Scandinavian Award Nominees – The Petrona Award

Are you a fan of Scandinavian crime fiction? The shortlist was just announced for The Petrona Award 2017. The award is given to outstanding crime fiction from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The winning title will be announced at CrimeFest, held in Bristol, England in May. Here are the nominees and the information.

At the moment, the Web Store carries four of the titles. If you’re interested in reading the nominated books, why don’t you start with those four?

Hidden Figures Author, Margot Lee Shetterly

Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures, will be appearing in Phoenix on April 4. Here’s the information.

Hidden Figures flyer

You do need to RSVP to get a seat, although it’s free. It’s through Eventbrite.

Here’s more information from that site.

Join the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing as we present author Margot Lee Shetterly for a look behind her debut book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race on Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 at the Orpheum Theater (203 W Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85003) at 7:00 pm. Margot will take questions from the audience and sign books after the presentation. While this event is open to the public and free, please note that seating is first-come, first-serve, and RSVP’s do not guarantee a seat. We will not be able to accomodate overflow seating.
Beginning in World War II and moving through the Cold War, Hidden Figures follows the careers of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, four African American women who worked as ‘human computers’ at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Hampton, Virginia. While Jim Crow segregated and removed them from public memory, these women of color were significant and crucial contributors to some of NASA’s greatest achievements—putting John Glenn into orbit, landing men on the moon, and laying a foundation for the modern flight industry. With more emphasis than ever on both women’s roles in STEM and the importance of recovering Civil Rights era narratives, Hidden Figures sensitively negotiates issues of race, gender, representation, and privilege, restoring a lost chapter of American History
Hidden Figures has also been adapted into a major motion picture by 20th Century Fox starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kirsten Dunst, Mahershala Ali, and Kevin Costner, released in theaters on January 6.

About the Author
Margot Lee Shetterly is an entrepreneur, writer and researcher whose debut book is Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (William Morrow/HarperCollins). A 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, she is also the founder of the digital archive The Human Computer Project and the co-founder of the magazine Inside Mexico. For more information, visit her website at

About the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing
Established in 2003, The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is a non-academic unit at Arizona State University that serves as the artistic and intellectual heart of a vibrant, multinational, and diverse community of writers, dedicated to serving the public through exceptional literary programs and resources. For more information, visit our website at


Lyndsay Faye, Hosted by William Kent Krueger

Author William Kent Krueger hosted Lyndsay Faye the other night.

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William Kent Krueger and Lyndsay Faye

She’s on book tour to promote her new Sherlock Holmes collection, The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes.

Art of Detection

Here’s the summary of the book that was last week’s “Hot Book of the Week”.

Internationally bestselling author Lyndsay Faye was introduced to the Sherlock Holmes mysteries when she was ten years old and her dad suggested she read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story ‘The Adventure of the Speckled Band.’ She immediately became enamored with tales of Holmes and his esteemed biographer Dr. John Watson, and later, began spinning these quintessential characters into her own works of fiction-from her acclaimed debut novel,Dust and Shadow, which pitted the famous detective against Jack the Ripper, to a series of short stories for theStrand Magazine, whose predecessor published the very first Sherlock Holmes short story in 1891.

Faye’s best Holmes tales, including two new works, are brought together inThe Whole Art of Detection, a stunning collection that spans Holmes’s career, from self-taught young upstart to publicly lauded detective, both before and after his faked death over a Swiss waterfall in 1894. In ‘The Lowther Park Mystery,’ the unsociable Holmes is forced to attend a garden party at the request of his politician brother and improvises a bit of theater to foil a conspiracy against the government. ‘The Adventure of the Thames Tunnel’ brings Holmes’s attention to the baffling murder of a jewel thief in the middle of an underground railway passage. With Holmes and Watson encountering all manner of ungrateful relatives, phony psychologists, wronged wives, plaid-garbed villains, and even a peculiar species of deadly red leech,The Whole Art of Detection is a must-read for Sherlockians and any fan of historical crime fiction with a modern sensibility.

Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, was there, but Krueger did the interview.

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Left to right – Barbara Peters, William Kent Krueger, Lyndsay Faye

It looks like Faye had a good time at the event.

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If you didn’t get a chance to get to the program, you can still buy a signed copy of The Whole Art of Detection through the Web Store.

Book Release Party – The Sharpened Quill

How about a book release party? The Poisoned Pen is hosting the party for The Sharpened Quill on Wednesday, March 29 at 7 PM.

Sharpened Quill

Steven Schwartz, the collection’s editor, hosts a number of the featured authors for this book release party. It’s a collection of short stories in various genres. James Sallis wrote the introduction. The anthology features works by Kurt Reichenbaugh, Robert Anglen, Merle McCann, Clark Lohr, Kevin Lynn Helmick, Steve Shadow, Scott McDonald, Karen Renner, Timothy W. Moore and Jacinda Power. The cover and book design are the work of Scott Carpenter of Cold Forge Press.

Stop in Wednesday night and meet the editor and some of the authors. Buy a copy that night, or order a signed copy through the Web Store.

