The Poisoned Pen
Resolve to Read!
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The Poisoned Pen


The Poisoned Pen

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Scottsdale, AZ



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Click on the title to order

Agent AXL Pendergast
For Randy Wayne White fans too
Signed February 4

IQ #4
Signed January 30

Serge Storms tours Key West, cemeteries, and bits of Florida history
due in soon

A hot debut
Our January Fantastic Fiction Book of the Month
available Signed January 19

History of Southern Ohio 1920s that will really surprise you!
Our January Historical Mystery Book of the Month

Deep State
Our January First Mystery Book of the Month
Signed January 16

Signed January 19

All the Ways We Said Goodbye
Signed January 19

Two arsons in Montana
Signed January 23

PI Nick Heller
Signed January 25 2 PM

A Silver Rush Mystery
Inez Stannert in 1870s San Francisco
Signed January 26 2 PM

Gilded Age Mystery
Signed January 26 2 PM

Signed January 28 
Publication Party

Orphan X
Signed January 28
Publication Party

Queen Victoria's royal kitchen in Nice
Signed February 1
Victorian Tea 2 PM

A Novel
Signed UK edition
Due in late January

in stock now

Detroit PI Amos Walker
4 left in stock

Victorian Mystery
Due mid January

Signed UK First
due in early January

A crime writer turns spy in Occupied Paris
I have solved the mystery of the delay and they will be here soon!!

1930s Winchester Cathedral
in stock now

Our December First Mystery Book of the Month
A wonderful and sneaky real estate scam in ski country

January is a month for resolutions.

We're in a new year, a new decade, so why not mark it with your own Reading Resolutions?

Make a list. Keep a diary or notes. We're here to help with our Books of the Month, monthly paperback picks and staff picks that make it easy to resolve to read.

The  Atlantic Monthly has a new book feature. In it it says we should practice " The small rebellion of reading fiction . Be revolutionaries."

New videos for you now include Nick Petrie with Andrew Grant and Brent Ghelfi hosting physicist Paul Davies along with Terryn Fisher, Brad Taylor, Thomas Perry, Dana Stabenow, and Tasha Alexander with Karen Odden. They are funny, thoughtful, smart, and of course spiced with our usual digressions....

Podcasts are now on Google or on iTunes or  on Podbean I hope to add new ones soon.

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.

Much love to our social media team which includes Susan on Twitter and Kathy on Pinterest as well as me on Instagram

And thank you for supporting the authors!

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 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

Here is a link to the brand new January Booknews

It covers books and events from today to February 1

Here is the link to a special New Year's Booknews I recommend
you read first!!

Here are mostly updated Staff Picks for January 
I have chastised the laggards....

January New Books Lists are also updated 

Tickets On Sale
CJ Box
Monday March 2 7 PM
Offsite Event

CJ Box signs Long Range (Putnam $28)
The 20th Joe Pickett

March 2, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

WHERE: 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

Debut Author!!
Chris Hauty
Tonight 7:00 PM
Chris Hauty  signs  Deep State  (Atria $27)

Dana Stabenow will be hanging out, too, in case you missed her on January 11.

Please come and support a new author. He's a screenwriter so those of you interested in the subject can benefit too

This one is for fans of Lee Child's Jack Reacher, Nick Petrie's Peter Ash, Joseph Finder's Nate Heller, Gregg Hurwitz's Orphan X, and Andrew Grant's Paul McGrath.

Except our lead is a woman.

In the New Year's Booknews I announced this debut, our January First Mystery Book of the Month, nailed me with both
 its exceptional narrative voice and its presentation of a female lead who is Reacher-like but on mission (you won't know what it is). She's a terrific series protagonist you will be happy to see return. 

An army boxing champ, she starts out a civilian life in the West Wing in an office the size of a closet among three antagonistic interns who sneer at her as being less privileged. She has hot sex on night with a Secret Service guy and the very next day she takes a report to the Chief of Staff only to find.... And it rolls from there. I pressed my ARC on Dana Stabenow, a tough critic, who agrees Hauty has a winner here.

A refreshing change from the typical male action hero, Hayley is a capable, kick-ass, and sharp woman from unassuming roots. AND this is NOT a political thriller in terms of agenda or party lines.

