J.H. Gelernter discusses The Montevideo Brief

In a fascinating virtual event hosted by The Poisoned Pen, J.H. Gelernter discussed his latest historical fiction novel The Montevideo Brief, as well as his crime novel The Siberia Job. written under the name Josh Haven, with our founder Barbara Peters.

Gelernter also introduced his earlier works, described as “James Bond crossed with Patrick O’Brian.” Barbara delved into the details of Gelernter’s books, exploring their historical settings and intriguing characters. She particularly emphasized how Gelernter skillfully weaves history and adventure, making his novels a must-read for fans of heroes and espionage.

Gelernter’s discussion touched on various topics, from the influence of music in Vienna during the Napoleonic era to the real historical events that inspired his stories, like the Treaty of San Ildefonso. The conversation also offered insight into the author’s background, including his adventures in physics and his connection to the world of publishing.

Gelernter shared his inspiration for writing historical fiction, his fascination with the Napoleonic Wars, and his research process. He also talked about his interest in crime fiction and his love for writing heist and financial fraud stories.

During the event, Gelernter mentioned various historical fiction authors, such as Patrick O’Brien, Ken Follett, and C.S. Forester. He also discussed his background in magazine writing and his interest in exploring different genres, including fantasy and romance.

The Montevideo Brief is set during the Napoleonic Wars and follows Captain Gray as he becomes a double agent and gets involved in a covert war with foreign intelligence. The Siberia Job is a crime novel based on real events and follows a Czech investor and an American businessman as they navigate the Russian gas and oil industry. If you’re a fan of historical fiction with a dash of espionage and rich characters, Gelernter’s books might be your next literary adventure. You may also enjoy our Historical Fiction Book Club.

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Preston & Child discuss Dead Mountain

In this captivating event hosted by The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, bestselling authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child delve into their latest work, Dead Mountain, and share insights, anecdotes, and a few surprises.

The conversation began with a casual exchange between the authors about their surroundings. They later dived into the heart of the matter – their latest release, and the fourth installment in the Nora Kelly series.

Douglas and Lincoln touched on the evolving roles of their characters, especially FBI agent Corey Swanson, who’s been steadily taking center stage alongside Nora Kelly. They teased with the idea that Corey might be overshadowing Nora, adding layers of complexity to the series.

They mentioned the mysterious real-life events that inspired Dead Mountain – the infamous Dyatlov Pass incident, where experienced hikers met a tragic, unexplained fate in Russia’s Ural Mountains. Doug and Lincoln explored the eerie details of the case, from frozen bodies to missing eyes and tongues, adding an element of intrigue to their novel.

Later, they discussed how they transplanted the Russian mystery to the unique New Mexico setting for the book, complete with rugged landscapes and historical layers, drawing readers into a world of archaeological mysteries and FBI investigations. The authors also shared their fascination with the region’s rich history, where petroglyphs and hidden treasures abound.

As the conversation unfolded, it became clear that Dead Mountain is not only a gripping mystery but also a narrative that brings their beloved characters together in a way readers haven’t seen before.

While the release date for their next book remains undisclosed, readers can look forward to more exciting adventures from this dynamic writing duo, including the final book in the Pendergast series and a collection of true stories by Douglas Preston.

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Geri Krotow discusses The Kielbasa Killer

In a captivating virtual chat, author of humorous cozy mysteries Geri Krotow discusses The Kielbasa Killer, with John Charles from The Poisoned Pen. The session offers book lovers a peek into the creative mind behind the novel, along with a wealth of insights and anecdotes.

Prior to writing, Krotow served in the Navy as Intelligence Officer. She earned a Master’s Degree in Information Systems, got deployed to South America, Europe and Greenland and was the first female Intel officer on the East Coast to earn Naval Aviation Observer Wings.

In the interview, Krotow shares her military background and the process of getting published. “Mystery readers and the mystery genre allow me to put my mind in investigative mode, which is what I did in the Navy.” She also discusses her transition from romance writing to mystery writing. Throughout the chat, Krotow emphasizes the importance of enjoying the writing process and staying true to oneself as an author.  “I’ve learned to relax and not put as much pressure on myself” she said. “Instead, I focus on enjoying the writing process and staying true to my storytelling style.”

Her new mystery novel, The Kielbasa Killer, revolves around Lydia Winooski, a baker in Western New York who returns to her hometown to open her own bakery and cafe serving Polish American food. All is fine until a dead body turns up in her backyard smoker, making Lydia and her grandmother prime suspects, and setting the stage for a captivating mystery. As the story unfolds, Geri seamlessly weaves Polish-American culture into the narrative, introducing readers to a unique blend of traditions and festivities, while a blossoming romance adds a touch of warmth to the intrigue.

Geri’s meticulous research process comes to light as she shares her journey into Polish cuisine, butchering techniques, and historical elements. Drawing from personal memories and YouTube videos, she captures the essence of Polish dishes, tantalizing readers’ senses and immersing them in the cultural experience.

If this glimpse into The Kielbasa Killer and Geri’s storytelling resonated with you, spread the word for others to enjoy it too. If you’d like to explore other cozy mysteries, check out our Book Clubs. There’s one just right for you.

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Mari K Eder discusses her tribute to The Girls Who Fought Crime

In this virtual author chat, retired military general and writer Mary K Eder shared details about her latest book, The Girls Who Fought Crime, in conversation with John Charles from The Poisoned Pen.

The novel shines a long-overdue spotlight on the remarkable women who made significant contributions to law enforcement during World War II. 

Eder’s writing journey took a remarkable turn as she transitioned from her military career to crafting compelling crime fiction. “I’ve always been a writer, whether writing press releases or feature stories,” she reveals. The book emerged from her fascination with the unsung heroines of history, like the valiant members of the Masher Squad, who patrolled the streets and subways to protect women from harassment, inspired and led by Mary “Mae” Foley, the country’s first female investigator, who hunted rapists and serial killers before women had the right to vote.

Facing challenges in her research due to limited records, Eder turned to libraries, archives, historical sources, and newspapers to shed light on the often overlooked role of women in law enforcement during that era. Despite scant records, Eder’s meticulous research revealed their remarkable journey and unwavering dedication.

In the session, she invites the audience to explore the lives of these incredible women who defied norms and pushed boundaries. “Women make good actresses, so they can go undercover and no one will suspect them”. She also draws parallels between the past and the present, showcasing the potential of a more diverse police force in addressing modern challenges. “Research has shown that when women are involved in incidents, there is less chance of violence and more opportunities for better outcomes.”

Eder shared insights into her writing process, emphasizing the importance of consistency. Drawing inspiration from Maya Angelou, she emphasized the value of showing up to write every day, even if it means working on seemingly mundane aspects of the book. She also acknowledged the influence other authors had on her writing style, particularly for their ability to entertain readers while providing valuable insights, which made her aspire to deliver a similar blend in her own works.

Reflecting on her own journey, Eder urged young writers to persevere through challenges and setbacks, and stressed that although success might not come overnight, consistent effort and dedication can yield meaningful results. Finally, she reflected on the publishing process, whose pace she humorously compared to a glacier’s movement,  and shared some of the unique challenges and quirks of the industry.

The event offered a captivating insight into women’s impact on law enforcement, as depicted in her book The Girls Who Fought Crime, and into the mind of the woman behind it. Through meticulous research and passionate storytelling, Eder’s work offers a fresh perspective on history while celebrating the tenacity and contributions of remarkable women from the past.

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