Clive Cussler – #1

The April 2 New York Times Best Seller List has The Cutthroat by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott at #1.


The Poisoned Pen is Clive Cussler’s home bookstore, and we have signed copies of the book available through the Web Store.

Here’s the summary of the book, if you would like to read that before ordering the new #1 best seller.

Isaac Bell may be on the hunt for the greatest monster of all time in the newest action-adventure novel from #1 New York Times““bestselling author Clive Cussler.
The year is 1911. Chief Investigator Isaac Bell of the Van Dorn Detective Agency has had many extraordinary cases before. But none quite like this.

Hired to find a young woman named Anna Pape who ran away from home to become an actress, Bell gets a shock when her murdered body turns up instead. Vowing to bring the killer to justice, he begins a manhunt which leads him into increasingly more alarming territory. Anna Pape was not alone in her fate—petite young blond women like Anna are being murdered in cities across America.

And the pattern goes beyond the physical resemblance of the victims—there are disturbing familiarities about the killings themselves that send a chill through even a man as experienced with evil as Bell. If he is right about his fears, then he is on the trail of one of the greatest monsters of his time.


Nancy Pickard & The Scent of Rain and Lightning

Did you read Nancy Pickard’s The Scent of Rain and Lightning when it first came out?

Scent of Rain and Lightning

Here’s the summary from the Web Store.

One beautiful summer afternoon, Jody Linder receives shocking news: The man convicted of murdering her father is being released from prison and returning to the small town of Rose, Kansas. It has been twenty-three years since that stormy night when her father was shot and killed and her mother disappeared, presumed dead. Neither the protective embrace of Jody’s three uncles nor the safe haven of her grandparents’ ranch could erase the pain caused by Billy Crosby on that catastrophic night.

Now Billy Crosby is free, thanks to the efforts of his son, Collin, a lawyer who has spent most of his life trying to prove his father’s innocence. Despite their long history of carefully avoiding each other in such an insular community, Jody and Collin find that they share an exclusive sense of loss.

As Jody revisits old wounds, startling truths emerge about her family’s tragic past. But even through struggle and hardship, she still dares to hope for a better future—and maybe even love.


Pickard’s book has been made into a movie, which is being shown at selected film festivals.


Diana Reese recently interviewed her for “Parade“. You can read the interview here.

And, if you’re interested in the book, you can order The Scent of Rain and Lightning through the Web Store.

Hardboiled Crime

Lawrence Block. Christa Faust. Fans of hardboiled detective novels probably recognize the names. Both authors are quoted in David Barnett’s article, “Dames, Detectives, and Dope: Why We Still Love Hardboiled Crime”, published in The Guardian. If you’re a fan of noir, you might want to check out the article.

And, then, you might want to check the Web Store for books.

Edgar Symposium

Are you going to be in New York City on Wednesday, April 26th? Mystery Writers of America just released the schedule for the Edgar symposium. Some of the authors who appear regularly at The Poisoned Pen are participating.

2017 Edgar Symposium

Register NOW for the 2017 Edgar® Week Symposium!

Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Location:  Grand Hyatt Hotel ““ Mezzanine Level ““ Regency Room
East 42nd Street @ Grand Central Station

Below is a schedule preview (subject to change)
Symposium Schedule

8:30 ““ 8:50:                 Registration
8:55 ““ 9:00:                Welcome ““ MWA’s Executive Vice President ““ Donna Andrews

9:00 ““ 9:50:                Meet the Class of 2017 ““ Best First Novel Nominees

Moderator:               STEFANIE PINTOFF, 2010 Best First Edgar Winner (City on Edge, Bantam)
Panelists:                 Flynn Berry (2017 Best First Edgar Nominee ““ Under the Harrow, Penguin Books)
Bill Beverly (2017 Best First Edgar Nominee ““ Dodgers, Crown Publishing)
Joe Ide (2017 Best First Edgar Nominee ““ IQ, Little, Brown & Co ““ Mulholland Books)
Nick Petrie (2017 Best First Edgar Nominee ““ The Drifter ““ G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Lili Wright (2017 Best First Edgar Nominee ““ Dancing with the Tiger ““ Marian Wood/Putnam)
Heather Young (2017 Best First Edgar Nominee ““ The Lost Girls ““ William Morrow)

10:00 ““ 10:50:          From the Writer’s Desk, Part 1
Grand Master Max Allan Collins interviewed by Charles Ardai

11:00 ““ 11:50:           Just the Facts ““ If you’re not writing what you know, you’re writing what you want to know ““ and today’s savvy reader will send you a note if you get it wrong. How do writers of fiction and nonfiction crime approach research? When do they know they’ve researched enough?

