The Poisoned Pen
Saluting More Holidays
A Big Finish to January
Table of Contents

The Poisoned Pen


The Poisoned Pen

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Scottsdale, AZ



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

LA psychologist Alex Delaware
due in early February

Our January Crime Collectors Book of the Month
Signed tonight

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

IQ #4
Signed January 30

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

Inspector Ian Rutledge
Signed February 6

Sequel to A Plague of Giants
Signed February 9 3 pm

Seattle Homicide cop 
Tracy Crosswhite
Signed February 11

Real Forensics
Signed February 11

A Novel
Signed UK edition
Due in late January

A hot debut
Our January Fantastic Fiction Book of the Month

in stock now

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


Our best to everyone who celebrated Martin Luther King Day and to those set for Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat. And our prayers for everyone to stay healthy in the face of the new virus.

I've been noting reasons to shop with us here at The Pen. This quote from the new president of the American Booksellers Association is right on point:

"My new seatmate sat down next to me and we struck up a conversation and he asked me what I did for work, I said I'm a leader in a medium that changes the world every day.... I talked about the work we all do.... I told him that's my new job, to help ensure that the people, all of you carrying out the quiet revolutionary act to make the world better every day through books, bookselling and bookstores, continue to survive and thrive.""

Here at The Pen it was a super long weekend, as shown below

And we look forward next week to Tuesday when Lisa Gardner and Gregg Hurwitz debut their new thrillers here together; Joe Ide  joins us on January 30 with a new IQ; and Rhys Bowen debuts her latest at tea on February 1.

New videos for you now include debut thriller writer Chris Hauty, author of our January First Mystery Book of the Month,  Deep State (Atria $27)

 And the Willig/Williams/White delight
All the Ways We Said Goodbye (Morrow $27.99) set in Paris at the iconic Ritz 1914-63. Here we are having lunch with Rhys Bowen who debuts her novel of Queen Victoria and a young chef who accompanies the queen to the Riviera on February 1 2 PM at The Pen

Podcasts are now on Google or on iTunes or  on Podbean 
Enjoy two with Dana Stabenow, one on her mysteries in Alaska, one on her PI series set in Cleopatra's Egypt

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 and NEW
The January BookNotes

Here is the link to the MidMonth Booknotes

John has cast a wide net in it, including some upcoming events and books to prep you for Valentine's Day

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 all the   Staff Picks for January 

January New Books Lists are also updated 

The 2020 Edgar Plus the Mary Higgins Clark and Sue Grafton Awards Nominees

Congratulations to all the authors!

It's a very long list timed to announced on Edgar Allan Poe's birthday, so please Click HERE to read it

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

Chad Dundas
Our Crime Collectors Book of the Month
Tonight  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. 

And here's a full Starred Review for The Blaze: "Army veteran Matthew Rose, the hero of this exceptional thriller from Dundas, returns to his home town of Missoula, Montana, to settle the affairs of his estranged father, who recently committed suicide. Due to a brain injury Matthew suffered while stationed in Iraq, he has forgotten much of his childhood, including the falling out with his father, a poet and former community leader, and the breakup with his high school sweetheart, Georgie Porter, now a reporter who picks him up at the airport. Through Georgie, Matthew learns that he went from being a golden boy in academics and sports to being a withdrawn, unambitious teenager and a risk taker-a quality that he carried through to his military tour. Witnessing a house fire in which a college student is killed triggers Matthew's memory of another fire that happened 15 years earlier.... Dundas' insightful look at a former soldier's attempts to reenter civilian life elevates this poignant, action-packed story. The plot soars with each believable twist and realistic characters worth rooting for." 

Joseph Finder
Saturday 2:00 PM
Joseph Finder  signs  House on Fire  (Dutton $28)

We have nifty match boxes to give out to purchasers of the book

Nick Heller, a kind of private eye/fixer, returns. Here's a Starred Review that sums up my take: 

"Nick Heller takes on big Pharma in Thriller Award-winner Finder's excellent fourth novel featuring the Boston PI. Sean Lenehan, who saved Heller's life when they were in Afghanistan as members of a Special Forces team, has died from an overdose of the painkiller Oxydone. At Lenehan's funeral, Heller is approached by Sukie Kimball, daughter of Conrad Kimball, the head of Kimball Pharma, which produces Oxydone. She explains that she attends the funerals of many of those who have died as a result of her family's product. Sukie hires Heller to find and steal the smoking gun that will bankrupt Kimball Pharma and send Conrad to prison-a study that demonstrated Oxydone's addictive nature suppressed before the drug was put on the market. Heller agrees. 

