The Poisoned Pen
Wishing Everyone a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving Week
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
especially for UK books

Nora Kelly
Signed by both Authors
Virtual Book Launch
January 12
Order Early!

Virtual book launch
December 1 6:00 PM
The Butcher's Boy returns

The Art of Violence
Bill Smith & Lydia Chin
Virtual December 2 6 PM

In League with Sherlock Holmes
Signed by King and Klinger
Virtual December 3 

Cold Wind
Alaska Wild #2
Virtual December 4 4 PM

Blind Vigil
PI Rick Cahill
Virtual December 7 6:30 PM

Josie Preston
Our December Cozy Crimes Book of the Month
Virtual December 8

Virtual December 9

A surprise extra 3 Signed UK Firsts just in
The Unsigned US edition is our December British Crime Book of the Month

Atlee Pine, FBI (plus more)
Virtual Book Launch
November 17 6:00 PM

The Oregon Files
Morrison's last full collaboration with the late Clive Cussler
in stock now

Shadow of the Dragon
Our copies come with a letter for you signed by Cameron
in stock now

Jackie's memoir
A terrific gift for Maisie Dobbs fans
The Lincoln Lawyer
in stock now

A ballerina is killed in LA
Our November Crime Book of the Month

7 left in stock
Stephanie Plum
Our copies signed by Janet come with a custom holiday card for you

The Sentinel
Jack Reacher #25
Now Signed by both authors
just 2 left in stock

Our December SciFi/Fantasy Book of the Month
on sale Tuesday

new series virtual launch
in stock now

Awesome Man
Michael Chabon
Super hero for kids
in stock now

stories told through unusual pictures
amazing stuff
a gift for the unorthodox
in stock now 

A wonderful novel of books and bookstores and booksellers and authors and even editors
Our December Fantastic New Fiction Book of the Month
in stock now

Dazzling debut
Our November Fantastic New Fiction Book of the Month
Only 4 left in stock

Not signed but comes with a letter to you signed by Perry with holiday wishes

in stock now

A top gift idea
The Companion to The Lost Words, beautifully illustrated
in stock now

in stock now
Imagine being stalked by a prehistoric arachnid?
true voter suppression and resistance, 1946
8 left in stock now
An epic American Novel
compared to The Grapes of Wrath
in stock now

The Bronte Sisters as sleuths
Signed UK Edition
due in late November

Song for the Dark Times
John Rebus
just 6 left in stock
only 2 unreserved copies
in stock now


While 2020 is beyond challenging on so many fronts, there is much to be thankful for. Let's keep kindness and charity in our hearts not just this week but moving onward.

November is the month to think about people in need. If you can, donate to a charity or charities of your choice in November.

We here at The Pen love to share our virtual programs, podcasts, and newsletters like this with you. But the virtual world is very expensive to operate -- we cannot monetize all that we do through book sales.

If you are a reader who enjoys our free events and publications but doesn't buy books from The Pen, please consider making a donation. You can use PayPal, very easy, or a credit card or send a check.

Recently a lovely man wrote that he reads digitally because of eyesight issues, but he loves our virtual events and wants to support them. He has made a very welcome PayPal donation to our work that we used to buy new speakers. Which made me think we could encourage more of you to do the same. We are not publicly funded though we often act as if we were.

Yesterday an author made a very generous donation that allowed us to, discounted, donate 25 beautiful hardcover books to Scottsdale's Homebound Seniors program for distribution this coming week. So that's a lovely double supportive action.

Reminder: UPS and USPS have announced rate increases for the holidays so we will be forced to up shipping to $5 for the first book from November 28. 

If shopping early is an overwhelming prospect, then consider a Poisoned Pen Gift Card to be redeemed post holidays. Or enroll someone in one of our Book of the Month Clubs, a gift that arrives every month to the door of the lucky recipient.

What fun to get a Mystery Box each month. One focused more closely on a specific taste.

We read all the book club books BEFORE we select them for each month for details. 

And for our Mystery of the Month Club, no specific genre and mostly paperbacks, please email to enroll yourself or someone who enjoys reading.

Thank you for supporting The Pen, an independent bookstore where real people and not algorithms recommend books to you

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....
 Back to Curbside Pickup + phone & internet orders

We note with worry that infection rates are rising and that an influx of travelers is arriving in Arizona

To protect you and our staff we are closing appointment shopping from Saturday November 21 to Monday December 14. 

