Gregg Hurwitz discusses Lone Wolf

Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, said she and author Gregg Hurwitz have a long history together. Hurwitz has been appearing at The Pen even before the Orphan X books. Bur Hurwitz talks about the background of the Orphan X books. Lone Wolf is the ninth Orphan X book. There are still signed copies of Lone Wolf available in the Webstore.

Here’s the description of Lone Wolf.

Once a black ops government assassin known as Orphan X, Evan Smoak left the Program, went deep underground, and reinvented himself as someone who will go anywhere and risk everything to help the truly desperate who have nowhere else to turn. Since then, Evan has fought international crime syndicates and drug cartels, faced down the most powerful people in the world and even brought down a president. Now struggling with an unexpected personal crisis, Evan goes back to the very basics of his mission – and this time, the truly desperate is a little girl who wants him to find her missing dog.

Not his usual mission, and not one Evan embraces with enthusiasm, but this unlikely, tiny job quickly explodes into his biggest mission yet, one that finds him battered between twisted AI technocrat billionaires, a mysterious female assassin who seems a mirror of himself, and personal stakes so gut-wrenching he can scarcely make sense of them.

Evan’s mission pushes him to his limit – he must find and take down the assassin known only as the Wolf, before she succeeds in completing her mission and killing the people who can identify her – a teenaged daughter of her last target, and Evan himself. Matched skill for skill, instinct for instinct, Evan must outwit an opponent who will literally stop at nothing if he is to survive.

GREGG HURWITZ is the author of the New York Times bestselling Orphan X novels. Critically acclaimed, his novels have been international bestsellers, graced top ten lists, and have been published in thirty-two languages. Additionally, he’s sold scripts to many of the major studios, and written, developed, and produced television for various networks. Hurwitz lives in Los Angeles.

Enjoy the conversation with Gregg Hurwitz.

Terry Hayes discusses The Year of the Locust

Ten years ago, Terry Hayes’ I am Pilgrim was released. Now, he made his first appearance at The Poisoned Pen with his latest thriller, The Year of the Locust. He is also the co-author of Argylle, published under the name Elly Conway. Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, welcomed Hayes, who told the story of his writing, and the years between books. You can order a signed copy of The Year of the Locust through the Webstore.

Here’s the summary of The Year of the Locust.

Terry Hayes, author of the #1 global bestseller I Am Pilgrim, returns with a terrifying and eagerly awaited new thriller.

If, like Kane, you’re a Denied Access Area spy for the CIA, then boundaries have no meaning. Your function is to go in, do whatever is required, and get out again—by whatever means necessary. You know when to run, when to hide—and when to shoot.

But some places don’t play by the rules. Some places are too dangerous, even for a man of Kane’s experience. The badlands where the borders of Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan meet are such a place—a place where violence is the only way to survive.

Kane travels there to exfiltrate a man with vital information for the safety of the West—but instead he meets an adversary who will take the world to the brink of extinction. A frightening, clever, vicious man with blood on his hands and vengeance in his heart…

Terry Hayes is the New York Times bestselling author of I Am Pilgrim and The Year of the Locust and is the award-winning writer and producer of numerous movies. His credits include PaybackRoad Warrior, and Dead Calm (featuring Nicole Kidman). He lives in Switzerland with his wife, Kristen, and their four children.

Oh, I can assure you you’ll want to listen to Terry Hayes discuss his work.

Books and Love

Books and love go hand-in-hand, according to Tom Scanlon’s article, “Scottsdale + books: A love affair” in the East Valley Tribune. And, The Poisoned Pen puts romance and love together with books. The article quotes two of The Pen’s managers, John Charles and Bill Smith. It also talks about the Valentine’s Day event at the bookstore, an event featuring authors Jenn McKinlay and Susan Elizabeth Phillips, It will be held at 7 PM on Wednesday.

Here’s the article to share book love in Scottsdale.

Pre-launch for Laurie R. King’s The Lantern’s Dance

The Lantern’s Dance is the eighteenth book in Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series. It’s also the current Hot Book of the Week at The Poisoned Pen. King’s event at the bookstore was a pre-launch event, hosted by Barbara Peters, owner of the bookstore. You can still order a signed copy of the book through the Webstore.

Here’s the summary of The Lantern’s Dance.

“Deftly interlacing present and past, King offers further fascinating insights into Holmes’s family while also delivering an intriguing mystery.”—The Washington Post

After their recent adventures in Transylvania, Russell and Holmes look forward to spending time with Holmes’ son, the famous artist Damian Adler, and his family. But when they arrive at Damian’s house, they discover that the Adlers have fled from a mysterious threat.

Holmes rushes after Damian while Russell, slowed down by a recent injury, stays behind to search the empty house. In Damian’s studio, she discovers four crates packed with memorabilia related to Holmes’ granduncle, the artist Horace Vernet. It’s an odd mix of treasures and clutter, including a tarnished silver lamp with a rotating shade: an antique yet sophisticated form of zoetrope, fitted with strips of paper whose images dance with the lantern’s spin.

