Fiction Review

20th Anniversary Celebration – Mystic River

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It’s hard to believe it’s been twenty years since Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River was released. Tonight (March 31), Lehane will discuss Mystic River with special guest host Gillian Flynn. The virtual event will take place beginning at 6:15 PM PT, 9:15 PM ET. You can get to the event from The Poisoned Pen’s Facebook page, or from the store’s website. Interested in ordering a signed copy of Mystic River? Here’s the link. https://bit.ly/2O5M7TZ

Dennis Lehane. Mystic River ($16.00 trade paperback – signed copies).This New York Times bestseller from Dennis Lehane is a gripping, unnerving psychological thriller about the effects of a savage killing on three former friends in a tightly knit, blue-collar Boston neighborhood.

When they were children, Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle were friends. But then a strange car pulled up to their street. One boy got into the car, two did not, and something terrible happened—something that ended their friendship and changed all three boys forever.

Twenty-five years later, Sean is a homicide detective. Jimmy is an ex-con who owns a corner store. And Dave is trying to hold his marriage together and keep his demons at bay —demons that urge him to do terrible things. When Jimmy’s daughter is found murdered, Sean is assigned to the case. His investigation brings him into conflict with Jimmy, who finds his old criminal impulses tempt him to solve the crime with brutal justice. And then there is Dave, who came home the night Jimmy’s daughter died covered in someone else’s blood.

A tense and unnerving psychological thriller, Mystic River is also an epic novel of love and loyalty, faith and family, in which people irrevocably marked by the past find themselves on a collision course with the darkest truths of their own hidden selves.


Dennis Lehane grew up in Boston. Since his first novel, A Drink Before the War, won the Shamus Award, he has published twelve more novels that have been translated into more than 30 languages and become international bestsellers: Darkness, Take My Hand; Sacred; Gone, Baby, Gone; Prayers for Rain; Mystic River; Shutter Island; The Given Day; Moonlight Mile; Live by Night; and World Gone By. His most recent work is a stand-alone novel, Since We Fell.

Four of his novels – Live by Night, Mystic River, Gone, Baby, Gone, and Shutter Island – have been adapted into films. A fifth, The Drop, was adapted by Lehane himself into a film starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and James Gandolfini in his final role.  Lehane was a staff writer on the acclaimed HBO series, The Wire, and also worked as a writer-producer on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Netflix‘s Bloodline, DirecTV’s Mr. Mercedes, and HBO’s upcoming series The Outsider.

Lehane was born and raised in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Before becoming a full-time writer, he worked as a counselor with mentally handicapped and abused children, waited tables, parked cars, drove limos, worked in bookstores, and loaded tractor-trailers. Lehane and his family live in California.


Gillian Flynn is the author of the runaway hit Gone Girl, an international sensation that has spent more than 95 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Her work has been published in 40 languages. Gone Girl is a major motion picture from Twentieth Century-Fox. Flynn’s previous novels, Dark Places and Dagger Award winner Sharp Objects, were also New York Times bestsellers. A former writer and critic for Entertainment Weekly, she lives in Chicago with her husband and children.

An Australian Virtual Event

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No one is happy with what COVID has done to author appearances and conferences. However, authors are able to make appearances now from all over the world via the virtual events. Recently, Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, welcomed two bestselling authors from Australia. Sulari Gentill’s latest book is Shanghai Secrets. Emma Viskic’s latest title is Darkness for Light. You can order copies of their books through the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Here’s the new Rowland Sinclair mystery, Shanghai Secrets.

In a city full of strangers, be careful whom you trust…

Shanghai, 1935. Black sheep gentleman Rowland Sinclair arrives with his bohemian housemates from Sydney, Australia to explore a new city and take the name Sinclair international with a new class of negotiations. A novice to global commerce, Rowland is under strict instructions from his brother to keep a low profile…but that soon becomes next to impossible. A beautiful Russian taxi girl—who once claimed to be the Princess Anastasia and who danced in Rowly’s arms the night before—is found slain in his suite.

Out of sympathy for the murdered girl and to clear his name, Rowly and his companions embark upon their own investigation. They soon discover there are many people who may have wanted Alexandra Romanovna dead. As they are drawn deeper into Shanghai society and its underworld, Rowly searches for answers in a strange city determined to ruin him.