Thanksgiving may well act as a superspreader. So we are allowing the incubation period to elapse before we reassess the safety of in-store browsing. 

Bummer!! We miss seeing you. Thank you for bearing with us

Curbside Pickup Hours are: 11:00-4:00 M-F, also 6:00-8:00 
W & Thu; and 11:00-6:00 on Saturday. And 1:00-4:00 PM on Sundays.

For curbside pickup please use 480-970-1534. 
The webstore and email operate 24/7
For the best customer service other than curbside pickup please continue to email  
The One Exception
Saturday November 28
Small Business Saturday

We enrolled in this excellent annual program again and will honor it. The store will be open for no more than 6 at a time from 
11:00 AM to 5:00 PM 

We require MASKS and SANITIZER. SOCIAL DISTANCING. And no public restroom.

If you call in an order on November 28 and pick it up same day, or stop by, we will have some special offers for you. Don't you love a surprise?

Beware Scammers in the Facebook Events Comments Section

It's been brought to our attention that scammers have inserted comments with links into some of not just our but many Facebook Live events.

Please DO NOT CLICK on any link you see. They are not safe.
The November BookNotes plus the
Booknews & Staff Picks + Lists

John has produced a tantalizing BOOKNOTES issue for November. 

I love his reviews and encourage you to gobble them up.

Here also is is the link to the NOVEMBER BOOKNEWS
What Time Are Our Events?
None during Thanksgiving week.

Please note that our virtual events are all on MT. 

A 6:00 PM MT event here at The Pen begins at 8:00 PM ET, 7:00 PM CT, and 5:00 PM PT. 

For our British customers, 12:00 PM here is 7:00 PM BT. Add an hour moving east across European time zones.

For our NZ and Australian customers, etc, 4:00 PM here is 10:00 AM the next day for you.
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

Now Running: The Detection Club on its November 17 on sale publication, Howdunit (Harper $27.99), a generously sized Master Class with over 90 contributions by members past and present on writing crime fiction. For aspiring or published authors and for readers as well.

Speaking: Martin Edwards, Elly Griffiths, Aline Templeton, Andrew Taylor

More New Podcasts
New podcasts post frequently. We can see you are  enjoying them by the 50,551 downloads. Lots of conversations here! And with lots of authors! You can see why we would welcome donations to support this free addition to our programming.

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: Minerva Spencer; Lynne Truss; Marc Cameron and Rip Rawlings with Mark Greaney; David Baldacci; Debut author Hally Sutton with Amy Gentry.
A Cozy Treat
Carlene O'Connor with John
Saturday 9:30 AM
Carlene O'Connor discusses Murder at an Irish Christmas (Kensington $26) with John
Our November Cozy Crimes Book of the Month visits the O'Sullivan clan in County Cork where Garda Siobhán O'Sullivan's holiday plans hit a sour note when murder rearranges the Yuletide carols into unexpected eulogies.... 

This long running cozy series is a treat for fans of say Rhys Bowen, not Tana French! And what a nice way to put you in a holiday mood.
James Patterson Virtual Book Launch with
Lee Child
Monday December 7
5:00 PM
A purchase is required to attend

MONDAY DECEMBER 7 5:00 PM Virtual Book Launch
James Patterson in conversation with Lee Child

Patterson discusses two new releases: 

The Last Days of John Lennon (Little Brown $30), true crime, Lennon and his assassin

And Deadly Cross ($29), Alex Cross #28

The purchase of either of the two books gets you a zoom invitation

Ticket holders' books will each come with a letter signed by Patterson for Poisoned Pen customers 

Honoring Mosley

A Few Reviews

Brosh, Allie. Solutions and Other Problems (Gallery $30).

Looking for something unusual for yourself or as a gift? You can't go wrong with this colorfully illustrated book by Brosh, author of the #1 bestseller Hyperbole and a Half. She's a recluse living in Bend, Oregon, nocturnal, curious. Self-educated, and earning praise from the likes of Bill Gates who says: "I love her approach-looking, listening, and describing with the observational skills of a scientist, the creativity of an artist, and the wit of a comedian." Brosh has ideas to present but "you can't just say your ideas, so I did stories with my ideas secretly lurking inside them. I hope it was not too sneaky of me to do this. I promise they are real stories." And she drew 1678 pictures here, not all of them good....