In the same crate is an old journal written in a nearly impenetrable code. Intrigued, Russell sets about deciphering the intricate cryptograph, slowly realizing that each entry is built around an image—the first of which is a child, bundled into a carriage by an abductor, watching her mother recede from view.

Russell is troubled, then entranced, but each entry she decodes brings more questions. Who is the young Indian woman who created this elaborate puzzle? What does she have to do with Damian, or the Vernets—or the threat hovering over the house?

The secrets of the past appear to be reaching into the present. And it seems increasingly urgent that Russell figure out how the journal and lantern are related to Damian—and possibly to Sherlock Holmes himself.

Could there be things about his own history that even the master detective does not perceive?

Laurie R. King is the award-winning, bestselling author of seventeen previous Mary Russell mysteries, a new series featuring SFPD cold-case inspector Raquel Laing, the contemporary Kate Martinelli series, the historical Stuyvesant & Grey stories, and five acclaimed standalone novels. She lives in Northern California, where she is at work on her next Mary Russell mystery.

It’s a fascinating discussion with two people who know the history of India. Enjoy the conversation.

Ian Hamilton discusses The Fury of Beijing

Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, says Ava Lee is her favorite financial ninja. Ian Hamilton talks about the story arc, and the latest in the Ava Lee series, The Fury of Beijing. There are signed copies available in the Webstore.

Here’s the description of The Fury of Beijing.


Still reeling from the brutal murder of her close associates Lau Lau and Chen, Ava Lee embarks on a quest for revenge that takes her from Toronto to Los Angeles to Beijing. Along the way, Ava is aided by some familiar faces and old comrades-in-arms, including Sonny Kwon, Jimmy Li, Lop, and Xu, the mountain master of Shanghai.

The search leads first to Ava’s old opponent, Mo, the chairman of the China Movie Syndicate, and then to a shadowy figure at the very top of the Chinese Security Service-the man who gave the order to kill her friends. Events reach a deadly climax in front of the Tianqiao Theatre in Beijing, but exacting her revenge is only half the battle-getting out of China alive is another matter entirely …

IAN HAMILTON is the acclaimed author of sixteen books in the Ava Lee series, four in the Lost Decades of Uncle Chow Tung series, and the standalone novel Bonnie Jack. National bestsellers, his books have been shortlisted for the Crime Writers of Canada Award (formerly the Arthur Ellis Award), the Barry Award, and the Lambda Literary Prize. BBC Culture named him one of the ten mystery/crime writers who should be on your bookshelf. The Ava Lee series is being adapted for television. 

Enjoy the conversation, especially Ian Hamilton’s backstory for Ava Lee.

Iris Yamashita discusses Village in the Dark

Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, welcomed Iris Yamashita to the bookstore for her first in-person visit. She bases her books on Whittier, Alaska, so you’ll have to watch the video to hear Yamashita discuss the town and her books. There are signed copies of Village in the Dark available through the Webstore.

Here’s the description of Village in the Dark.

Detective Cara Kennedy thought she’d lost her husband and son in an accident, but harrowing evidence has emerged that points to murder–and she will stop at nothing to find the truth in this riveting mystery from the author of City Under One Roof.

On a frigid February day, Anchorage Detective Cara Kennedy stands by the graves of her husband and son, watching as their caskets are raised from the earth. It feels sacrilegious, but she has no choice. Aaron and Dylan disappeared on a hike a year ago, their bones eventually found and buried. But shocking clues have emerged that foul play was involved, potentially connecting them to a string of other deaths and disappearances. 

Somehow tied to the mystery is Mia Upash, who grew up in an isolated village called Unity, a community of women and children in hiding from abusive men. Mia never imagined the trouble she would find herself in when she left home to live in Man’s World. Although she remains haunted by the tragedy of what happened to the man and the boy in the woods, she has her own reasons for keeping quiet.

Aided by police officer Joe Barkowski and other residents of Point Mettier, Cara’s investigation will lead them on a dangerous path that puts their lives and the lives of everyone around them in mortal jeopardy.

Iris Yamashita is an Academy Award–nominated screenwriter for the movie Letters from Iwo Jima. She has been working in Hollywood for fifteen years developing material for both film and streaming, has taught screenwriting at UCLA, and is an advocate of women and diversity in the entertainment industry. She has also been a judge and mentor for various film and writing programs, and lives in California.

Nick Petrie discusses The Price You Pay

Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, welcomed Nick Petrie back to the bookstore for the official launch of the eighth Peter Ash novel, The Price You Pay. There are signed copies of the book available in the Webstore.

Here’s the summary of The Price You Pay.

Peter Ash must follow his closest friend, Lewis, into the criminal underworld when secrets from the past threaten everything they hold dear in this propulsive new thriller from the bestselling and award-winning series.