Exploring the simmering underbelly of Shanghai just years before WWII, Shanghai Secrets is a historical mystery that brings alive an expatriate playground where East and West collide, the stakes are high, and fortunes—and lives—are easily lost.


After setting out to study astrophysics, graduating in law and then abandoning her legal career to write books, Sulari now grows French black truffles on her farm in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains of NSW. Sulari is author of The Rowland Sinclair Mystery series, historical crime fiction novels (eight in total) set in the 1930s. Sulari’s A Decline in Prophets (the second book in the series) was the winner of the Davitt Award for Best Adult Crime Fiction 2012. She was also shortlisted for Best First Book (A Few Right Thinking Men) for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2011. Paving the New Road was shortlisted for another Davitt in 2013.


Check out the new book in Emma Viskic’s Caleb Zelic series.

Caleb Zelic can’t hear you. But he can see everything.
The latest pulsating thriller in the Caleb Zelic series

After a lifetime of bad decisions PI Caleb Zelic is finally making good ones. He’s in therapy, his business is recovering and his relationship with his estranged wife Kat is on the mend.

But soon Caleb is drawn into the tangled life of his troubled ex partner Frankie, which leads to a confrontation with the cops. And when Frankie’s niece is kidnapped, she and Caleb must work together to save the child’s life. But can Caleb trust her after her past betrayals?


Emma Viskic is an award-winning Australian crime writer. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, Resurrection Bay, won the 2016 Ned Kelly Award for Best Debut, and an unprecedented three Davitt Awards: Best Adult Novel, Best Debut, and Readers’ Choice. It was also iBooks Australia’s Crime Novel of the year, and was shortlisted for both the CWA Gold and New Blood Daggers in the UK. Emma studied Australian sign language (Auslan) in order to write the character of Caleb Zelic. She is currently writing the fourth Caleb Zelic thriller.


It isn’t often you’ll be able to spend time with Australian mystery writers. Enjoy the recent event with Sulari Gentill and Emma Viskic.

Dean Koontz, Hosted by Michael Koryta

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While Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, opened the virtual event for Dean Koontz and his latest book, The Other Emily, Michael Koryta hosted most of the event. Peters, Koontz, and Koryta talked about the physical book, and book covers featuring spooky trees. You can order a copy (if you’re lucky, a signed one) of The Other Emily through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2LjYVjr

Here’s The Other Emily.

Number one New York Times bestselling master of suspense Dean Koontz takes readers on a twisting journey of lost love, impossible second chances, and terrifying promises.

A decade ago, Emily Carlino vanished after her car broke down on a California highway. She was presumed to be one of serial killer Ronny Lee Jessup’s victims whose remains were never found.

Writer David Thorne still hasn’t recovered from losing the love of his life, or from the guilt of not being there to save her. Since then, he’s sought closure any way he can. He even visits regularly with Jessup in prison, desperate for answers about Emily’s final hours so he may finally lay her body to rest. Then David meets Maddison Sutton, beguiling, playful, and keenly aware of all David has lost. But what really takes his breath away is that everything about Maddison, down to her kisses, is just like Emily. As the fantastic becomes credible, David’s obsession grows, Maddison’s mysterious past deepens—and terror escalates.

Is she Emily? Or an irresistible dead ringer? Either way, the ultimate question is the same: What game is she playing? Whatever the risk in finding out, David’s willing to take it for this precious second chance. It’s been ten years since he’s felt this inspired, this hopeful, this much in love…and he’s afraid.


International bestselling author Dean Koontz was only a senior in college when he won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition. He has never stopped writing since. Koontz is the author of fourteen number one New York Times bestsellers, including One Door Away from HeavenFrom the Corner of His EyeMidnightCold FireThe Bad PlaceHideawayDragon TearsIntensitySole SurvivorThe HusbandOdd HoursRelentlessWhat the Night Knows, and 77 Shadow Street. He’s been hailed by Rolling Stone as “America’s most popular suspense novelist,” and his books have been published in thirty-eight languages and have sold over five hundred million copies worldwide. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, he now lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens Trixie and Anna. For more information, visit his website at http://www.deankoontz.com.


Enjoy the virtual event and the conversation.

