Fiction Review

L.A. Noir

Posted on Updated on

Are you a fan of noir? Los Angeles is the setting for so many crime novels that fit that description. Now, Ross MacDonald and Gal Beckerman have put together a map and listing of nine novels, “Mapping Out Where Noir Lives in the City of Angels” in a recent New York Times article. https://nyti.ms/2CdeuYf

Check the Poisoned Pen’s Web Store for the books mentioned. https://store.poisonedpen.com

And, if you’re in the store, talk to Patrick Millikin about books if you’re looking for noir.

“Witches, Daemons and Vampires” with Deborah Harkness

Posted on Updated on

The headline of Tina Jordan’s article in The New York Times is “A Bubbling Caldron of Witches, Daemons and Vampires.” https://nyti.ms/2NNGWXm The “Inside the List” article addresses Deborah Harkness’ latest bestseller, Time’s Convert.

Time's Convert

Harkness appears at The Poisoned Pen on Wednesday, October 17 at 7 PM to discuss and sign Time’s Convert. If you can’t make it, you can still order a signed copy through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2CIl0Y2

Here’s the summary of Time’s Convert.

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches, a novel about what it takes to become a vampire.

On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus’s deeply held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood.

Fast-forward to contemporary Paris, where Phoebe Taylor–the young employee at Sotheby’s whom Marcus has fallen for–is about to embark on her own journey to immortality. Though the modernized version of the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable than they were in the eighteenth century. The shadows that Marcus believed he’d escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both–forever.

A passionate love story and a fascinating exploration of the power of tradition and the possibilities not just for change but for revolution, Time’s Convert channels the supernatural world-building and slow-burning romance that made the All Souls Trilogy instant bestsellers to illuminate a new and vital moment in history, and a love affair that will bridge centuries.

Author Heather Graham

Posted on Updated on

Heather Graham

Heather Graham has so many published books, there are ten pages in the Web Store under her name. http://bit.ly/2ybSUAA

Although she’s written twenty-six books in her popular Krewe of Hunter series, books that feature a special FBI unit that deals with possible paranormal involvement in crimes, she has many other books.

If you’re a fan of Graham’s, or haven’t yet discovered her, Elizabeth Crowan’s article in Black Gate is an excellent introduction to a fascinating author. You might want to check it out. http://bit.ly/2Ps6039

“Pastry Murder Mysteries”

Posted on Updated on

While Joanne Fluke’s latest mystery is Christmas Cake Murder, it was Raspberry Danish Murder that caught the eye of writer Brittany Ross. Ross discusses Fluke’s series, in great detail in the article “Highly Recommended: Pastry Murder Mysteries” for Eaterhttp://bit.ly/2PpFzuP.  Of course, because Joanne Fluke appears at The Poisoned Pen, you can order her books, including signed copies of Christmas Cake Murder, through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2o5JYqA

Christmas Cake Murder

Here’s the summary of Christmas Cake Murder.

It’s Christmas many years ago, and topping young Hannah Swensen’s wish list is becoming the go-to baker in Lake Eden, Minnesota. But as Hannah finds out, revisiting holiday memories can be 
murder . . .
 
With her dream of opening The Cookie Jar taking shape, Hannah’s life matches the hectic December hustle and bustle in Lake Eden—especially when she agrees to help recreate a spectacular Christmas Ball from the past in honor of Essie Granger, an elderly local in hospice care. But instead of poring over decadent dessert recipes for the merry festivities, she instantly becomes enthralled by Essie’s old notebooks and the tale of a woman escaping danger on the streets of New York. Hannah’s surprised by Essie’s secret talent for penning crime fiction. She’s even more surprised when the story turns real. As Hannah prepares to run a bakery and move out of her mother’s house, it’ll be a true miracle if she can prevent another Yuletide disaster by solving a mystery as dense as a Christmas fruitcake . . .

 

November Road – Hot Book of the Week

Posted on Updated on

Unfortunately, you just missed Lou Berney at The Poisoned Pen. But, his latest book, November Road, is the Hot Book of the Week. You can still order a signed copy through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2DeTAtJ

NovemberRoad_FINAL COVER

This is one of the hottest books of the season. You do want to own it. In fact, it’s just been acquired for a film adaptation. http://bit.ly/2PowqTu    Read it now! Here’s the summary:

Set against the assassination of JFK, a poignant and evocative crime novel that centers on a desperate cat-and-mouse chase across 1960s America—a story of unexpected connections, daring possibilities, and the hope of second chances from the Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone.

Frank Guidry’s luck has finally run out.