Cornwell, Bernard. War Lord (Collins $45) Just arrived, 10 left

Saxon-born, Viking-raised, and destined to spill blood in 800s-900s England, Uhtred of Bebbanburg stars in Cornwell's long- running "Saxon Tales" series-and the popular Netflix series "The Last Kingdom," based on the books. (Uhtred is named for a historical figure from whose family Cornwell is descended.)This is the 13th and final entry in the series. England is under attack. Chaos reigns. Northumbria, the last kingdom, is threatened by armies from all sides, by land and sea - and only one man stands in their way. Torn between loyalty and sworn oaths, the warrior king Lord Uhtred of Bebbanburg faces his greatest ever battle - and prepares for his ultimate fate....

Hart, Matthew. The Russian Pink (Pegasus $25.95). 

I was wild about Hart's 2001 nonfiction gem called Diamond for its adventurous expeditions, wealth of knowledge, and true fascination for diamonds, where to find them, how to cut them and bring them to market, how to value them, and the trouble as well as joy they cause. Also the curses. So I am delighted that Hart has turned his lifetime love of diamonds into a high concept, pulse-racing thriller involving betrayals, murders, high and low level politics, gamesmanship, even a presidential election. And scenes running across the globe including Namibia, Capetown, Jersey, Washington DC, and more. I think we should end the year on if not a high at least a huge fun note and so this debut is our December First Mystery Book of the Month

Lethem, Jonathan. The Arrest (Ecco $27.99). 

This isn't post-apocalypse. It isn't a dystopia. It isn't a utopia. It's just what happens when much of what we take for granted-cars, guns, computers, and airplanes, for starters-quits working.... Before the Arrest, Sandy Duplessis had a reasonably good life as a screenwriter in L.A. An old college friend and writing partner, the charismatic and malicious Peter Todbaum, had become one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. That didn't hurt. Now, post-Arrest, nothing is what it was. With the world's inhabitants now forced to be locavores-"the Arrest," as it's called, also caused other technologies to cease-Sandy makes his way from Los Angeles to Maine to help deliver food grown by his sister, Maddie. When Peter arrives in town and starts pursuing Maddie, the situation becomes tense. Here is speculative fiction that "crackles and hums with witty dialogue and engaging ideas" and is much admired by Patrick and thus our December SciFi/Fantasy Book of the Month

McDermid, Val. Christmas Is Murder (Sphere $22). 

A gifty hardcover filled with a collection of chilling tales, perfect for dipping into on a cold winter night and for LBGT readers. From an irresponsible baron whose body is discovered beneath a silver birch tree, to an author who is haunted by the spiteful presence of a jealous writing partner, the characters McDermid conjures are enigmatic and dangerous, never above suspicion. Follow Tony Hill and Carol Jordan as they track a deadly killer who is preparing to strike on Christmas Day, and lose yourself in a festive exclusive--a recently unearthed case for a classic detective duo, set as the lights are going out across Europe. This book is just GORGEOUS, a real bonus. And just arrived. The art looks flat here but it's foil and sparkly.


With our magnificent park system under threat by climate and politics, this gorgeous book replete with maps and atlases as well as photographs is, one hopes, not a memory but a celebration as well as encouraging us to responsibly travel and support them. For young readers on up to adults. Seniors, don't forget you can get a National Parks Pass.

Gabaldon, Diana (not really, but it's in the Outlander Universe). Outlander Puzzle (Potter $19.99)

1000 pieces, a treat for you fans to work during the holidays. Diana will not be signing it as each box is shrink wrapped. Besides she's chugging along signing over 4000 copies of Clanlands which project will run on probably to the New Year.

Holmes, Elizabeth. HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style (Holt $35). 

Having examined medieval bodies, turn now to the 21st Century and the styles of Queen Elizabeth, Duchess Kate, plus Meghan and Diana. The thoughts on what their clothes were intended to say, do say, and how their choices represent them are insightful. The copious color photos underline them. For me the real reason to peruse this volume is the way it tracks the life of the Queen from childhood to bride to throne. It's an interesting way to absorb the history. Also true of Diana and her very short life. For Kate and Meghan, their stories are evolving rather than yet historical.