Jacqueline Winspear’s The Consequences of Fear

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Jacqueline Winspear has appeared for The Poisoned Pen since the first Maisie Dobbs was released. The Consequences of Fear is the sixteenth book in that series. At the time of the virtual event, there were still signed copies of it available, and signed copies of Winspear’s memoir, This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing. You’ll want to check with the Web Store for availability. http://bit.ly/2JDLy0W

The Consequences of Fear is the Hot Book of the Week. Here’s the summary of the book.

As Europe buckles under Nazi occupation, Maisie Dobbs investigates a possible murder that threatens devastating repercussions for Britain’s war efforts in this latest installment in the New York Times bestselling mystery series.

October 1941. While on a delivery, young Freddie Hackett, a message runner for a government office, witnesses an argument that ends in murder. Crouching in the doorway of a bombed-out house, Freddie waits until the coast is clear. But when he arrives at the delivery address, he’s shocked to come face to face with the killer.

Dismissed by the police when he attempts to report the crime, Freddie goes in search of a woman he once met when delivering a message: Maisie Dobbs. While Maisie believes the boy and wants to help, she must maintain extreme caution: she’s working secretly for the Special Operations Executive, assessing candidates for crucial work with the French resistance. Her two worlds collide when she spots the killer in a place she least expects. She soon realizes she’s been pulled into the orbit of a man who has his own reasons to kill—reasons that go back to the last war.

As Maisie becomes entangled in a power struggle between Britain’s intelligence efforts in France and the work of Free French agents operating across Europe, she must also contend with the lingering question of Freddie Hackett’s state of mind. What she uncovers could hold disastrous consequences for all involved in this compelling chapter of the “series that seems to get better with every entry” (Wall Street Journal).


Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestselling Maisie Dobbs series, which includes In This Grave Hour, Journey to MunichA Dangerous PlaceLeaving Everything Most LovedElegy for Eddie, and eight other novels. Her standalone novel, The Care and Management of Lies, was also a New York Times bestseller and a Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.


Enjoy the virtual event as Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, hosts Jacqueline Winspear.

The Agatha Award Nominees

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The nominees for the 2020 Agatha Awards were announced on Friday. Congratulations to all of the nominees! (And, you’ll want to check the Web Store for the books, https://store.poisonedpen.com/.)

(from the Malice Domestic website)

The 2020 Agatha Award Nominees

Best Contemporary Novel

Gift of the Magpie by Donna Andrews (Minotaur)
Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane Books)
From Beer to Eternity by Sherry Harris (Kensington)
All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
The Lucky One by Lori Rader-Day (William Morris)

Best Historical Novel

The Last Mrs. Summers by Rhys Bowen (Berkeley)
Fate of a Flapper by Susanna Calkins (Griffin)
A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder by Dianne Freeman (Kensington)
Taken Too Soon by Edith Maxwell (Beyond the Page Publishing)
The Turning Tide by Catriona McPherson (Quercus)

Best First Novel

A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison (Crooked Lane Books)
Winter Witness by Tina deBellegarde (Level Best Books)
Derailed by Mary Keliikoa (Epicenter Press, Inc.)
Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer (Kensington)
Murder Most Sweet by Laura Jensen Walker (Kensington)

Best Short Story

“Dear Emily Etiquette” by Barb Goffman (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Sep/Oct)
“The Red Herrings at Killington Inn” by Shawn Reilly Simmons Masthead: Best New England Crime Stories (Level Best Books)
“The Boy Detective & The Summer of ‘74” by Art Taylor (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine Jan/Feb)
“Elysian Fields” by Gabriel Valjan California Schemin’: The 2020 Bouchercon Anthology (Wildside Press)
“The 25 Year Engagement” by James Ziskin In League with Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon (Pegasus Crime)

Best Non-Fiction

Sometimes You Have to Lie: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh, Renegade Author of Harriet the Spy by Leslie Brody (Seal Press)
American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI by Kate Winkler Dawson (G. P. Putnam)
Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club by Martin Edwards (Collins Crime Club)
Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock by Christina Lane (Chicago Review Press)
H. R. F. Keating: A Life of Crime by Sheila Mitchell (Level Best Books)

Best Children’s/YA Mystery

Midnight at the Barclay Hotel by Fleur Bradley (Viking Books for Young Readers)
Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Algonquin Young Readers)
Saltwater Secrets by Cindy Callaghan (Aladdin)
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks (Katherine Teagen Books)
Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco by Richard Narvaez (Piñata Books)

Lisa Scottoline – Family, Love & Justice

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Lisa Scottoline says her books are all about family, love and justice. She may have made a switch from legal novels and memoirs, but she says her first historical novel, Eternal, is still about family and love and justice. If you’ve never heard Scottoline talk about her books, you’ve never heard her enthusiasm. You’ll want to check out the recent virtual event in which she talks about her book and the history with Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, She also takes questions from author Hank Phillippi Ryan. You can order a signed copy of Eternal through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2qOXXCb

Here’s Eternal.