    Lewis has helped Peter Ash out of more trouble than Peter cares to remember.  So he doesn’t hesitate when Lewis asks a favor in return. Lewis has left his criminal past behind, but a former associate may be in trouble, and he and Peter must drive into the teeth of a blizzard to find him. When they discover blood in the snow and a smoldering cabin, both men know things are bad. Then they learn that someone has stolen notebooks full of incriminating secrets about Lewis’s long-ago crimes, and realize the situation is much worse than they’d thought.
    To save Lewis’s wife, Dinah, and her two boys, Lewis and Peter must find the notebooks. With Peter’s longtime girlfriend, June Cassidy, they begin the search—facing ruthless and violent foes at each turn, including one powerful person who will stop at nothing for revenge. Will Peter and Lewis be able to keep that dark past buried? Or will they need to step into the darkness to save the people they love most?

Nick Petrie is the author of eight novels in the Peter Ash series, most recently The Runaway. His debut, The Drifter, won both the ITW Thriller award and the Barry Award for Best First Novel, and was a finalist for the Edgar and the Hammett Awards. A husband and father, he lives in the Milwaukee area.

Enjoy the conversation with Nick Petrie.

Douglas Preston & Diana Gabaldon discuss Fourteen Days

The Authors’ Guild is America’s oldest and largest professional association of authors. Douglas Preston was president of the guild when COVID hit, and they were in a financial bind. So, they had an idea for a collaborative novel. Douglas Preston explains that, and the idea behind the book, Fourteen Days. He has one story in the book, and Diana Gabaldon has two stories in the book. You can watch the entire conversation. There are copies of the book, signed by these two authors, available in the Webstore.

Here’s the summary of the book.

Set in a Lower East Side tenement in the early days of the COVID-19 lockdowns, Fourteen Days is an irresistibly propulsive collaborative novel from the Authors Guild, with an unusual twist: each character in this diverse, eccentric cast of New York neighbors has been secretly written by a different, major literary voice—from Margaret Atwood and Celeste Ng to Tommy Orange and John Grisham.

One week into the COVID-19 shutdown, tenants of a Lower East Side apartment building in Manhattan have begun to gather on the rooftop and tell stories. With each passing night, more and more neighbors gather, bringing chairs and milk crates and overturned pails. Gradually the tenants—some of whom have barely spoken to each other—become real neighbors. In this Decameron-like serial novel, general editors Margaret Atwood and Douglas Preston and a star-studded list of contributors create a beautiful ode to the people who couldn’t escape when the pandemic hit. A dazzling, heartwarming, and ultimately surprising narrative, Fourteen Days reveals how beneath the horrible loss and suffering, some communities managed to become stronger.

Includes writing from: Charlie Jane Anders, Margaret Atwood, Joseph Cassara, Jennine Capó Crucet, Angie Cruz, Pat Cummings, Sylvia Day, Emma Donoghue, Dave Eggers, Diana Gabaldon, Tess Gerritsen, John Grisham, Maria Hinojosa, Mira Jacob, Erica Jong, CJ Lyons, Celeste Ng, Tommy Orange, Mary Pope Osborne, Douglas Preston, Alice Randall, Ishmael Reed, Roxana Robinson, Nelly Rosario, James Shapiro, Hampton Sides, R.L. Stine, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Monique Truong, Scott Turow, Luis Alberto Urrea, Rachel Vail, Weike Wang, Caroline Randall Williams, De’Shawn Charles Winslow, and Meg Wolitzer!

Enjoy the conversation. If you missed the ticketed event, you can see it now.

Agatha Award Nominees

Congratulations to the Agatha Award nominees, 2023 titles. The awards will be presented at Malice Domestic. Check the list, and then the Webstore for your favorite titles.

Best Contemporary Novels

Byron, Ellen – Wined and Dined in New Orleans
Dashofy, Annette – Helpless
Laskowski, Tara – The Weekend Retreat
Moss, Korina – Case of the Bleus
Pandian, Gigi – The Raven Thief

Historical Mystery Novels

Calkins, Susanna – Death Among the Ruins
Connally, Celeste – Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord
Flower, Amanda – I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died
Head, Cheryl A. – Time’s Undoing
Massey, Sujata – The Mistress of Bhatia House

Best First Mystery Novel

Arceneaux, Danielle – Glory Be
Kisska, Kristin – The Hint of Light
Pachter, Josh – The Dutch Threat
Silver, Daphne – Crime and Parchment
Simon, Nina – Mother-Daughter Murder Night

Best Children’s/YA Mystery Novels

Bunce, Elizabeth C. – Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity
Jackson, K.B. – The Sasquatch of Hawthorne Elementary
Segura, Alex – Arana and Spider-Man 2099: Dark Tomorrow
Souders, Taryn – The Mystery of the Radcliffe Riddle
Springer, Nancy – Enola Holmes and the Mark of the Mongoose

Best Nonfiction

Babbar, Anjili – Finders: Justice, Faith, and Identity in Irish Crime Fiction
Bordwell, David – Perplexing Plots: Popular Storytelling and the Poetics of Murder
Dawidziak, Mark – A Mystery of Mysteries: The Death and Life of Edgar Allan Poe
Morgan, Robert – Fallen Angel: The Life of Edgar Allan Poe.