Preparing the gorgeously intricate dishes in celebrated chef Thomas Keller's new cookbook requires time and a certain amount of curiosity. Offering up French American recipes from Keller's iconic Napa Valley outpost, The French Laundry, and its New York City cousin, per se, Keller's latest cookbook details refined courses that might be a challenge for amateur cooks to get right--but they are likely worth the effort. The classics like French onion soup are here, alongside enticing canapés, appetizers, main courses and desserts, with plenty of vegetarian options. Elegant photos, striking in their simplicity, accompany many recipes, while others come with names and descriptions that border on poetic, like "frost-kissed garden cauliflower." Complete with essays by Keller and others, this is as much cookbook as meditation on the art of fine dining today.

"Oak Flat is simultaneously an object of mesmerizing beauty and an urgent book of complete necessity. Lauren Redniss tells the tale of the struggle to preserve a site sacred to the Apache people from a copper mining project that would destroy it. Her vibrant illustrations and careful curation of competing voices convey the high stakes while honoring the dignity of the people on both sides, and the dignity of the natural world. This book is an astonishing achievement." It truly is, and amazingly visual for a book.

Snider, Grant. I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf (Abrams Comic Arts $16.99). 

This colorful hardcover is an ace gift for the readers on your list. The cartoons are first rate and funny as well as thoughtful, and embrace all manner of things from being stuck in a book to following plot lines for Vonnegut to reader's bloc to writers-their styles, routines, etc. I absolutely love what Snider has put together. A joy for any and every reader.

I am reminded somewhat of The New Yorker... 

Some Fun Stuff

For some wordsmithing, check this fabulous video about competitive Scrabble! You can up your game.

Enjoy this wonderful review of Jacqueline Winspear's memoir, This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing (Soho $27.95) which Jackie signed for us. A fabulous gift for fans of Maisie Dobbs but for anyone interested in British war and post-war life and history.

Here is an excellent roundup of political and espionage thrillers that may spark some gift ideas for you. 

It leads off with one of our 2020 First Mystery Books of the Month: Chris Hauty's Deep State ($9.99)

Chris returns to The Pen (virtually) on January 7 with the wonderful Nick Petrie to sign the sequel: Savage Road (Atria $27)

With a  new film version of Rebecca to watch, this is a very good review of facts and such pertaining to the book which if you have never read I heartily recommend:

Since it was published in 1938, Rebecca has never gone out of print selling 2.8 million copies between 1938 and 1965. Over time, the novel has transformed from bestseller to cultural classic, with many stage and screen adaptations, including an Oscar- winning film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940, and a 1993 book sequel by Susan Hill titled Mrs de Winter. In 2017, English bibliophiles voted Rebecca their favorite book of the past 225 years

Initially marketed as a romance novel with Rebecca as the villainous, menacing wife, feminist interpretations of du Maurier's novel now see it as a critique of gender power dynamics and a sexist society's fear of powerful women. Some feminist critics suggest du Maurier intended for Maxim de Winter to be the real villain-the controlling husband who not only murders Rebecca when she refuses to play the obedient wife, but also oppresses and alienates the second Mrs de Winter.

Feeling like escape? Here's one list of 100 Best Fantasy Books
and their timeless power including such gems as Ozma of Oz, Mary Poppins, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Alice plus The Return of the King, A Wizard of Earthsea, and The Last Unicorn then moving forward towards current gems.

Plus The 2020 World Fantasy Awards were announced during the virtual World Fantasy Convention, held October 29-November 1

And finally, I like this from Jorge Luis Borges

In one of several essays on detective fiction, Borges observes that just as Oscar Wilde pointed out that the various rule-bound forms of poetry "prevent literature from being at the mercy of genius," the rules of crime fiction impose certain obligations on its writers. "Whether mediocre or awful," he writes, "the detective story is never without a beginning, a plot and a denouement. The literature of our times is exhausted by interjections and opinions... the detective story represents order and the obligation to invent"....