#1 bestselling author Lisa Scottoline offers a sweeping and shattering epic of historical fiction fueled by shocking true events, the tale of a love triangle that unfolds in the heart of Rome…in the creeping shadow of fascism.

What war destroys, only love can heal.

Elisabetta, Marco, and Sandro grow up as the best of friends despite their differences. Elisabetta is a feisty beauty who dreams of becoming a novelist; Marco the brash and athletic son in a family of professional cyclists; and Sandro a Jewish mathematics prodigy, kind-hearted and thoughtful, the son of a lawyer and a doctor. Their friendship blossoms to love, with both Sandro and Marco hoping to win Elisabetta’s heart. But in the autumn of 1937, all of that begins to change as Mussolini asserts his power, aligning Italy’s Fascists with Hitler’s Nazis and altering the very laws that govern Rome. In time, everything that the three hold dear–their families, their homes, and their connection to one another–is tested in ways they never could have imagined.

As anti-Semitism takes legal root and World War II erupts, the threesome realizes that Mussolini was only the beginning. The Nazis invade Rome, and with their occupation come new atrocities against the city’s Jews, culminating in a final, horrific betrayal. Against this backdrop, the intertwined fates of Elisabetta, Marco, Sandro, and their families will be decided, in a heartbreaking story of both the best and the worst that the world has to offer.

Unfolding over decades, Eternal is a tale of loyalty and loss, family and food, love and war–all set in one of the world’s most beautiful cities at its darkest moment. This moving novel will be forever etched in the hearts and minds of readers. 


You really should check out the virtual event.

Mark de Castrique’s Virtual Event, Fatal Scores

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Mark de Castrique’s Blackman Agency Investigations is centered on North Carolina, usually Asheville. But, it always has traces of the regional history that’s important to the storyline. Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, recently hosted Mark de Castrique for the virtual event about his book Fatal Scores. You can order copies through the Web Store. https://bit.ly/3tRdTTz

Here’s Fatal Scores.

A river gives up its dead, but not its secrets…

Sam Blackman and Nakayla Robertson, private investigators in Asheville, North Carolina, are hired when a local environmentalist dies while monitoring water quality in the nearby Pigeon River. With no soil or water samples found near the body, his widow doesn’t believe his death was an accident.

In fact, witnesses reported a public altercation between the environmentalist and local mill heir Luke Kirkpatrick just two days prior. Could Luke or his father, Ted, have committed murder to secure their proposed business expansion? Meanwhile, preparations for a local festival suffer violent setbacks, and the investigators worry the events are related. Can Sam and Nakayla identify the killer and serve justice before Asheville is threatened once again?

The eighth book featuring Private Investigators Blackman and Robertson, Fatal Scores, is a timely mystery perfect for fans private eyes and anyone with a taste for regional history.

Blackman Agency Investigations:
Blackman’s Coffin
The Fitzgerald Ruse?
The Sandburg Connection
Murder in Passing


Mark de Castrique grew up in the mountains of western North Carolina where many of his novels are set. He’s a veteran of the television and film production industry, has served as an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte teaching The American Mystery, and he’s a frequent speaker and workshop leader. He and his wife, Linda, live in Charlotte, North Carolina. http://www.markdecastrique.com


Enjoy the conversation between Mark de Castrique and Barbara Peters.

Speculative Los Angeles

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Patrick Millikin from The Poisoned Pen recently hosted three authors involved with a new book, Speculative Los Angeles. Denise Hamilton, editor of the new anthology, discusses the book with contributors Duane Swierczynski and Ben Winters. You can order a copy of the book through the Web Store. https://bit.ly/3cefD34

Here’s the description of the unusual anthology.

The debut title in a new city-based anthology series featuring all-new stories with speculative, sci-fi, and paranormal themes–each using distinct neighborhood settings as a launching pad.