I ordered extra copies but... don't miss out.

Willig, Williams, White
Join us for Tea with Three
Saturday 2:00 PM
Beatriz Williams/Lauren Willig/Karen  sign
  All the Ways We Said Goodbye  (Morrow $27.99)

You know going in that any novel bridging WWI into WWII and onto the aftermath of 1964 is going to hold tragedy-even if the geographical center of the stories is the fabled Ritz Paris. 

The three Ws (they have fun naming an American law in the book as Willig, Williams, & White) are all experienced at linked stories. 

This one begins in 1914 with Aurelie, a young woman who becomes trapped on the wrong side of the German offensive front with her father, Comte Sigismund de Courcelles. The de Courcelles ancestral estate becomes the invaders HQ where Aurelie is thrown back into the company of handsome officer Max Von Sternburg. 

On to France, 1942, where Daisy Villon, raised by her glamorous American grandmother in a suite at the Ritz, agrees to assist in the Resistance-her grandmother points out that as she is Jewish, so Daisy too is at risk. And she takes wild risks, falling in love. Again, betrayal looms. 

Opening and closing the story is Babs Longford, a proper British widow of 1964 whose husband Kit was the love of her life. Yet she knows that their marriage was haunted by a woman known as La Fleur. An American led investigation of La Fleur takes Babs to the Ritz. 

IMHO Babs commits the greatest betrayal and comes off best, but you will have to decide that for yourself.

NOTE: Williams will also sign  The Wicked Redhead
(Morrow $26.99/$16.99). 

John Charles reviews: In 1924, Ginger Kelly wakes up in tranquil Cocoa Beach, Florida, having fled south to safety in the company of disgraced Prohibition agent Oliver Anson Marshall and her newly-orphaned young sister, Patsy. But paradise is short-lived. Marshall is reinstated to the agency with suspicious haste and put to work patrolling for rumrunners on the high seas, from which he promptly disappears. Gin hurries north to rescue him, only to be trapped in an agonizing moral quandary by Marshall's desperate mother. In 1998, Ella Dommerich has finally settled into her new life in Greenwich Village, inside the same apartment where a certain redheaded flapper lived long ago...
Chad Dundas
Our Crime Collectors Book of the Month
Thursday January 23
7:00 PM
Chad Dundas  signs  The Blaze  (Putnam $26)

I didn't read Dundas' first novel Champion of the World ($16), a Best Book of 2016 by several counts. 

His second is a thriller I'd recommend to fans of T Jeff Parker's Roland Sinclair series. 

It's not coincidental that so many authors signing at The Pen earn Starred Reviews-we work to bring the very best to you. This novel, our January Crime Collectors Book of the Month, has earned 3: 

"Another brilliantly woven story about second chances from Montana native Dundas."-Booklist. And Kirkus says in its, "A wounded veteran and a strong newspaperwoman combine with a well-constructed plot to spin a plausible and engaging tale...This one wins far more on characters and danger than on bloodshed. Keep books like this coming, Chad Dundas."
Yes, Montana is rich territory for crime writers. 

A Writers Workshop
Saturday January 25
4:00 PM

Click on the link or call us at 480 947 2974 or 888 560 9919

Putting the Thrill in Your Thriller: techniques for turning up the tension

Fee: $35 includes copy of House on Fire Limited to 25

Booklist recently proclaimed that New York Times bestselling author Joseph Finder "may well be the best contemporary thriller writer going." Finder also taught writing at Harvard. Learn from this "master of the modern thriller" some of the techniques used by some of the greats of the genre to create scenes of unforgettable tension.
The Peter Lovesey Contest for Unpublished Writers

Soho Press announces a First Novel Contest named for Diamond Dagger/Edgar Winner Peter Lovesey

Information HERE

Eligible authors. For the purpose of this Contest, a "Crime Novel" means a work of fiction of at least 30,000 words that features any of the characteristics outlined in detail in the contest rules. If a winner is selected, he or she will be offered the opportunity to enter into a publication agreement with Soho Press. 

All submissions must be received by 11:59 pm EST on April 1, 2020

What a terrific opportunity. Come to Joe Finder's workshop to polish up your work, then go for it!