Thus detective fiction is always under pressure to deliver something to its readers...besides entertainment.
Our November/December
Check back for updates
SciFi Friday discusses Tasmyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth ($17.99)
Croak & Dagger discuss Anthony Horowitz's The Magpie Murders ($16.99) 

Carlene O'Connor discusses Murder at an Irish Christmas (Kensington $26)
Swedish author Lars Kepler discusses Lazarus with Robert Anglen!
(Knopf $28.95)

TUESDAY DECEMBER 1 6:00 PM Virtual Book Launch
Thomas Perry discusses Eddie's Boy (Grove/Mysterious $26)
Michael Shaeffer aka The Butcher's Boy is back
Signed books available
Caz Frear in conversation with Patrick
Frear discusses Shed No Tears (Harper $26.99)
London cop Cat Kinsella
Signed bookplates
SJ Rozan discusses The Art of Violence (Pegasus $25.95)
PIs Lydia Chin/Bill Smith
Signed books available

Sherlock lives! A conversation with Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger
As editors they discuss their new Holmes anthology 
In League with Sherlock Holmes (Pegasus $25.95), stories from multiple authors inspired by the Holmes canon: Martin Edwards, Tess Gerritsen, Joe R. Lansdale, etc.
Books signed by both available

Jenn McKinlay hosts Kate Carlisle and Paige Shelton
Carlisle discusses Premeditated Mortar (Berkley $7.99)
A Fixer Upper Mystery
Shelton discusses Cold Wind (St Martins $26.99)
An Alaskan thriller- Signed copies available for Shelton, can be personalized
Kensington Cozy Holiday Party
Nancy Coco, Have Yourself a Fudgy Little Christmas (Kensington $8.99)
Maya Corrigan, Gingerdead Man (Kensington $8.99)
Maddie Day, Candy Slain Murder (Kensington $8.99)
Liz Ireland, Mrs. Claus and the Santaland Slayings (Kensington $15.95)
Heather Redmond, A Christmas Carol Murder (Kensington $26)

James Patterson in conversation with Lee Child
Patterson discusses two new releases: The Last Days of John Lennon (Little Brown $30), true crime, Lennon and his assassin; Deadly Cross ($29), Alex Cross #28
This is a TICKETED Event. The purchase of either of the two books gets you an invitation
Ticket holders' books will each come with a letter signed by Patterson for Poisoned Pen customers
Matt Coyle discusses Blind Vigil (Oceanview $26.99) with Patrick
PI Rick Cahill
Signed books available

TUESDAY DECEMBER 8 Virtual Book Launch
Jane Cleland discusses Hidden Treasure (Minotaur $26.99)
Josie Prescott Antique Mysteries... lucky #13
Signed books available
Our December Cozy Crimes Book of the Month

Marty Wingate in conversation with Connie Berry
Berry discusses A Legacy of Murder
(Crooked Lane $26.99)
An English village Christmas Mystery
Marty Wingate discusses Murder Is a Must (Berkley $26)
A First Edition Library Mystery (British)
Signed books available for Wingate

K'Wan discusses Black Lotus 2: The Vow (Akashic $14.95 ) and related work with Patrick
Charles Todd discusses A Hanging at Dawn (Harper $11.99), a story of Bess Crawford, her family, and young soldier Simon Brandon in India.

The Jungle Reds Christmas Cocktails Party
Rhys Bowen, Lucy Burdette, Deborah Crombie, Hallie Ephron, Jenn McKinlay, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Julia Spencer-Fleming
Pour your own favorite drink and join us for a lively chat

MONDAY DECEMBER 14 5:00 PM Virtual Event
Kristen Ashley discusses Dream Chaser (Grand Central $7.99)
Dream Team #2
SciFi Friday discusses HG Parry's The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep ($16.99)
Croak & Dagger Christmas party
The club discusses Ellie Alexander's A Cup of Holiday Fear ($7.99)

Our November Books of the Month
It's not too late to join one or more clubs--or to give a club membership or more as a holiday gift to start in December or January.

Please email for details and to sign up.

The Crime Book of the Month One Signed hardcover First per month
Fleishman, Jeffrey.  Last Dance
British Crime Book of the Month One unsigned hardcover or paperback per month
Macmillan, Gilly. To Tell You the Truth
Cozy Crimes Book of the Month One unsigned hardcover or paperback per month
O'Connor, Carlene. Murder at an Irish Christmas
Fantastic New Fiction Book of the Month One Signed hardcover First per month
Lemming, Asha. Fifty Words for Rain
First Mystery Book of the Month Club One Signed hardcover First per month
Selfon, Brian.The Nightworkers (signed copies sold out)
Historical Fiction Book of the Month One Signed hardcover First per month
March, Nev. Murder in Old Bombay Signed sold out
International Crime Book of the Month One Unsigned hardcover or paperback per month
Seeck, Max. The Witch Hunter
SciFi/Fantasy Book of the Month One hardcover or paperback per month signed when possible.

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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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,