“A stimulating anthology of 14 futuristic L.A. fables…Some of the best of these tales seem illumined by the humanistic spirit of the late Ray Bradbury, poet laureate of Southern California fantasy literature.”
Wall Street Journal

“[Speculative Los Angeles] is a swath of tales that are both wildly imaginative and emotionally grounded, speculations that not only imagine our possible futures but illuminate the collective anxieties of our unsettled and unsettling present.”
Los Angeles Times

Speculative Los Angeles is a thrill ride of grand ideas and warnings. Take a place that already defines the future of culture, add fourteen unbound minds, and you get a collection that wows the imagination like no other.”
Michael Connelly, author of the best-selling Harry Bosch series

“The problem of buying books for others can be solved by offering the equivalent of the literary box of chocolates: the anthology…For Californians, or people who just like the West Coast, there’sSpeculative Los Angeles, edited by Denise Hamilton.”
Washington Post, recommended by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

“14 writers explore the fantastic in short stories that crisscross LA county, taking readers into alternate pasts, supernatural presents and dystopian futures…Speculative Los Angeles shows the breadth of worlds that can be created inside Los Angeles.”
Los Angeles Daily News

“14 outstanding stories of weird and uncanny happenings in the City of Angels…Each story presents a fresh take on the magic and strangeness of L.A. past, present, and future, and the characters are representative of the diverse region, caught in situations ranging from surreal to chilling. Readers should snap this up.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred review, Pick of the Week

As an incubator of the future, Los Angeles has long mesmerized writers from Aldous Huxley to Octavia E. Butler. With its natural disasters, Hollywood artifice, staggering wealth and poverty, and urban sprawl, one can argue that Los Angeles is already so weird, surreal, irrational, and mythic that any fiction emerging from this place should be considered speculative. So, bestselling author Denise Hamilton commissioned fourteen stories (including one of her own) and did exactly that. InSpeculative Los Angeles, some of the city’s most prophetic and diverse voices reimagine the metropolis in very different ways.

In these pages, you’ll encounter twenty-first-century changelings, dirigibles plying the suburban skies, black holes and jacaranda men lurking in deep suburbia, beachfront property in Century City, walled-off canyons and coastlines reserved for the wealthy, psychic death cults, robot nursemaids, and an alternate LA where Spanish land grants never gave way to urbanization.

As with our city-based Akashic Noir Series, each story inSpeculative Los Angeles is set in a distinct neighborhood filled with local color, landmarks, and flavor. Since the best speculative fiction provides a wormhole into other worlds while also commenting on our own, that is exactly what you’ll find here.

Featuring brand-new stories by: Charles Yu, Aimee Bender, Lisa Morton, Alex Espinoza, Ben H. Winters, Denise Hamilton, Lynell George, Stephen Blackmoore, Francesca Lia Block, Duane Swierczynski, Luis J. Rodriguez, A.G. Lombardo, Kathleen Kaufman, and S. Qiouyi Lu.


If the topic interests you, you’ll enjoy the discussion of how the book came about, and the discussion of the anthology.

The Current Week of Virtual Events

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It’s always fun to see the variety of authors and books that appear at The Poisoned Pen. Check out the upcoming slate of authors, from all over. Then, after you’ve picked your selections, check out the authors’ books in the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/ There’s entertaining viewing and reading ahead of us!

Alma Katsu
Dean Koontz
Gentill/ Viskic
Nicola DeRobertis-Theye
Nuala O’Connor
Jillian Cantor
Allison Brennan
J.T. Elliso

Phillip Margolin and Friends in Conversation

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A recent virtual event at The Poisoned Pen featured Phillip Margolin and friends in conversation. Margolin talked about A Matter of Life and Death, so he could talk about the a death case trial. Dan Bronson is the author of Someone to Watch Over Me. Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, moderated the conversation. You can order a signed copy of Margolin’s book, while Bronson’s book has to be special ordered through the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Here’s A Matter of Life and Death.

“A genuine whodunnit” (Kirkus Reviews)–Phillip Margolin, the master of the courtroom thriller, returns with A Matter of Life and Death, a classic mind-bending puzzle, as Attorney Robin Lockwood must face her most challenging case yet, with everything stacked against her client and death on the line.

