Everybody Knows…

Everybody Knows that Jordan Harper’s book by that title is the Hot Book of the Week at The Poisoned Pen. And, why wouldn’t it be? Patrick Millikin from the bookstore recently raved about it for “Ask a Bookseller” on MPRNews. http://bit.ly/3R5OemJ And, Harper will be appearing at the bookstore on Monday, January 30 at 7 PM. You can order signed copies through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/3XVQGPe

Here’s the summary of Everybody Knows.

A fearless black-bag publicist exposes the belly of the L.A. beast in “one of the best LA noir novels I’ve ever read” (Attica Locke) from Edgar Award-winning author Jordan Harper.
Welcome to Mae Pruett’s Los Angeles, where “Nobody talks. But everybody whispers.” As a “black-bag” publicist tasked not with letting the good news out but keeping the bad news in, Mae works for one of LA’s most powerful and sought-after crisis PR firms, at the center of a sprawling web of lawyers, PR flaks, and private security firms she calls “The Beast.” They protect the rich and powerful and depraved by any means necessary. 

After her boss is gunned down in front of the Beverly Hills Hotel in a random attack, Mae takes it upon herself to investigate and runs headfirst into The Beast’s lawless machinations and the twisted systems it exists to perpetuate. It takes her on a roving neon joyride through a Los Angeles full of influencers pumped full of pills and fillers; sprawling mansions footsteps away from sprawling homeless encampments; crooked cops and mysterious wrecking crews in the middle of the night.

Edgar Award-winner Jordan Harper’s EVERYBODY KNOWS is addicting and alarming, a “juggernaut of a novel” and “an absolute tour de force.” It is what the crime novel can achieve in the modern age: portray the human lives at the center of vast American landscapes, and make us thrill at their attempts to face impossible odds.

Recommended by Wall Street Journal • Washington Post  Lit Hub• LA Times CrimeReads• Alta Online • Kirkus Reviews• Publishers Weekly• NBC/TODAY and many more!

• An ABA January 2023 Indie Next List Pick 

“The book everybody’s been waiting for” —Michael Connelly
“An absolute tour de force”—S. A. Cosby
“The best mystery novel I’ve read in years” —James Patterson

Jordan Harper is the Edgar-Award winning author of She Rides Shotgun and Love and Other Wounds. Born and educated in Missouri, he now lives in Los Angeles, where he works as a writer and producer for television.

Thomas Perry and Josh Haven

Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, recently welcomed authors Thomas Perry and Josh Haven to the bookstore. Thomas Perry’s latest book is Murder Book. Josh Haven’s first caper is Fake Money, Blue Smoke. Signed copies of both books are available through the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Although Perry’s latest book is Murder Book, he talked about his earliest books, but also the filming of his book, The Old Man. I think you’ll want to listen to the event.

Here’s the summary of Murder Book.

An ex-cop takes on a widespread criminal organization targeting midwestern towns in this new thriller from the author of The Old Man

When a sudden crime wave hits several small midwestern towns, the U.S. Attorney for the region calls on Harry Duncan to investigate. An ex-cop known for his unorthodox methods, Duncan is reluctant to go up against a widespread criminal organization—but the attorney in question is Ellen Leicester, the wife who left him fifteen years earlier, and to her, he can’t say no.

Initially brought in as a consultant to determine if the racketeering is severe enough to require an all-out investigation by the FBI, Duncan quickly finds himself in conflict with a syndicate far more violent than first suspected. As the investigation develops, he begins compiling a “murder book,” the notebook in which a detective keeps records, interviews, photos—everything he needs to build his case. But his scrutiny of the gang soon makes Duncan a target. And Ellen, too.

A thrilling and suspenseful tour of crime-addled midwestern towns, Murder Book is signature Thomas Perry, with characters you won’t soon forget, crisply-described action sequences, and breathlessly-tense plotting that will keep you racing through the pages.

Thomas Perry is the bestselling author of over twenty novels, including the critically acclaimed Jane Whitefield series, The Old Man, and The Butcher’s Boy, which won the Edgar Award. He lives in Southern California.

Here’s the description of Fake Money, Blue Smoke.