A New Afternoon Discussion Club
Wednesday January 29
2:00 PM 
Patrick leads off with the first release from The Haunted Library
We are thinking of a monthly Classics Club

Email if you are interested in discussing classics, mostly mystery but not always

Patrick leads a discussion of the first Haunted Library release, Gaston Leroux's  Phantom of the Opera (Haunted Library $15.95). 

Please read this edition as it comes with annotations and the discussion questions created for this handsome edition by award-winning anthologist and editor Leslie S. Klinger.

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 Few Reviews
The January British Library Crime Classic

Lorac, ECR. Fell Murder (Poisoned Pen $14.99). 

The January British Library Crime Classic is set in Lancashire and will resonate with fans of Peter Robinson's Yorkshire series for policeman Alan Banks. And here is a review from a fan: "This Chief Inspector MacDonald series edition was originally written in 1944. It includes a short story entitled, 'The Live Wire.' Written at the height of her power, it's a fine balance of intrigue, setting and plot; with well established and likable characters. There is a noticeable love for rural English farm life and against this background a dastardly mystery unfolds. The Inspector is called in when local police are stymied by the murder of one of their local estate owners. The list of suspects is long and empath at a minimum. MacDonald uses his experience and expertise, his long-standing community values to find the killer among them. A great addition to this fine collection of British Crime Classics and one not likely forgotten any time soon. Other Golden Age Classics by Lorac : Murder in the Mill Race; Bats in the Belfry: Murder by Matchlight; Fire in the Thatch.

On hand

Perry, Anne.  A Christmas Gathering  (Ballantine $20). 

You may think that with the holidays over it's time to move on. But this is likely the final appearance of Vespasia and her new husband Victor Narraway so you long-time fans of the Pitts should grab this gem. 

Tom Nolan gives it a rave in the WSJ : "A tale of violence and espionage in a remote English country house. Victor Narraway, the former head of the London Special Branch ('the department...that dealt with anarchists, saboteurs, and all purveyors of secret terror') has come to the estate of some old friends with his new wife, Vespasia, for Christmas week. He aims to fulfill one last covert assignment: to receive falsified submarine plans from a fellow secret agent and houseguest, to be passed along to a hostile German government. Vespasia, related to a prominent London policeman, is not without knowledge of the world of crime-and suspects that her husband is hiding his true reasons for choosing this year's holiday venue. Things go badly awry after the midnight rendezvous: The agent from whom Victor takes the secret package is discovered the next morning near death after a cruel attack. So Victor and Vespasia work in tandem after all."

But the real reasons to read this treat are 1. The gorgeous descriptions of Cavendish Hall's gardens and rooms and 2. The deliciously bitchy dialogue -- Lady Vespasia holds her own.

VanderMeer, Jeff. Dead Astronauts (Farrar $27). 

A messianic blue fox who slips through warrens of time and space on a mysterious mission. A homeless woman haunted by a demon who finds the key to all things in a strange journal. A giant leviathan of a fish, centuries old, who hides a secret, remembering a past that may not be its own. Three ragtag rebels waging an endless war for the fate of the world against an all-powerful corporation. A raving madman who wanders the desert lost in the past, haunted by his own creation: an invisible monster whose name he has forgotten and whose purpose remains hidden. Vandermeer presents a City with no name of its own where, in the shadow of the all-powerful Company, lives human and otherwise converge in terrifying and miraculous ways. At stake: the fate of the future, the fate of Earth-all the Earths.

Due in soon
Dorsey, Tim. Naked Came the Florida Man (Harper $29). 

A long-running series has to change up to remain vital and in his 23rd offbeat thriller for Serge A. Storms, a serial killer with his own (warped) moral code, Dorsey does a wizard job. I especially like all the bits of unusual history and the personalities he limns as Storms and his stoner buddy Coleman, always a beat behind, pursue a cemetery tour. We're in hurricane-tossed Key West at the opening pages. Along the way Storms indulges his desire to harm wrongdoers who are beyond the law's reach by targeting a man who encourages animal cruelty and another who rips off impoverished elderly people. In his way He's like Reacher-or like Peter Ash or Nick Heller or Paul McGrath or IQ, all of whom come to visit us in January...crime fiction providing us with contemporary and morally ambiguous knights errant. I especially like the visit to the grave of Mitzi, the dolphin better known as Flipper in the 1960s TV series.

