Fiction Review

Susan Elia MacNeal @ The Poisoned Pen

Posted on Updated on

As I mentioned a couple days ago, Susan Elia MacNeal was recently here on book tour for  her latest Maggie Hope mystery, The Paris Spy. You can still buy signed copies through the Web Store.

Paris Spy

Here’s John Charles from The Poisoned Pen as he interviews MacNeal.


Cathy Cole, who handles the Pinterest page for The Poisoned Pen is on the left in the back row, next to author Paige Shelton.


Here’s MacNeal signing books.


If you missed the event, or the previous blog post, you can watch it on Livestream.

Hot Book of the Week – The Dark Net

Posted on Updated on

The most recent Hot Book of the Week at The Poisoned Pen is Benjamin Percy’s The Dark Net. You can order a signed copy through the Web Store.

Dark Net

Here’s the description of the book, a teaser to tempt you to read the book.

Hell on earth is only one click of a mouse away…

The Dark Net is real. An anonymous and often criminal arena that exists in the secret far reaches of the Web, some use it to manage Bitcoins, pirate movies and music, or traffic in drugs and stolen goods. And now an ancient darkness is gathering there as well. This force is threatening to spread virally into the real world unless it can be stopped by members of a ragtag crew:

Twelve-year-old Hannah — who has been fitted with the Mirage, a high-tech visual prosthetic to combat her blindness– wonders why she sees shadows surrounding some people.

Lela, a technophobic journalist, has stumbled upon a story nobody wants her to uncover.

Mike Juniper, a one-time child evangelist who suffers from personal and literal demons, has an arsenal of weapons stored in the basement of the homeless shelter he runs.

And Derek, a hacker with a cause, believes himself a soldier of the Internet, part of a cyber army akin to Anonymous.

They have no idea what the Dark Net really contains.

Set in present-day Portland,The Dark Net is a cracked-mirror version of the digital nightmare we already live in, a timely and wildly imaginative techno-thriller about the evil that lurks in real and virtual spaces, and the power of a united few to fight back.

Susan Elia MacNeal & The Paris Spy

Posted on Updated on

Susan Elia MacNeal’s latest Maggie Hope mystery, The Paris Spy, is the selection for the History/Mystery Book Club. You can order a signed copy through the Web Store.

Paris Spy

Here’s the description.

American-born spy and code-breaker extraordinaire Maggie Hope secretly navigates Nazi-occupied France to find two brave women during the darkest days of World War II in the latest novel in this New York Timesbestselling series—“a treat for WWII buffs and mystery lovers alike” (Booklist, on The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent).

Maggie Hope has come a long way since serving as a typist for Winston Churchill. Now she’s working undercover for the Special Operations Executive in the elegant but eerily silent city of Paris, where SS officers prowl the streets in their Mercedes and the Ritz is draped with swastika banners. Walking among the enemy is tense and terrifying, and even though she’s disguised in chic Chanel, Maggie can’t help longing for home.

But her missions come first. Maggie’s half sister, Elise, has disappeared after being saved from a concentration camp, and Maggie is desperate to find her—that is, if Elise even wants to be found. Equally urgent, Churchill is planning the Allied invasion of France, and SOE agent Erica Calvert has been captured, the whereabouts of her vital research regarding Normandy unknown. Maggie must risk her life to penetrate powerful circles and employ all her talents for deception and spycraft to root out a traitor, find her sister, and locate the reports crucial to planning D-Day in a deadly game of wits with the Nazi intelligence elite.

Advance praise for The Paris Spy

“You will grieve with Paris. You will be outraged by the destruction. You will be terrified for all the heroes, be there with them every step, and care desperately that they succeed and survive. And perhaps above all, like me, you will be overwhelmed with their sacrifice for the freedom we still enjoy.”—Anne Perry, New York Times bestselling author of the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series and the William Monk series

“This has to be Maggie Hope’s most exciting adventure yet. Vivid and fast-paced, crammed with authentic detail, The Paris Spy is an extraordinary trip through the edgy drama of wartime Paris, skillfully plotted and studded with cameos by real historical figures.”—Jane Thynne, author of the Clara Vine series

The Paris Spy is a mystery you won’t put down until the absolutely stunning conclusion. Only Susan Elia MacNeal—and the extraordinary Maggie Hope—could wrap such a tale of courage and betrayal around a secret that will cost lives and honor to protect.”—Charles Todd, New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge series and the Bess Crawford series.


You can watch and listen to Susan Elia MacNeal discussing the book with John Charles from The Poisoned Pen.

If you’re interested, here’s where you can read about and sign up for one of our Book Clubs.

Augustus Rose Recommends…

Posted on Updated on

Augustus Rose is the author of a debut novel, The Readymade Thief, which is the August selection of The Poisoned Pen’s First Mystery Book Club. You will get it if you’re a member of that book club, or you can order a signed copy through the Web Store. Here’s the link to order it.

Readymade Thief

Check out the description of the book.

“A kickass debut from start to finish.” —Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad

“The most must-read of all must-reads.” —Marie Claire

“Fiendishly intricate and relentlessly suspenseful.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

Lee Cuddy is seventeen years old and on the run.

