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The Poisoned Pen


The Poisoned Pen

4014 N Goldwater Blvd #101

Scottsdale, AZ



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Click on the title to order

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

Kate Shugak/Alaska
Sold out and reordered for Friday availability

Close to Home
Paul McGrath
Signed January 14

Peter Ash in Iceland
Signed January 14

Fascinating physics
Signed January 15

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

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
Vicorian Tea 2 PM

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

Hello Monday

Last Enews I asked, Why shop at The Pen?
As I wrote last week, one reason to shop at The Pen is "curation," the expertise and experience that enables booksellers to compete against the algorithms Amazon uses to recommend books. 

Another is to feel that the store is a community gathering place. physically or as part of our on-line community.
A third is we favor books filled with stories, with action, adventure, history and events--in short, the power of storytelling.

This list of Anticipated 2020 Books put forth by Millions is for me a tough one... there are few books I would choose to read. I worry that taste makers are pushing books that many of will think you ought to read and not enjoy, and then be put off reading.

Good and bad branches grow from a reading tree

You will judge your own tastes and see if they match ours. And please remember:  you can order any book at all from us!!

Speaking of the power of storytelling, what a week we just had, and weekend. Hundreds of fans turned out for Tarryn Fisher, Brad Taylor, Debra Goldstein, Thomas Perry, Dana Stabenow, Tasha Alexander and Karen Odden. We oversold Dana's book, 
No Fixed Line  (House of Zeus $29.95), and are rushing in dozens more copies of to catch her before she flies back to Alaska end of the week.

Dana giving away the Alaska  State Fossil--a wooly Mammoth; Tom Perry at his after party for A Small Town (Grove $26) on January 9.

New videos for you include 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.
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 New Year's Booknews

Here is the link to a special New Year's Booknews 

The rest of the January Booknews will post by Friday, perhaps Thursday if I quit getting distracted....

January New Books Lists are also updated for now

As are five of our Books of the Month selections for January

And if you were rushed during the holidays, enjoy the December MidMonth Booknotes 

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

Mystery of the Month Club
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 you're looking for signed hardcover books or paperbacks, and we'll take it from there! For more information, drop Patrick King a line at . We can't offer a single subscription price because each customer's mystery of the month varies. 

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: To Be Announced

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.

Andrew Grant
Nick Petrie
Double the Thrills
Tuesday 7:00 PM

Andrew Grant  signs   (Ballantine $28)

For fans of Thomas Perry, T Jefferson Parker, and...Nick Petrie  (and possibly the author's brother's guy, Jack Reacher)

Paul McGrath, a former US intelligence agent now working out his reentry to civilian life and camping out in his recently deceased father's Hell's Kitchen brownstone with Robson, a fellow MI buddy, has adopted the perfect cover for a mission: janitor at the New York County Courthouse. The repetitive tasks are soothing, the cloak of invisibility impenetrable, and the pool of people needing help endless. 

Having disposed of one problem by taking it to the brink (of the Albany Egg where he can toss the scumbag off the roof), McGrath is hunting a file that went missing in the courthouse, a file on one Andrew Pardew, the man who defrauded and very likely murdered Paul's investor father. While looking for the file he comes across a man being defrauded by another venture capitalist. And if this is not enough, he learns of the death of his family's longtime housekeeper and is faced with unfinished, and dangerous business, from the past. 

It's a complicated story with a real surprise in store for you. McGrath is an example of the lone wolf agency so in play at the moment. Meet him first in Invisible ($9.99) 

Nick Petrie  signs 
The Wild One
 (Putnam $26)
Peter Ash tracks a killer in Iceland

Our copies include an essay by Petrie on why Iceland? Which is the superbly realized landscape for Peter Ash's 5th high action involvement in someone else's disaster

It's also a place where, to reach it, Ash first has to fight (OK, drug himself) into beating his PTSD-induced claustrophobia and board a plane, and then given the harsh conditions and brutal encounters he faces, battle the PTSD even harder. It has surged because, Ash feels, he can't figure out what to do in a civilian life without a mission (see Andrew Grant's Paul McGrath above), so in its way this is a coming of age, or to grips, novel. Reacher had it easier.

The instigator of all this is a plea from a grieving grandmother to find her eight-year-old grandson who, rumor has it, accompanied his father, the sole suspect in the murder of his mother, back to his native Iceland. Money no object. Of course none of this is as it seems as is clear when a flunky of the US Embassy meets Peter at the airport and tries to deport him immediately.... The conditions are harsh although, Peter points out, no challenge to a man from Wisconsin. 

You will come to love the missing man and boy's Icelandic relatives, "these Goddamned Vikings." I add there's an Irishman named after the poet Seamus Heaney.