In the first caper from a “promising new talent” (Publishers Weekly), a skilled counterfeiter hires a crew of career criminals to steal an artwork from a speeding train

When former platoon sergeant Matt Kubelsky is paroled from Ray Brook Federal Correctional Institute in upstate New York, he’s surprised to find his ex-girlfriend waiting for him out in the parking lot. An ex-girlfriend he’s spent years pining for after she dumped him and stopped answering his letters. An ex-girlfriend who wonders if her apparently criminally-hardened ex-boyfriend can help her out of some extra-legal difficulty of her own.

During the years Matt was in prison, Kelly Haggerty discovered she couldn’t earn a satisfactory living as an artist, so she turned her artistic talents to counterfeiting foreign currency—and ended up embroiled in an international money laundering intrigue. Now she hopes she can get herself out of trouble with a cleverly-plotted theft and one last enormous score. 

The missing ingredient is someone Kelly can trust to do the dirty work, recruiting career criminals who won’t flinch at the opportunity to make good money by whatever means necessary. And Matt is happy to oblige, as it seems like the perfect opportunity to settle the score with the men responsible for ruining his life and putting him away for a crime he didn’t commit. The heist—a horseback robbery of valuable artwork from a speeding Amtrak train—seems to be going perfectly, until one of the players starts to suspect he’s been paid in counterfeit bills…

Pulse-pounding suspense, wholly original action scenes, and enough double-crosses to leave readers reeling make this caper a must-read for fans of fast, adrenaline-fueled crime fiction. The first thriller from the author whose seafaring adventure novels are published as J.H. Gelernter, Fake Money, Blue Smoke announces an exciting new voice in the genre.

Before publishing his first novel, Josh Haven was an art critic for magazines & newspapers in the US & Europe and an astrogeophysicist who solved the Saturn-Hyperion density/porosity problem. His seafaring adventure novels are published under the name J.H. Gelernter, and Fake Money, Blue Smoke is his first crime novel.

Enjoy the conversations as the authors talk about multiple books.

PJ Tracy and The Devil You Know

Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, recently welcomed PJ Tracy for a virtual event. Tracy’s third book in the Detective Margaret Nolan series is The Devil You Know. There are signed copies available in the Web Store. https://tinyurl.com/5xw8z42v

Here’s the summary of The Devil You Know.

Darkness is nothing new to LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan, but in P.J. Tracy’s The Devil You Know, even she isn’t prepared for the scandalous deception of deadly proportions that shakes the very foundation of Hollywood and its untouchables…and leaves her entangled in its rotten core.

Los Angeles has many faces: the real LA where regular people live and work, the degenerate underbelly of any big city, and the rarefied world of wealth, power, and celebrity. LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan’s latest case plunges her into this insular realm of privilege, and gives her a glimpse of the decay behind the glitter.

Beloved actor Evan Hobbes is found in the rubble of a Malibu rockslide, a day after a fake video ruins his career. It’s not clear to Nolan if it’s an accident, a suicide, or a murder, and things get murkier as the investigation expands to his luminary friends and colleagues. Meanwhile, Hobbes’s agent is dealing with damage control, his psychotic boss, and a woman he’s scorned.

P. J. Tracy is the pseudonym of Traci Lambrecht, bestselling and award winning author of the Monkeewrench series. Lambrecht and her mother, P. J., wrote eight novels together as P. J. Tracy before P. J. passed away in 2016. Lambrecht has since continued the Monkeewrench series solo. She spent most of her childhood painting and showing Arabian horses, and graduated with a Russian Studies major from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she also studied voice. She now lives outside Minneapolis.

Enjoy the conversation about Tracy’s new book, and police as characters.

Kate Alice Marshall & What Lies in the Woods

Kate Alice Marshall’s debut adult crime thriller, What Lies in the Woods, is The Poisoned Pen’s January Crime Collector’s Book of the Month. Barbara Peters, owner of the bookstore, recently welcomed Marshall to the bookstore to discuss What Lies in the Woods. There are signed copies of the book available in the Web Store. https://tinyurl.com/ms3zfh3a

Here’s the description of What Lies in the Woods.

They were eleven when they sent a killer to prison. They were heroes . . . but they were liars.

Kate Alice Marshall’s What Lies in the Woods is a thrilling novel about friendship, secrets, betrayal, and lies – and having the courage to face the past.

