Joe R. Lansdale, author of Rusty Puppy, was joined at The Poisoned Pen by Kathleen Kent with her debut mystery novel, The Dime.
Before showing photos, here are the summaries of the books, as they appear in the Web Store.
First – Rusty Puppy –
Hap and Leonard investigate a racially motivated murder that threatens to tear apart their East Texas town.
While Hap, a former 60s activist and self-proclaimed white trash rebel, is recovering from a life-threatening stab wound, Louise Elton comes into Hap and Leonard’s PI office to tell him that the police have killed her son, Jamar.
Months earlier, a bully cop pulled over and sexually harassed Jamar’s sister, Charm. The officer followed Charm over the course of the next couple of months, leading Jamar to videotape and take notes on the cop and his partner. The next thing Louise hears, Jamar got in a fight and is killed in the projects by local hoods. It doesn’t add up: he was a straight A student, destined for better things, until he began to ask too many questions about the racist police force.
Leonard, a tough black gay Vietnam vet and Republican, joins Hap in the investigation, and they stumble upon the racial divides that have shaped their Eastern Texas town. But if anyone can navigate these pitfalls and bring the killers to justice, it’s Hap and Leonard.
Filled with Lansdale’s trademark whip-smart dialogue, colorful characters, and relentless pacing, Rusty Puppy is Joe Lansdale at his page-turning best.
Then, the debut mystery, The Dime –
Brooklyn’s toughest female detective takes on Dallas–and neither is ready for the fight.
Dallas, Texas is not for the faint of heart. Good thing for Betty Rhyzyk she’s from a family of take-no-prisoners Brooklyn police detectives. But her Big Apple wisdom will only get her so far when she relocates to The Big D, where Mexican drug cartels and cult leaders, deadbeat skells and society wives all battle for sunbaked turf.
Betty is as tough as the best of them, but she’s deeply shaken when her first investigation goes sideways. Battling a group of unruly subordinates, a persistent stalker, a formidable criminal organization, and an unsupportive girlfriend, the unbreakable Detective Betty Rhyzyk may be reaching her limit.
Combining the colorful pyrotechnics of Breaking Bad with the best of the gritty crime genre, The Dime is Kathleen Kent’s brilliant mystery debut and the launch of a sensational new series.
Rhys Bowen appears at The Poisoned Pen tonight (Wed., March 1) at 7 PM. She’ll talk about her standalone, In Farleigh Field, which is our Hot Book of the Week.
Here’s the description of the book, as it appears on the Web Store’s page.
World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy. The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham’s middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret: she has taken a job at Bletchley Park, the British code-breaking facility.
As Ben follows a trail of spies and traitors, which may include another member of Pamela’s family, he discovers that some within the realm have an appalling, history-altering agenda. Can he, with Pamela’s help, stop them before England falls?
Inspired by the events and people of World War II, writer Rhys Bowen crafts a sweeping and riveting saga of class, family, love, and betrayal.
Elan Mastai’s All Our Wrong Todays was the #1 Indie Next Pick for February.
However, because it’s The Poisoned Pen’s March Modern Firsts Club Pick, I waited to mention it until now.
Here’s the summary from the Web Page.
“A novel about time travel has no right to be this engaging. A novel this engaging has no right to be this smart. And a novel this smart has no right to be this funny. Or insightful. Or immersive. Basically, this novel has no right to exist.” —Jonathan Tropper, New York Times bestselling author of This Is Where I Leave You and One Last Thing Before I Go
“Out of this world.” —Associated Press
“A page-turning delight.” —Maria Semple, author of Today Will Be Different and Where’d You Go, Bernadette
You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed…because it wasn’t necessary.
Except Tom just can’t seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that’s before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.
But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.
All Our Wrong Todays is about the versions of ourselves that we shed and grow into over time. It is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms. Filled with humor and heart, and saturated with insight and intelligence and a mind-bending talent for invention, this novel signals the arrival of a major talent.
On Saturday, September 9, the events will be held at The BrÃº BorÃº Centre adjacent to The Rock. Talks will start at 9.30 a.m. With a talk by Professor Nancy Marck Cantwell, chair of the English Department of Daemen College, Amherst, New York, on the Fidelma novels. After the coffee break. Marteinn Thorisson, the TV scriptwriter, will be talking on “˜Scripting Fidelma’ for the projected TV series.
This will be followed by a presentation by Hans van den Boom of De Leeskamer, launching a special English-language collectors’ edition of the second Fidelma graphic novel, Shroud for the Archbishop. The morning then finishes with Peter Tremayne preparing attendees for the afternoon excursion to Knockgraffon – “˜Knockgraffon – The Fidelma Connection’. The ancient historic site is where the Kings of Munster were inaugurated before the capital moved to Cashel in the 3/4th Century AD.
Saturday at 2.30 pm ““ 5.30 pm (approx) will be coach excursion to Knockgraffon.
From 7.00 pm attendees assemble for gala dinner in BrÃº BorÃº Centre. During the dinner we will have some readings from the Fidelma novels by Irish actress Caroline Lennon (“˜The Voice of Fidelma’ who has recorded all the Fidelma novels on Audio Books both for the UK and USA.)
On Sunday, 10th September, the program begins at 10.00 a.m. This starts with Dr Patrick Gleeson (University of Newcastle and formerly of University College Cork) ““ “˜Looking for Fidelma’s Cashel ““ The EÃ³ghanacht Dynasty and the geo-phys survey of The Rock of Cashel’. Dr Gleeson is the first archaeologist to have been allowed to conduct a geo-phys survey of The Rock.
