Rachel Howzell Hall and Yasmin Angoe in Conversation

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The Poisoned Pen recently hosted a virtual event with Rachel Howzell Hall and Yasmin Angoe. Hall’s These Toxic Things is The Poisoned Pen’s November Crime Book of the Month. Her Name is Knight by Angoe is not only a debut, but it’s the bookstore’s International Crime Book of the Month. You can find copies of both books in the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Here’s the introduction to Rachel Howzell Hall’s These Toxic Things.

A dead woman’s cherished trinkets become pieces to a terrifying puzzle.

Mickie Lambert creates “digital scrapbooks” for clients, ensuring that precious souvenirs aren’t forgotten or lost. When her latest client, Nadia Denham, a curio shop owner, dies from an apparent suicide, Mickie honors the old woman’s last wish and begins curating her peculiar objets d’art. A music box, a hair clip, a key chain—twelve mementos in all that must have meant so much to Nadia, who collected them on her flea market scavenges across the country.

But these tokens mean a lot to someone else, too. Mickie has been receiving threatening messages to leave Nadia’s past alone.

It’s becoming a mystery Mickie is driven to solve. Who once owned these odd treasures? How did Nadia really come to possess them? Discovering the truth means crossing paths with a long-dormant serial killer and navigating the secrets of a sinister past. One that might, Mickie fears, be inescapably entwined with her own.


Rachel Howzell Hall is the author of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize– and Lefty Award–nominated And Now She’s Gone; and the Anthony Award–, Lefty Award–, and International Thriller Writers Award–nominated They All Fall Down. She also writes the acclaimed Detective Elouise Norton series, including Land of ShadowsSkies of AshTrail of Echoes, and City of Saviors. Rachel is also the coauthor of The Good Sister with James Patterson, which was included in the New York Times bestseller The Family Lawyer. She lives in Los Angeles. You can find her at http://www.rachelhowzell.com and on Twitter @RachelHowzell.


Now, here is the debut, Her Name is Knight.

A smash debut novel from rising star Yasmin Angoe, Her Name Is Knight features an elite assassin heroine on a mission to topple a human trafficking ring and avenge her family.

Stolen from her Ghanaian village as a child, Nena Knight has plenty of motives to kill. Now an elite assassin for a powerful business syndicate called the Tribe, she gets plenty of chances.

But while on assignment in Miami, Nena ends up saving a life, not taking one. She emerges from the experience a changed woman, finally hopeful for a life beyond rage and revenge. Tasked with killing a man she’s come to respect, Nena struggles to reconcile her loyalty to the Tribe with her new purpose.

Meanwhile, she learns a new Tribe council member is the same man who razed her village, murdered her family, and sold her into captivity. Nena can’t resist the temptation of vengeance—and she doesn’t want to. Before she can reclaim her life, she must leverage everything she was and everything she is to take him down and end the cycle of bloodshed for good.


Hailing from Northern Virginia, Yasmin Angoe is a first-generation Ghanaian American who grew up in two cultural worlds. She taught English in middle and high schools for years, served as an instructional coach for virtual teachers, and spent time as a freelance copy editor.

Angoe recently received the Eleanor Taylor Bland Award for emerging writers of color from Sisters of Crime, of which she’s a proud member. When she’s not writing, she’s in South Carolina with her beautiful blended family, trying new recipes and absorbed in an audiobook. Her Name Is Knight is Yasmin’s debut novel.


Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, introduces Rachel Howzell Hall and Yasmin Angoe, along with their books, in the virtual event. Then, Patrick Millikin takes over the discussion. Enjoy!