Fiction Review

McCafferty & Ramsay at The Poisoned Pen

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Keith McCafferty, author of Buffalo Jump Blues, will be joining Frederick Ramsay, author of Danger Woman, at The Poisoned Pen, today, Sat., July 9 at 2 PM. It’s probably a little late for most of you to make it.

Keith McCafferty

Keith McCafferty is the survival and outdoor skills editor of Field & Stream, and the author of The Royal Wulff Murders, The Gray Ghost Murders (recommended by Oprah’s Book Club), Dead Man’s Fancy, and Crazy Mountain Kiss, which won the Western Writers of America 2016 Spur Award for Best Western Contemporary Novel. Crazy Mountain Kiss also has been chosen as a finalist for the High Plains Award for the Novel and the Nero Award for Best Mystery. Buffalo Jump Blues, his fifth Sean Stranahan novel, released last week, has been awarded starred reviews from Booklist and Kirkus, as well as recommendation for best summer books in Oprah Winfrey’s “O” Magazine. Winner of the Traver Award for angling literature, Keith is a two-time National Magazine Awards finalist. He lives with his wife, cat, and, as a wild bird rescue volunteer, various feathered friends, in Bozeman, Montana.


Dr. Frederick Ramsay was born in Baltimore, the son of a respected teacher researcher and scientist. He graduated from Washington and Lee University in Virginia and received his doctorate from the University of Illinois. After a stint in the Army, he joined the faculty of the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, where he taught Anatomy, Embryology and Histology; engaged in research and served as an Associate Dean. During this time he also pursued studies in theology and in 1971 was ordained an Episcopal priest. He is now retired from full-time ministry and writes fiction.

Dr. Ramsay is the author of several scientific and general articles, tracts, theses, and co-author of The Baltimore Declaration. He is an iconographer, an accomplished public speaker and once hosted a television spot, Prognosis, on the evening news for WMAR-TV, Baltimore. He currently lives in Surprise, Arizona with his wife and partner, Susan.

Danger Woman is the third of Dr. Ramsay’s books to be set in Botswana.

Intrigued? I know it’s a little late to tell you about the books, but it’s not to late to buy signed copies. Check out the Web Store.

Daniel Silva – From The Today Show to The Poisoned Pen

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Daniel Silva’s new thriller, The Black Widow, will be featured on The Today Show on Tuesday, July 12. Then, he’ll be here at The Poisoned Pen on Friday, July 15 at 7 PM to discuss it. You might want a signed copy.

Black Widow

Here’s the blurb on The Poisoned Pen’s site.

“#1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva delivers another stunning thriller in his latest action-packed tale of high stakes international intrigue featuring the inimitable Gabriel Allon. From its shocking opening in Paris, The Black Widow reveals itself as Silva’s most timely and powerful novel yet.

Master novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled, entertained and educated readers with eighteen thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back—from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. His brilliant hero, Gabriel Allon—art restorer, assassin, spy—has joined the pantheon of great fictional secret agents, including George Smiley, Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, and Simon Templar.

Following the success of his smash hit The English Spy, The Black Widow showcases Silva’s consummate skill and brilliant imagination, and is sure to be a must read for both his multitudes of fans and growing legions of converts.”

If you’re a fan of Daniel Silva’s books, it always helps the author if you pre-order copies. Interested in a signed edition of The Black Widow? You can order it through us, if you’d like.

And, we hope you have the chance to come to the store and meet Daniel Silva on Friday, July 15.

“Every Summer Has a Story” – Hank’s Picks

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Award-winning author and journalist. Editor. Former president of Sisters in Crime. How many hats can Hank Phillippi Ryan wear? Her latest Jane Ryland novel, What You See, was an award nominee. And, her Charlotte McNally mysteries, such as Air Time, are being reprinted in hardcover.

Hank Phillippi Ryan

As busy as she is, Hank took time to suggest a few books for us for summer reading. We have four titles.

Like Terry Shames, Hank recommends Noah Hawley’s Before the Fall. She says, “A master class in structure – and not just a plane crash thriller, but a wonderful examination of television, journalism, celebrity, passion, family, deception and the way we live and think today. I carried this book around with me so that if I ever had any time at all, I could sneak in a few more pages.”

She suggests Clare Mackintosh’s I Let You Go. “Completely surprising. I actually went back, after one astonishing development, to check if the author had played fair with this riveting psychological thriller. Yes, indeed, it all works perfectly. It’s amazingly and brilliantly clever.