Joe Lattimore, homeless and trying desperately to provide for his young family, agrees to fight in a no-holds-barred illegal bout, only to have his opponent die. Lattimore now finds himself at the mercy of the fight’s organizers who blackmail him into burglarizing a house. However, when he breaks in, he finds a murdered woman on the floor and the police have received an anonymous tip naming him the murderer.

Robin Lockwood, an increasingly prominent young attorney and former MMA fighter, agrees to take on his defense. But the case is seemingly airtight—the murdered woman’s husband, Judge Anthony Carasco, has an alibi and Lattimore’s fingerprints are discovered at the scene. But everything about the case is too easy, too pat, and Lockwood is convinced that her client has been framed. The only problem is that she has no way of proving it and since this is a death case, if she fails then another innocent will die.


Check out Someone to Watch Over Me.

“Jack Shannon recalls Raymond Chandler’s description of Phillip Marlowe: ‘Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid.’ Streets don’t come any meaner than those of 1947 Hollywood, where corruption is systemic, where no one is who he or she seems to be, where life is a series of traps, and no man is better prepared to navigate those streets than Shannon, whose voice is as distinctive as Marlowe’s.”—Stephen Galloway, former Executive Editor of The Hollywood Reporter, current Dean of Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, author of Leading Lady: Sherry Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker

“I cut my teeth on Dashiell Hammett and John D. MacDonald. Unfortunately, I had read all those works before I was thirty and have been enduring a long dry spell. The drought is over. Someone To Watch Over Me is an inside look at how the ‘dream factory’ of the forties produced some blockbuster nightmares, and reminds the reader that noir is much more than gobo shadows dancing on a wall.”—Gerald McRaney, actor (Major Dad)

“If Raymond Chandler had turned a steely eye to the notorious Hollywood casting couch, the result might well be called Someone To Watch Over Me. Dan Bronson gloriously re-animates the tones and textures of the noir novel in its classic era, while zeroing the thematic crosshairs onto subject matter directly relevant to the present day. From the dark allure of Tinseltown to the yacht slips of Catalina Island, and featuring a jaded-yet-resilient lead who knows more than he should about people with both secrets and power, this novel roars along like a Rocket 88, pinning the reader to the seat and never letting off the accelerator. It’s a pulse-pounding, pitch-perfect ride in one of the great genres of American literature, and Dan Bronson drives like a master of the form.”—Malcolm Brooks, author of Painted Horses and Cloudmaker.

“Reading Someone To Watch Over Me is like watching a classic 1940s black and white noir detective movie like The Big Sleep or The Maltese Falcon. There are murders, kidnappings, payoffs, mobsters and coverups in this gritty, inside look at the sleazy side of the post-World War Two motion picture industry. Too bad Humphrey Bogart and Robert Mitchum won’t be available if they make a movie out of this excellent tough guy detective novel.—Phillip Margolin, New York Times bestselling author of A Reasonable Doubt.

“There was Sam Spade, Lew Archer, Travis McGee. Now there is Jack Shannon, intelligent, tough, unafraid, uniquely real, and all too humanly fallible. But Jack Shannon’s beat is completely unlike any you have ever read, and it provides a glimpse into the dark and ugly side of Hollywood’s glamorous Golden Age. This is noir at its best.”—Jameson Parker, recovering actor (Simon and Simon), working writer (Dancing with the Dead)

“A film noir reeling off not on the screen but on the page. The writing is first-rate, full of movie-savvy observation and more than a few dollops of laugh-out-loud humor. A joy to read.”—Douglas Soesbe, screenwriter (Robin Williams’ Boulevard), former Story Editor at Tri-Star and Universal.

“A perfect film noir filled with scoundrels, scandals and skullduggery against the backdrop of the land of make-believe. Someone to Watch Over Me travels the boulevard of broken dreams with plenty of wit, vigor and shocking surprises, delivering one of the best reads I’ve had in a long time.”—Ray Schilaci, The Movie Guys.

Dan Bronson has had many careers: Associate Professor of English at DePauw University, Senior Story Analyst at Universal, Associate Story Editor at Filmways, Executive Story Editor at Paramount, Writer-Producer of HBO’s Ed Harris thriller The Last Innocent Man and NBC’s cult classic Death of a Cheerleader, and author of the memoir Confessions of a Hollywood Nobody.


Enjoy the conversation between friends.