If you have not read Petrie order the 4 earlier Peter Ash to read first. Burning Bright has one of the best opening scenes ever.
Profesor Paul Davies
Wednesday 7:00 PM

Professor Paul Davies  signs The Demon in the Machine (Allen $27.50)

Winner of the 2019 Physics World Book of the Year Award

Davies journeys across an astounding landscape of cutting-edge science. Weaving together cancer and consciousness, two-headed worms and bird navigation, he reveals how biological organisms garner and process information to conjure order out of chaos, opening a window onto the secret of life itself. What is life? For generations, scientists have struggled to make sense of this fundamental question, for life really does look like magic: even a humble bacterium accomplishes things so dazzling that no human engineer can match it. Huge advances in molecular biology over the past few decades have served only to deepen the mystery. 

World-renowned physicist and science communicator Paul Davies of ASU searches for answers in a field so new and fast-moving that it lacks a name; it is a domain where biology, computing, logic, chemistry, quantum physics, and nanotechnology intersect. At the heart of these diverse fields, Davies explains, is the concept of information: a quantity which has the power to unify biology with physics, transform technology and medicine, and force us to fundamentally reconsider what it means to be alive-even illuminating the age-old question of whether we are alone in the universe.
Debut Author!!
Chris Hauty
Thursday 7:00 PM
Chris Hauty  signs  Deep State  (Atria $27)

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

I read debut fiction for voice, that marriage between the art and craft of storytelling, "the waltz of the heart and the mind." We all hear voice differently and may disagree on whether one sings out to us like the fabled Lorelei. Anyway, Hauty's sings to me despite some implausible scenes in the plot (he's a screenwriter which accounts for them) and thus Deep State is our January First Mystery Book of the Month. I'm also pleased that the hero of this sophisticated thriller is ex-military-and a woman. With more missions to run,

Army veteran Hayley Chill, ace at relentlessly driving forward on any mission-she's a boxer-is plucked from the White House intern pool to work for Peter Hall, the White House chief of staff. Hayley is in the right place at the right time one winter evening to help Secret Service agent Scott Billings take down two intruders headed for the White House. After drinks at a D.C. bar, the two spend the night at Scott's place in suburban Virginia. In the morning, Hayley goes to Hall's Washington home, where she finds him dead, apparently of natural causes. A boot print in the melting snow outside the house suggests foul play to Hayley, who eventually uncovers a conspiracy to assassinate the U.S. president, populist war hero Richard Monroe. 

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.

ASU's Piper Center
Marlon James
Friday ASU Tempe 7 PM

Reclaiming the Fantasy Novel with Marlon James 

The Man Booker prize-winner and author of our February 2019 Fantastic First Fiction Book of the Month 

visits Arizona State University for a conversation on global medievalism and afrofuturism on Friday, January 17 in Old Main at 7:00 p.m. 

Presented with the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Open to the public and free. 

The Three Ws
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)

Our John Charles writes

Three different protagonists - a WWI French heiress, a WWII Resistance fighter, and a 1960s widow - are connected through Paris' famous Ritz Hotel in the latest marvelously mesmerizing collaboration from the trio of authors known as the Team W Writers (Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White. 

The authors handle their latest novel with perfect aplomb, deftly entwining the different story lines into one evocative, elegantly written, and endlessly entertaining mix of history, intrigue, danger, and romance.

I add this book is about betrayals and you will have to decide which is the worst. My vote is in the Happy New Year Booknews writeup.

New Year Paperback Picks
Reviews are all in the New Year Booknews

Berry, Steve. The Malta Exchange
Box, CJ. Wolf Pack
Flower, Amanda. Murders and Metaphors
Fox, Candice. Crimson Lake
Hawley, Noah. Before the Fall
Irving, Nicholas/AJ Tata. Reaper: Threat Zero
Montgomery, Jess. The Widows
Robb, JD. Vendetta in Death
Slaughter, Karin. Pieces of Her
Taylor, Brad. Daughter of War
Airth, Rennie. The Decent Inn of Death
Barron, Stephanie. That Churchill Woman
B urke, James Lee. The New Iberia Blues
Choo, Yangsze. The Night Tiger
Finch, Charles. The Vanishing Man
Gentill, Sulari. Give the Devil His Due
Hammer, Chris. Scrublands
Harper, Jane. The Lost Man
Rosett, Sara. Murder in Black Tie
Simon, Clea. A Spell of Murder
Stanley, Michael. Facets of Death

Our January Calendar

Andrew Grant signs Too Close to Home (Ballantine $28)
Paul McGrath, courthouse janitor
Nick Petrie signs The Wild One (Putnam $26)
Peter Ash tracks a killer in Iceland
Our copies include an essay by Petrie on why Iceland
Professor Paul Davies signs The Demon in the Machine (Allen $27.50)
Winner of the 2019 Physics World Book of the Year Award

Chris Hauty signs Deep State (Atria $27)
Debut thriller
Beatriz Williams/Lauren Willig/Karen  
  All the Ways We Said Goodbye (Morrow $27.99)
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,