Montgomery, Jess. The Hollows (St Martins $29). 

Rural Ohio in 1926 is much more Appalachian than Midwest as portrayed by Montgomery largely through the eyes of her widowed Bronwyn County Sheriff, Lily Ross, a woman struggling with the loss of her husband, the former sheriff KIA and raising her two children in Kinship while rising to the challenges of a job few think she can manage. Plus she is running for reelection. She has a strong support group in her mother and some of the Kinship women which makes the contrast to the elderly woman who dies falling from the Moonvale Hollow Tunnel to a glancing blow by a B&R Railroad train, and to other women in Kinship, both more poignant and ironic. The identity of the dead woman is a mystery and eventually leads Lily to The Hollows, a notorious local asylum. And to some amazing information. The number of surprises in this remarkable sequel to 2019 First Mystery Book of the Month The Widows ($9.99) is impressive, unexpected, and wow, ties into issues being reprised today without any preaching. I am deeply impressed and thus this is our January Historical Mystery of the Month. Yay!

Reid, Kiley. Such a Fun Age (Putnam $26). 

"Reid's debut sparkles with sharp observations and perfect details-food, d├ęcor, clothes, social media, etc.-and she's a dialogue genius, effortlessly incorporating toddler-ese, witty boyfriend-speak, and African American Vernacular English. For about two-thirds of the book, her evenhandedness with her varied cast of characters is impressive, but there's a point at which any possible empathy for Alix disappears. Not only is she shallow, entitled, unknowingly racist, and a bad mother, but she has not progressed one millimeter since high school, and even then she was worse than we thought... 

Charming, challenging, and so interesting you can hardly put it down."-Kirkus Reviews on our January Fantastic New Fiction Book of the Month, already a bestseller 

Resolve to Read
Sign up for one of our Book of the Month Clubs
We've Changed the Titles of Two to be clearer

January is the last chance to subscribe to a Six Month Subscription to a Poisoned Pen Book of the Month Club.

We will start a new cycle for July-December. You can sign up for a whole year when you click on the link or email Karen.

We have revised our Clubs to fewer categories. And we offer a single subscription price for six months as well as the pay each month option. Please select one and email to subscribe yourself or someone on your list.
The four clubs below offer a Signed hardcover 1st printing each month.  Subscription price: $195 for six months includes shipping
If you belonged to this club you would own IQ , Where the Crawdads Sing, and The Woman in the Window

Jan.: Hauty, Chris.  Deep State

If you belonged to this club you would own The Widows of Malabar Hill, Tangerine , The Golden Hour, and The Last Train to London

January: Jan.: Montgomery, Jess. The Hollows

This club combines the former Discovery, Hardboiled, Surprise Me! and Thriller Clubs.  If you belonged to this club you would own The Terminal List , Forever and a Day , and November Road

January: Dundas, Chad.  The Blaze

If you belonged to this club you would own The Kite Runner, All the Light You Cannot See, Black Leopard, Red Wolf and On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous
January:   Reid, Kiley. Such a Fun Age

The two clubs below offer an unsigned hardcover or occasional paperback each month. 

Subscription price: $175 for six months includes shipping
If you belonged to this club you would own Murder for Christmas, The Silent Patient and Transcription

January 2020  Jan:Steadman, Catherine. Mr Nobody

If you belonged to this club you would own The Mitford Murders, Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake, and The Bodies in the Library

January.: Simon, Clea.  A Spell of Murder

Please note that all the clubs come with discounted shipping. If you are a local customer who picks up books at The Pen we will adjust your subscription price.