The stakes rise when he goes undercover as Sukie's boyfriend at Conrad's Katonah, N.Y., home, where a copy of the study might be hidden, and ends up investigating a murder. Fans of timely, thoughtful page-turners will be richly rewarded." 

Note: this is not a preachy book on opioids, it's a story fueled by Finder's tune-in to real issues.

Joe's Writers Workshop
Saturday January 25
4:00 PM
You can pay at the door

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.
Dianne Freeman hosts
Ann Parker
Rosemary Simpson
Sunday 2:00 PM

SUNDAY JANUARY 26 2:00 PM Victorian Tea
Ann Parker  signs  Mortal Music  (Poisoned Pen $26.99/$15.99)

  "Set in 1881, Parker's exuberant sixth Silver Rush mystery A Dying Note ( $15.99) brims with fascinating period details, flamboyant characters, and surprising plot twists...Parker leaves the reader longing to see what Inez will get up to next." -PW. And here in Mortal Music is the answer. 

By 1881 San Francisco was transforming into the "Paris of the West." Robber barons have put up mansions on Nob Hill. The elegant Palace Hotel welcomes wealthy guests. Society is eager to patronize the arts, music, and the opera. The city is expanding outward while rough neighborhoods like the Barbary Coast still flourish. And San Francisco is a magnet for immigrants of all ranks and stripes. A diva, Theia Carrington Drake, has returned to the city for several high-profile holiday concerts. They may be her swan song for her husband and manager Graham Drake, newly-minted publisher of the San Francisco Times, is politically ambitious and desires his wife to become a suitable hostess.            

But first, her concerts. And the destruction of her dress. And the murder. Inez, using her capital to fund businesses run by women, mothering an orphan, has agreed to be Theia's accompanist and is sucked into the drama and the investigation....

Rosemary Simpson  signs  Death Brings a Shadow  (Kensington $26)

Partners in detection Prudence MacKenzie and ex-Pinkerton Geoffrey Hunter's latest case takes them from New York City to Bradford Island, off the coast of Georgia, where Prudence's friend Eleanor Dickson is to be married. However, when Eleanor is found drowned, Prudence and Geoffrey switch gears from wedding guests to professional investigators in order to find out who murdered the heiress. "Simpson neatly exploits the gothic possibilities of her isolated setting and delivers a nuanced look at an America struggling to adjust to transformative change."-Kirkus Reviews on the 4th in a Gilded Age series we enjoy.

And host 
Dianne Freeman  signs  A Lady's Guide to Gossip and Murder (Kensington $26)

The second book in the Countess of Harleigh Mysteries

Closing Out January

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. See below for more info.

Hardboiled Crime Discussion Club
Brackett, Leigh.  Stranger at Home  ($9.99)

Joe Ide signs High Five (Mulholland $27)
An IQ Novel
James Sallis and Three Legged Dog play

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.

Calendar This for February 17
Meg Gardiner & 
Tess Gerritsen 

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  (Ballantine $28)

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
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 a Florida beach 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)
with host Karen Odden

James Sallis and Three Legged Dog play
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)

A Few New Arrivals

Furst. Allan. Under Occupation (Random House $27)  Finally!

"Returning to one of his favorite subjects, Alan Furst examines life  in Nazi-occupied Paris through a quasi-doppelgänger: Paul Ricard, an accomplished writer of spy fiction. Facing writer's block, Ricard is presented with an unusual request from a Polish friend to get involved in the Resistance. Together, they manage to make contact with Polish slave laborers (who are actually engineers) in Germany to provide the Resistance - and eventually the English - with technical details and specimens of detonators and torpedoes. In 1942, with Paris gripped by war privations and the terror of the German SS, life was dark, difficult, and exhilarating, and Ricard takes to his assignments as if he had trained for them. Furst is the best writer of espionage fiction today."

Cummins, Jeanine. American Dirt (Flatiron $27.99). 

"A literary thriller chronicling the migration of a mother and her young son. Under threat, Lydia and Luca leave their middle-class life in Acapulco and begin a traumatic journey to the border, evading cartels, thieves, corrupt police, and others forced into malevolent behavior by extreme violence and poverty. For readers who enjoyed The Other Americans (Laila Lalami) and And the Mountains Echoed (Khaled Hosseini). " I strive to write page-turners because I love to read them, and it's been a long time since I turned pages as fast as I did with American Dirt. Its plot is tight, smart, and unpredictable. Its message is important and timely, but not political. Its characters are violent, compassionate, sadistic, fragile, and heroic. It is rich in authenticity. Its journey is a testament to the power of fear and hope and belief that there are more good people than bad." -John Grisham, endorsed by Stephen King. 