Further information about The International Sister Fidelma Society, whose base is in Little Rock, Arkansas, can be had from its director David Robert Wooten at email@example.com . The Society was formed, with the author’s approval, in 2002 and, as well as its website (www.sisterfidelma.com), issues a 20 page magazine (The Brehon), thrice yearly with full color photos etc., devoted to the series and its author. This has been issued without break since 2002. Membership of the Fidelma Society is world wide and the books are translated into a score of languages.
Here’s the description from the Web Store, if you haven’t seen it.
The author of the New York Times bestseller I Let You Go propels readers into a dark and claustrophobic thriller, in which a normal, everyday woman becomes trapped in the confines of her normal, everyday world…
Every morning and evening, Zoe Walker takes the same route to the train station, waits at a certain place on the platform, finds her favorite spot in the car, never suspecting that someone is watching her…
It all starts with a classified ad. During her commute home one night, while glancing through her local paper, Zoe sees her own face staring back at her; a grainy photo along with a phone number and a listing for a website called FindTheOne.com.
Other women begin appearing in the same ad, a different one every day, and Zoe realizes they’ve become the victims of increasingly violent crimes—including murder. With the help of a determined cop, she uncovers the ad’s twisted purpose…A discovery that turns her paranoia into full-blown panic. Zoe is sure that someone close to her has set her up as the next target.
And now that man on the train—the one smiling at Zoe from across the car—could be more than just a friendly stranger. He could be someone who has deliberately chosen her and is ready to make his next move…
And, here’s Clare Mackintosh. She discussed what she learned about writing from her twelve years as a police officer.
Lori Rader-Day, author of the forthcoming novel, The Day I Died, immediately said yes when I asked for book suggestions.
I did have to tell her, though, that if she didn’t send me a photo, I’d find one somewhere. I’m sure that’s why she answered so quickly.
I’d like to introduce Lori Rader-Day.
Lori Rader-Day, author of The Day I Died (forthcoming 2017), The Black Hour, and Little Pretty Things, is the recipient of the 2016 Mary Higgins Clark Award and the 2015 Anthony Award for Best First Novel. Lori’s short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Good Housekeeping, and others. She lives in Chicago, where she teaches mystery writing at StoryStudio Chicago and is the president of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter.
Before I turn this over to Lori for her book suggestions, I want to encourage you to come back at the end. I have a link and information you’ll want to see if you’d like to pre-order a copy of The Day I Died.
Thank you, Lori, for playing along.
If you’re looking for a winter book, does that mean you want a story that matches the (presumably) frigid temps outside? Or does it mean you’re after a story that has the scorch of summer on it, to warm the bones? The Poisoned Pen is in Arizona, so I’m going to assume some of you have enough warmth to get you through to spring already. Winter has a way of closing you in, so maybe the best winter reads are those that take you somewhere else, that take you out from under the pile of blankets to a new, big-hearted understanding of the world.
But if you want that chill of winter, along with a gentle mystery in the family tree, one of my favorite books of all time is The Shipping News by Annie Proulx.
Proulx’s characters are real people, sometimes frustratingly so. A friend of mine did not like this book and asked me, “But what’s it about?” My answer: Lumpy people deserve love and friendship, too. Set in Newfoundland, Canada, the novel is at once expansive and claustrophobic and by the end of the book, your cheeks will be pink and wind-burnt from the story’s cold. Proulx is just that good.
Another of my all-time favorites is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
Most of the aspects of this novel that make it stunning cannot be spoken of. You have to find out the old-fashioned way, by reading it. I love that a book written in 1938 can still claim a spoiler alert. Again, the setting is key. The first line: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Where is Manderley, and why aren’t we there now? The novel takes you, but like the protagonists, you might not want to stay.
If all this bleak winter travel has you brittle and ready for some sun, No Hurry to Get Home by Emily Hahn will take you ’round the globe.
A memoir in collected pieces the author wrote for The New Yorker, this book is the story of a woman living far ahead of her time and maybe ours. An early trailblazing feminist with a heart for travel, Hahn made her way around the world alone and often on foot. The wide-ranging author left generous footnotes to her own history so that we could stretch our legs and follow along.
Thank you, Lori. As promised, I have a second note from Lori Rader-Day, this one about her forthcoming book, The Day I Died. Lori’s having a pre-order contest. You can pre-order a copy of The Day I Died through the Web Store. https://bit.ly/2loRJbl
Here’s the blurb from the Web Store.
“From the award-winning author of Little Pretty Things comes this gripping, unforgettable tale of a mother’s desperate search for a lost boy.
Anna Winger can know people better than they know themselves with only a glance—at their handwriting. Hired out by companies wanting to land trustworthy employees and by the lovelorn hoping to find happiness, Anna likes to keep the real-life mess of other people at arm’s length and on paper. But when she is called to use her expertise on a note left behind at a murder scene in the small town she and her son have recently moved to, the crime gets under Anna’s skin and rips open her narrow life for all to see. To save her son—and herself—once and for all, Anna will face her every fear, her every mistake, and the past she thought she’d rewritten.”
If you read Lori’s information, you could be a lucky winner of a gift certificate to your favorite bookstore. (That is The Poisoned Pen, isn’t it?) Here are Lori’s details.
Have you pre-ordered The Day I Died?
If you’re that excited about the launch of The Day I Died, why not be rewarded for your enthusiasm?
If you have pre-ordered The Day I Died, take a snapshot of your receipt showing the title and the date of the sale and email the photo to contest (at) loriraderday (dot) com before March 31 for your chance to win a prize package of The Day I Died treats!
Eight winners will win:
“¢ $25 gift certificate to the bookstore of the winner’s choice. (I encourage you to consider independent bookstores in your area, but any bookstore can be chosen.)
Any entrant will receive, if requested in the email:
“¢ A signed bookplate for your book. If you want it personalized, please specify who the book is for. You may also have me sign your book if I’m having an event at your local library. See my events page to look for your town.