Our January Calendar
Chad Dundas signs The Blaze (Putnam $26)
Two acts of arson in Montana
Joseph Finder signs  House on Fire (Dutton $28)
PI Nick Heller of Boston returns
Writers Workshop with Joseph Finder
Putting the Thrill in Your Thriller: techniques for turning up the tension
Fee: $35 includes copy of House on Fire

SUNDAY JANUARY 26 2:00 PM Victorian Tea
Dianne Freeman  signs  A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder (Kensington $26)
The second book in the Countess of Harleigh Mysteries
Ann Parker signs Mortal Music (Poisoned Pen $26.99/$15.99)
Inez Stannert in 1870s San Francisco
Rosemary Simpson  signs  Death Brings a Shadow (Kensington $26)
The fourth book in The Gilded Edge Mysteries
TUESDAY JANUARY 287:00 PM Double Publication Party
Lisa Gardner signs When You See Me (Dutton $27)
DD Warren, Flora Dane, Kimberly Quincy Boston thriller
Gregg Hurwitz signs Into the Fire (St Martins $27.99)
Orphan X
Patrick leads a discussion of the first Haunted Library release, Gaston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera
(Haunted Library $15.95). Please read this edition as it comes with annotations and the discussion questions created for this handsome edition by award-winning anthologist and editor Leslie S. Klinger

Joe Ide signs High Five (Mulholland $27)
An IQ Novel
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 January 11 10:30 AM
Beaton, MC. Death of a Gossip ($8)
SciFi Friday : January 17 7:00 PM
Adeyemi, Tomi. Children of Blood and Bone ($18.99)
Croak & Dagger : Saturday January 18 10:30 AM
Karin Slaughter. Triptych ($9.99)
Hardboiled Crime : Wednesday January 29 7:00 PM
Brackett, Leigh. Stranger at Home ($9.99)

Our February Calendar

It is so packed we don't want you to miss anything
There may be more!
I will add the February Discussion Clubs to this soon

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 1 2:00 PM Publication Party
Rhys Bowen  signs  Above the Bay of Angels  (Lake Union $24.95/$14.95)
Douglas Preston  signs  Crooked River  (Grand Central $29)
Lincoln Child  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 Sanibel Island as well as an additional chapter for 2019's Verses for the Dead
Charles Todd signs A Divided Loyalty (Harper $28.99)
Inspector Ian Rutledge
Parada del Sol traffic has to be dodged until noon
Allison Brennan signs The Third to Die (Mira $26.99)
Christina Dodd signs Strangers She Knows
(Harper $27.99/$16.99)
Paige Shelton signs Thin Ice (St Martins $26.99)
Kevin Hearne signs  A Blight of Blackwings (Del Rey $28.99)
Double Book Launch
Robert Dugoni signs  A Cold Trail (Thomas & Mercer $15.95)
Kate Winkler Dawson signs American Sherlock (Putnam $27)
Jenn McKinlay signs Buried to the Brim (Berkley $7.99)
Hat Shop Mystery #6
A prize will be awarded for the Best Hat
Pancakes Served with the Mystery whipped up by local chef Lee Goldberg as part of the program
Author Lee Goldberg signs Lost Hills (Thomas & Mercer $24.95)
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 16 2:00 PM British Tea
Charles Finch signs The Last Passenger (St Martins $27.99)
Charles Lenox prequel #3
MONDAY FEBRUARY 17 7:00 PM Book Launch
Meg Gardiner signs Dark Corners of the Night (Blackstone $26.99)
Tess Gerritsen signs The Shape of Night  (Ballantine $28)
Scott Carson signs The Chill (Atria $27)
Debut scifi/gothic (this is really Michael Koryta)
Jack Carr previews Savage Son (Atria $28) launched here April 13
Mark Greaney signs One Minute Out (Berkley $28)
The Gray Man
Simone St. James signs The Sun Down Motel (Berkley $26)
Joshua Hood signs Robert Ludlum's the Treadstone (Putnam $27)
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 25 7:00 PM Book Launch
Cake & Crime - Oh My!
Joanne Fluke signs Coconut Layer Cake Murder (Kensington $27)
Arcadia Farms caters the cake
Steve Berry signs The Warsaw Protocol (St Martins $28.99)
Susan Elia MacNeal signs The King's Justice (Bantam $27)
A Book Club Signing-Read the Book before you come or risk total spoilers
This is a book for fans of Tarryn Fisher
Vanessa Lillie signs Little Voices
(Thomas & Mercer $15.99)
Those who attend will be offered a free book by another author
Graham Moore signs The Holdout (Random $28)

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. 
Search for them under Parking

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.
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 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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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,