Signed for us on February 21 and our February Fantastic New Fiction Pick. There is controversy winging about as to whether Cummins is the one to tell this story, she not being Mexican nor a migrant, which is part of a whole thing about who can tell stories, heightened by this book being an Oprah and a Barnes & Noble Pick. We have a limited supply of first prints so secure yours while you can and we will hold it for signing on February 21.

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!

Rowland, Laura. The Woman in the Veil (Crooked Lane $28). 

Sarah Bain, a London newspaper crime scene photographer, is assigned to take pictures of the corpse of a naked woman with a mutilated face. But as she prepares to take the photo, Sarah realizes the woman is breathing. Sarah's boss, Sir Gerald Mariner, thinks "Sleeping Beauty" would make a great story, and fortunately Sarah's fiancĂ©, DS Thomas Barrett, is on the case. Many claim to know Sleeping Beauty's identity, but Barrett quickly narrows the possibilities to three: artist August Legrand claims that she's his wife; Frances Oliphant insists the woman is her stepsister; 10-year-old Venetia Napier is sure the woman is her long-missing mother, Maude. When Sleeping Beauty finally awakes, she remembers...and Sarah learns that not all stories have a happy ending when one of the claimants is murdered. Is Sleeping Beauty really who she claimed to be? 


Ide, Joe. Wrecked ($16.99). "Ide opens the third book in his blazing IQ series, with the novelist's equivalent of a stun gun... [IQ is] an appealing central character, propped up by a cast of crooks Elmore Leonard would envy... Ide is still the hottest of recently-emerged crime writers. He has populated Southern California with wildly entertaining characters, from those hinted at offstage to the motormouths whose priceless talk fills his pages."-Janet Maslin, New York Times. "Joe Ide is one of the hottest mystery novelists at work... the wonder of love, the cruelty of war, the black world he knows well, the music he loves-all the beauty and cruelty and craziness he filed away in his mind before he began writing these novels. With Wrecked, Ide confirms that he's among the most original new voices in today's crime fiction."-Patrick Anderson, Washington Post

Parker, Ann. A Dying Note ($15.99). Winner, Best of the West 2019, True West Magazine

It's autumn of 1881, and Inez Stannert, still the co-owner of Leadville, Colorado's Silver Queen saloon, is settled in San Francisco with her young ward, Antonia Gizzi. Inez has turned her business talents to managing a music store, hoping to eventually become an equal partner in the enterprise with the store's owner, a celebrated local violinist. Inez's carefully constructed life for herself and Antonia threatens to tumble about her ears when the badly beaten body of a young musician washes up on the filthy banks of San Francisco's Mission Creek canal. Inez and Antonia become entangled in the mystery of his death when the musician turns out to have ties to Leadville, ties that threaten to expose Inez's notorious past. And they aren't the only ones searching for answers. 

Fogg, BJ. Tiny Habits (Houghton $28). 

Based on twenty years of research and Fogg's experience coaching more than 40,000 people, Tiny Habits cracks the code of dhabit formation. Willpower is fickle and finite, and exactly the wrong way to create habits. You transform your life by starting small and being flexible. With breakthrough discoveries in every chapter, you'll learn the simplest proven ways to transform your life. Fogg shows you how to feel good about your successes instead of bad about your failures. Whether you want to lose weight, de-stress, sleep better, or be more productive each day, Tiny Habits is coaching you to change.

Quartey, Kwei. The Missing American (Soho $25.95) launches an evocative new series starring Emma Djan, a young cop-turned-private eye in Accra, Ghana.  (Quartey, a physician in California, is a Ghanaian native.) 

She's in search of a widowed American who has vanished after being lured to Ghana by an online scam artist. Meanwhile, Djan also handles the (seemingly unrelated) assassination of an anti-corruption presidential candidate. "The adventures of a tenacious African female sleuth will likely ring bells for fans of Alexander McCall Smith's best-selling Mma. Precious Ramotswe mysteries. The Missing American 's unflinching portrayal of Ghanaian criminals, their fetish priest handlers and corruption at the highest levels makes this intriguing debut a more bracing antidote to its cozier cousin."- LA Times Book Review
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,