Our copies come with a photo of Child and a Sanibel Island crowd
Our copies include an exclusive photo of Lincoln on a Florida beach as well as an additional chapter for 2019's
Verses for the Dead
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 6 7:00 PM
Inspector Ian Rutledge
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 8 2:00 PM Mystery Tea
Parada del Sol traffic has to be dodged until noon
signs Thin Ice (St Martins $26.99)
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 9 3:00 PM
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 11 7:00 PM
Double Book Launch
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 13 7:00 PM
Hat Shop Mystery #6
A prize will be awarded for the Best Hat
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 15 2:00 PM
Pancakes Served with the Mystery whipped up by local chef Lee Goldberg as part of the program
Author Lee Goldberg
Lost Hills (Thomas & Mercer $24.95)
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 16 2:00 PM British Tea
Charles Lenox prequel #3
MONDAY FEBRUARY 17 7:00 PM Book Launch
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 18 SciFi
Debut Gothic Ghost thriller (this is really Michael Koryta)
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 19 7:00 PM
previews Savage Son (Atria $28) launched here April 13
The Gray Man
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 21 2:00 PM
MONDAY FEBRUARY 24 7:00 PM
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 25 7:00 PM Book Launch
Cake & Crime - Oh My!
Arcadia Farms caters the cake
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 26 7:00 PM
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 27 7:00 PM
with host Karen Odden
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 28 7:00 PM
James Sallis and Three Legged Dog play
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 29 10:30 AM
A Book Club Signing-Read the Book before you come or risk total spoilers
This is a book for fans of Tarryn Fisher
Those who attend will be offered a free book by another author
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 29 2:00 PM
FEBRUARY DISCUSSION CLUBS
Please buy your copy from The Pen. Anyone welcome but remember you risk spoilers if you don't read the selection in advance.
Coffee & Crime:
Saturday February 810:30 AM
: Saturday February 15 7:00 PM
Croak & Dagger
: Saturday February 22 10:30 AM
: Thursday February 20 7:00 PM
Parking, Drinks & Dining
and a generous offer from Arcadia Farms Cafe
We suggest when you can you come early to The Pen (chairs go down around 5:00 PM or 1:00 PM for afternoon events), reserve your seat(s), and explore our vibrant Old Town Scottsdale neighborhood.
Parking is more difficult sometimes because of the restaurants (editorial comment -- the City of Scottsdale's parking policies suck!).
We've given you locations beyond our parking lot.
Good News: Arcadia Farms Cafe has generously offered us its parking for evening events when needed. You can also park just south of our lot between the alley and Main Street.
One reason we don't have a cafe or bar in The Pen is there isn't enough dedicated parking to allow one.
Enjoy --there are all sorts of food and beverages on offer.
Looking for something new to read each month and aren't sure what to choose? Let us help... And it makes a great gift for Dad!
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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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,