A loyal street lieutenant to New Orleans’ mob boss Carlos Marcello, Guidry has learned that everybody is expendable. But now it’s his turn—he knows too much about the crime of the century: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Within hours of JFK’s murder, everyone with ties to Marcello is turning up dead, and Guidry suspects he’s next: he was in Dallas on an errand for the boss less than two weeks before the president was shot. With few good options, Guidry hits the road to Las Vegas, to see an old associate—a dangerous man who hates Marcello enough to help Guidry vanish.

Guidry knows that the first rule of running is “don’t stop,” but when he sees a beautiful housewife on the side of the road with a broken-down car, two little daughters and a dog in the back seat, he sees the perfect disguise to cover his tracks from the hit men on his tail. Posing as an insurance man, Guidry offers to help Charlotte reach her destination, California. If she accompanies him to Vegas, he can help her get a new car.

For her, it’s more than a car— it’s an escape. She’s on the run too, from a stifling existence in small-town Oklahoma and a kindly husband who’s a hopeless drunk.

It’s an American story: two strangers meet to share the open road west, a dream, a hope—and find each other on the way.

Charlotte sees that he’s strong and kind; Guidry discovers that she’s smart and funny. He learns that’s she determined to give herself and her kids a new life; she can’t know that he’s desperate to leave his old one behind.

Another rule—fugitives shouldn’t fall in love, especially with each other. A road isn’t just a road, it’s a trail, and Guidry’s ruthless and relentless hunters are closing in on him. But now Guidry doesn’t want to just survive, he wants to really live, maybe for the first time.

Everyone’s expendable, or they should be, but now Guidry just can’t throw away the woman he’s come to love.

And it might get them both killed.

*****

If you missed the event at The Poisoned Pen, you can still read my Q&A with Lou Berney. http://bit.ly/2OKA50V

Berney Lou Author Photo_NEW

Tana French, The Witch Elm

Posted on Updated on

Tana French, author of the Dublin Murder Squad series, is hot right now with her standalone psychological novel, The Witch Elm. Janet Maslin raves about the book in The New York Times, https://nyti.ms/2CwYIZh. Molly Odintz interviews French at CrimeReadshttp://bit.ly/2OjewFj. And, of course you can order The Witch Elm through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2OfmU8p

Elm

Here’s the summary of The Witch Elm, Tana French’s first standalone novel.

Named a best book of the fall by Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Elle,Amazon, PopSugar, The Millions, LitHub, and Parade

A brilliant new work of suspense from “the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years.” (Washington Post)

From the writer who “inspires cultic devotion in readers” (The New Yorker) and has been called “incandescent” by Stephen King, “absolutely mesmerizing” by Gillian Flynn, and “unputdownable” (People), comes a gripping new novel that turns a crime story inside out.

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who’s dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life – he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family’s ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden – and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we’re capable of, when we no longer know who we are.

Leslie S. Klinger, An Interview

Posted on Updated on

John Valeri recently interviewed Leslie S. Klinger for CriminalElement.com. Klinger’s new book is Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s. The Poisoned Pen already has signed copies of the new release. You can order copies of Klinger’s other books, or a signed copy of Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2QwIJx8

Classic American Crime Fiction

Here’s the description of Klinger’s Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s.

American crime writing was reborn in the 1920s. After years of dominance by British authors, new American writers—with fresh ideas about the detective and the mystery—appeared on the scene and rose to heights of popularity not witnessed since the success of the Sherlock Holmes tales in America.

Classic American Crime Writing of the 1920s—including House Without a Key, The Benson Murder Case, The Roman Hat Mystery, Red Harvest, and Little Caesar—offers some of the very best of that decade’s writing. Earl Derr Biggers wrote about Charlie Chan, a Chinese-American detective, at a time when racism was rampant. S. S. Van Dine invented Philo Vance, an effete, rich amateur psychologist who flourished while America danced and the stock market rose. The quintessential American detective Ellery Queen leapt onto the stage, to remain popular for fifty years. Dashiell Hammett brings readers another mystery narrated by the Continental Op. W. R. Burnett, created the indelible character of Rico, the first gangster antihero.

Each of the five novels included is presented in its original published form, with extensive historical and cultural annotations and illustrations added by Edgar-winning editor Leslie S. Klinger, allowing the reader to experience the story to its fullest. Klinger’s detailed foreword gives an overview of the history of American crime writing from its beginnings in the early years of America to the twentieth century. This gorgeously illustrated volume includes over 100 color and black and white images as well as an introduction by the eminent mystery publisher Otto Penzler.

*****

Now, check out John Valeri’s Q&A with Leslie S. Klinger. It includes a hint as to what Klinger is working on next. http://bit.ly/2E5etbj