Betrayed by her family after taking the fall for a friend, Lee finds refuge in a cooperative of runaways holed up in an abandoned building they call the Crystal Castle. But the façade of the Castle conceals a far more sinister agenda, one hatched by a society of fanatical men set on decoding a series of powerful secrets hidden in plain sight. And they believe Lee holds the key to it all.

Aided by Tomi, a young hacker and artist with whom she has struck a wary alliance, Lee escapes into the unmapped corners of the city—empty aquariums, deserted motels, patrolled museums, and even the homes of vacationing families. But the deeper she goes underground, the more tightly she finds herself bound in the strange web she’s trying to elude. Desperate and out of options, Lee steps from the shadows to face who is after her—and why.

A novel of puzzles, conspiracies, secret societies, urban exploration, art history, and a singular, indomitable heroine, The Readymade Thief heralds the arrival of a spellbinding and original new talent in fiction.


Of course it’s on the blog because it’s one of this month’s picks. But, it’s also here because Augustus Rose has three book suggestions. He’s recommending three books that you can order through the Web Store. You can watch the video now.

Augustus Rose

Elizabeth Peters’ Last Amelia Peabody

Posted on Updated on

Because Barbara Mertz, who wrote under the name Elizabeth Peters, became ill and died in 2013, she was never able to finish the last Amelia Peabody mystery, The Painted Queen. Her good friend, Joan Hess, did finish writing the novel.

Painted Queen

You can order a copy through the Web Store.

Here’s the summary.

Egypt, 1912—Amelia Peabody and her dashing archeologist husband, Radcliffe Emerson, are once again in danger as they search for a priceless, stolen bust of legendary Queen Nefertiti and Amelia finds herself the target of assassins in this long-awaited, eagerly anticipated final installment of Elizabeth Peters’ bestselling, beloved mystery series.

Arriving in Cairo for another thrilling excavation season, Amelia is relaxing in a well-earned bubble bath in her elegant hotel suite in Cairo, when a man with knife protruding from his back staggers into the bath chamber and utters a single word—”Murder”—before collapsing on the tiled floor, dead. Among the few possessions he carried was a sheet of paper with Amelia’s name and room number, and a curious piece of pasteboard the size of a calling card bearing one word: “Judas.” Most peculiarly, the stranger was wearing a gold-rimmed monocle in his left eye.

It quickly becomes apparent that someone saved Amelia from a would-be assassin—someone who is keeping a careful eye on the intrepid Englishwoman. Discovering a terse note clearly meant for Emerson—Where were you?”—pushed under their door, there can be only one answer: the brilliant master of disguise, Sethos.

But neither assassins nor the Genius of Crime will deter Amelia as she and Emerson head to the excavation site at Amarna, where they will witness the discovery of one of the most precious Egyptian artifacts: the iconic Nefertiti bust. In 1345 B.C. the sculptor Thutmose crafted the piece in tribute to the great beauty of this queen who was also the chief consort of Pharaoh Akhenaten and stepmother to King Tutankhamun.

For Amelia, this excavation season will prove to be unforgettable. Throughout her journey, a parade of men in monocles will die under suspicious circumstances, fascinating new relics will be unearthed, a diabolical mystery will be solved, and a brilliant criminal will offer his final challenge . . . and perhaps be unmasked at last.


The Painted Queen is on The New York Times Bestseller List. Gregory Cowles discussed the book in the column, “Inside the List”.

Get “Slaughtered”

Posted on Updated on

Best-selling author Karin Slaughter will be here at The Poisoned Pen on Tuesday, August 15 at 7 PM.


As you can see, she’s on book tour for her latest standalone, The Good Daughter. You can order a signed copy through the Web Store. Order it quickly because the first 100 orders will receive a special promotional Karin Slaughter “pop socket” for your cell phone.

Here’s the summary of The Good Daughter.

The stunning new novel from the international #1 bestselling author a searing, spellbinding blend of cold-case thriller and psychological suspense.

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling.


Karin Slaughter just announced a contest you might want to know about. Check it out!

#IGotSlaughtered CONTEST

How would you like to have a character named after you in my next book?

Just imagine all of the terrible things I could do to you–fictionally–and think about walking around showing your friends like “Hey, that’s me with the clarinet wrapped around my intestines!” **


All you need to do is tag a photo of yourself reading THE GOOD DAUGHTER or LAST BREATH on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #IgotSlaughtered

Anyone who posts a photo using this hashtag between August 8th-25th will be entered to win. That’s it. One winner will be selected at random. This contest is open to all the readers of the world because y’all complain if I don’t do it that way.


The contest ends August 25th, so you can still pick up that signed copy if you come to The Poisoned Pen to see Karin Slaughter. Good luck!


Wendy Walker’s Emma in the Night – Hot Book of the Week

Posted on Updated on

Wendy Walker is here at The Poisoned Pen tonight at 7 PM to discuss her new release selected as Hot Book of the Week, Emma in the Night. You can order a signed copy of it through the Web Store.

Emma in the Night

We’re not giving away too much about the book in the description so we don’t spoil it. Here’s the brief summary.

“Both twisted and twisty, this smart psychological thriller sets a new standard for unreliable narrators.” –Booklist, Starred Review

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.

Intrigued? Come to the program or order the book.