“Clever and deliciously dark.” —Alice Feeney, bestselling author of Rock Paper Scissors
“Shines an incisive light on the secrets of a small-town community…Great writing and boldly drawn characters bring a terrifying tale to all-too-vivid life.” Kirkus, starred review

Naomi Shaw used to believe in magic. Twenty-two years ago, she and her two best friends, Cassidy and Olivia, spent the summer roaming the woods, imagining a world of ceremony and wonder. They called it the Goddess Game. The summer ended suddenly when Naomi was attacked. Miraculously, she survived her seventeen stab wounds and lived to identify the man who had hurt her. The girls’ testimony put away a serial killer, wanted for murdering six women. They were heroes.

And they were liars.

For decades, the friends have kept a secret worth killing for. But now Olivia wants to tell, and Naomi sets out to find out what really happened in the woods—no matter how dangerous the truth turns out to be.

What Lies In the Woods is a gorgeous fever dream of a novel about the dangers lurking in the hearts and imaginations of little girls. Kate Alice Marshall deftly charts a winding path through her creepy woods, doubling back and changing course to build a labyrinth of secrets and lies in which I was delighted to lose myself for hours. Hands down, it’s the best thriller I’ve read in a long, long time.”—Chandler Baker, bestselling author of The Husbands

Kate Alice Marshall is the author of the young adult novels I Am Still Alive, Rules for Vanishing, and Our Last Echoes, as well as the Secrets of Eden Eld middle grade series. She lives outside of Seattle, where she spends her time playing board games, tending a chaotic vegetable garden, and wrangling dogs and children.

Enjoy the conversation from The Poisoned Pen.

Poisoned Pen Staff Best of 2022

There may be more to come…

Barbara Peters

Hardcover books

Isabel Cañas, The Hacienda

Agatha Christie. Marple

William Christie. The Double Agent

JH Gelernter. Captain Grey’s Gambit

Katy Hays. The Cloisters

Grace D. Li. Portrait of a Thief

Hallett, Janice. The Appeal

Ellery Lloyd. The Club

Nita Prose. The Maid

Jason Rekulak. Hidden Pictures

AC Rosen. Lavender House

AND reference work

Martin Edwards. The Life of Crime

Paperback Originals

Poppy Alexander. The Littlest Library

Tom Benjamin. The Hunting Season

Beth Cowan-Erskine. Loch Down Abbey

KJ Dell’Antonia. In Her Boots

Jane Shemlit. The Patient

Patrick Millikin

Michael Connelly. Desert Star.

S.A. Cosby. Razorblade Tears

Ramona Emerson. Shutter

Loren Estleman. Paperback Jack

Dan Fesperman. Winter Work

Sara Gran. The Book of the Most Precious Substance

Gabino Iglesias. The Devil Takes You Home

Deon Meyer. The Dark Flood

Gary Phillips. One-Shot Harry.

Boston Teran. Crippled Jack

John Vercher. After the Lights Go Out.

Karen Shaver

When You Are Mine, by Michael Robotham

Where the Wandering Ends, by Yvette Manessis Corporon

The Enigma of Room 622, by Joel Dicker

The Zero Night by Brian Freeman

All the Broken Places by John Boyne

John Charles

Katie Hays. The Cloisters

Ann Claire. Dead and Gondola.

Taj McCoy. Savvy Sheldon Feels Good

Nita Prose. The Maid

Timothy Janovsky. Never Been Kissed.

Lev AC Rosen. Lavender House

Jacqueline Firkins. Marlowe Banks, Redesigned

Ali Brady. The Beach Trap.

Patrick King

Blitz by Daniel O’Malley

Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi

Dance Among the Flames by Tori Eldridge

We are All the Same in the Dark by Julia Heaberlin

We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal

Nona the Ninth by Tasmyn Muir

Still Waters by Viveca Sten

Box 88 by Charles Cumming

Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan

Sharon Leonard

Anthony Doerr. Cloud Cuckoo Land

Catherine Adel West. Saving Ruby King

Jason Mott. Hell of a Book

Karen Joy Fowler. Booth

Hanya Yanagihara. To Paradise

Hernan Diaz. Trust

Gabrielle Zevin. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow and Tomorrow