I Let You Go

Ryan picks one of our July authors. Linda Fairstein will be at The Poisoned Pen on July 27 with Hank’s suggestion, Killer Look. Hank wrote, “She’s on my absolutely must read list, and I can’t wait to get my hands on this one. Top of the pile when it comes out in late July.”

Killer Look

Her final pick is nonfiction, a look inside the world of a crime fiction author. Reacher Said Nothing is by Andy Martin. “I didn’t know what to expect, and bought it with a kind of apprehensive curiosity, wondering if this idea could possibly work – Martin shadows Lee Child through the writing of Make Me. It turns out to be one of the most instructive and educational (and affectionate) books about writing I’ve read in a long time. (It’s also got a lot of fun insider stuff.)

Reacher Said Nothing

I loved Hank Phillippi Ryan’s comment. “This is such a fun idea – and kind of impossible to choose.” You’ll have to choose, though, unless you decide to pick up all the books. They’re available through our Web Store, along with Hank’s books.

Brad Taylor, Ghosts of War – Anniversary Edition

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Ghosts of War is Brad Taylor’s tenth book in five years. Can you say hard-working author?

Ghosts of War

Or, maybe exhausted is the term.

The Poisoned Pen welcomed him and the audience with cake for his anniversary. We can’t share the cake, but we can share the interview. Barbara Peters, owner of the bookstore, hosted the celebration and the program. We have it here on Livestream for you.

And, of course, we have signed copies available through the Web Store if you’d like to buy one. Haven’t read Brad Taylor yet? We carry the earlier books in the Pike Logan series as well.



“Every Summer Has a Story” – Terry’s Picks

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“Every Summer Has a Story”, however, I’d like to offer you a few of them. I recently asked some mystery and crime fiction authors if they would like to suggest a few titles for your summer reading. If NPR can ask booksellers to make recommendations, I can ask mystery authors. So, occasionally, one of the posts will feature an author with some suggestions. If you find a title enticing, check out our Web Store.

I’m sure we either have the book in stock, or can get it for you.

First up is Terry Shames, author of the award-winning Samuel Craddock mysteries. Her most recent one is The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake.

Terry Shames

Terry  has three picks for summer reading.

She recommends Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness novel, Queen of Hearts, and goes on to say, “Or read any of the books in this series for a delightful, engaging, frothy cozy read…This series won my heart.” (And, fans of this series will want to watch our calendar for Rhys’ scheduled appearance with her new book, Crowned and Dangerous, in August.)

Queen of Hearts

Noah Hawley’s Before the Fall is now on The New York Times Best Seller List. Shames calls it, “The perfect summer read, absorbing and gossipy, with a mystery at the heart of it.”

Before the Fall

Terry Shames’ third selection is Susan Shea’s Mixed Up with Murder. “Third in this delightfully playful and stylish series, has Dani O’Rourke getting in trouble at a small New England college.”

Mixed Up with Murder

Terry says, “Summertime and the Reading is Easy.” I hope the suggestions and The Poisoned Pen Bookstore can make that reading easy for you!


Closed for the Fourth of July

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The Poisoned Pen Bookstore is closed today in observance of Independence Day, the Fourth of July.

Flag waving

Murder is Everywhere Blog

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Crime fiction truly is international. If you only read mysteries set in the U.S., you’re missing so much. Today, I’d like to link to a blog with an international view, Murder is Everywhere.

Murder is Everywhere

Started by the late Leighton Gage, whose gritty Chief Inspector Mario Silva mysteries were set in Brazil, the blog features crime writers who write from, and about, different areas of the world. At times, there are guest authors as well. But, the chief suspects are Annamaria Alfieri (East Africa and South America), Cara Black (France), Jorn Lier Horst (Norway), Sujata Massey (India and Japan), Caro Ramsay (Scotland), Michael Sears (Michael Stanley, Southern Africa), Zoe Sharp (the site says “No fixed abode”, although when I met her, it was England), Jeff Siger (Greece), Susan Spann (Japan), Stanley Trollip (Michael Stanley, Southern Africa).

I’m sure you’ve seen these authors at The Poisoned Pen. Murder is Everywhere gives them an outlet to discuss crime fiction, international news and politics, world events. Check out their blog. Cara Black was just at The Pen. Attend an event here when one of these authors is in town. And, look for their books at the Web Store.