Moderator:              LAURIE R. KING, MWA NorCal Chapter President (Murder of Mary Russell ““ Bantam)
Panelists:                Ruth Franklin (2017 Best Critical/Bio Nominee ““ Shirley Jackson ““ W.W. Norton)
Laurence Leamer (2017 Best Fact Crime Nominee ““ The Lynching ““ William Morrow)
Kate Summerscale (2017 Best Fact Crime Nominee ““ The Wicked Boy ““ Penguin Press)
Caroline (Charles) Todd (2017 MHC Award Nominee ““ The Shattered Tree ““ William Morrow)
James Ziskin (2017 Best PBO Nominee ““ Heart of Stone ““ Seventh Street Books)

11:50 ““ 1:00             Lunch Break (On Your Own)

1:00 ““ 1:50:              Nursery Noir ““ Writers of mysteries for young readers may have the toughest audience of all. How do dark stories translate for the teen and tween set? How do writers get into the minds ““ and hearts ““ of kid readers?

Moderator:            LORI RADER-DAY, MWA Midwest Chapter President (The Day I Died ““ William Morrow)
Panelists:               Brent Hartinger (2017 Best Young Adult Nominee ““ Three Truths and a Lie ““ Simon Pulse)
April Henry (2017 Best Young Adult Nominee ““ The Girl I Used to Be ““ Christy Ottaviano Books)
Sarah Lariviere (2017 Best Juvenile Nominee ““ The Bad Kid ““ Simon & Schuster BFYR)
Claire Legrand (2017 Best Juvenile Nominee ““ Some Kind of Happiness (Simon & Schuster BFYR)
James Ponti (2017 Best Juvenile Nominee ““ Framed! ““ Aladdin)
Billy Taylor (2017 Best Young Adult Nominee ““ Thieving Weasels ““ Penguin YR ““ Dial Books)
Susan Vaught (2017 Best Juvenile Nominee ““ Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry ““ Paula Wiseman Books)

2:00 ““ 2:50:             Liars Club ““ Liars, cheats, thieves, murderers ““ and, sometimes, those are the protagonists. How do writers create characters that keep readers up at night? How do they create empathy in characters who make bad guys look pretty good?

Moderator:            JEFFERY DEAVER, 2017 MWA President (The Burial Hour ““ Grand Central Publishing)
Panelists:               Laura Benedict (2017 Best Short Story Nominee ““ “A Paler Shade of Death” ““ St. Louis Noir)
Alafair Burke (2017 Best Novel Nominee ““ The Ex ““ HarperCollins)
Robert Dugoni (2017 Best PBO Nominee ““ The 7th Canon ““ Thomas & Mercer)
Lyndsay Faye (2017 Best Novel Nominee ““ Jane Steele ““ G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Alison Gaylin (2017 Best Novel Nominee ““ What Remains of Me ““ William Morrow)
Martha Hillier (2017 Best TV Episode Nominee ““ “Dark Road” ““ Vera)

3:00 ““ 3:50:              #AuthorLife ““ There’s no one way to be a crime writer. Agent/no agent. Small press/big five. Plotter/pantser forever. How did these authors get into the life of crime ““ and what advice do they have for aspiring writers taking a stab at mystery?

Moderator:              MARK STEVENS, MWA Rocky Mtn Chapter President (Lake of Fire ““ Midnight Ink)
Panelists:                 Megan Abbott (2017 Best Short Story Nominee ““ “Oxford Girl” ““ Mississippi Noir)
Patricia Abbott (2017 Best PBO Nominee ““ Shot in Detroit ““ Polis Books)
Reed Farrel Coleman (2017 Best Novel Nominee ““ Where it Hurts ““ G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Tyler Dilts (2017 Best PBO Nominee ““ Come Twilight ““ Thomas & Mercer)
Adrian McKinty (2017 Best PBO Nominee ““ Rain Dogs ““ Seventh Street Books)
Wendy Corsi Staub (2017 MHC Award Nominee ““ Blue Moon ““ William Morrow)

4:00 ““ 4:50:                 From the Writer’s Desk, Part 2
Grand Master Ellen Hart ““ Interviewed by Oline Cogdill

Cost:  $95 members, $125 non-members ““ with a $15 retroactive discount for those who join Mystery Writers of America within 30 days after Symposium.

You may also pay online via the MWA Store. Here’s the link to the symposium website for registration information.

If you can’t make it, but still want to read the books, look for them in The Poisoned Pen’s Web Store.


C.J. Box &Vicious Circle

C.J. Box will be at The Poisoned Pen on Thursday, March 23 at 7 PM to discuss his new release, Vicious Circle.

Vicious Circle

Here’s the summary from the Web Store.

The past comes back to haunt game warden Joe Pickett and his family with devastating effect in the thrilling new novel from #1 New York Times““bestselling author C. J. Box.

The plane circled in the dark. Joe Pickett could just make out down below a figure in the snow and timber, and then three other figures closing in. There was nothing he could do about it. And Joe knew that he might be their next target.

The Cates family had always been a bad lot. Game warden Joe Pickett had been able to strike a fierce blow against them when the life of his daughter April had been endangered, but he’d always wondered if there’d be a day of reckoning. He’s not wondering any longer. Joe knows they’re coming after him and his family now. He has his friend Nate by his side, but will that be enough this time? All he can do is prepare…and wait for them to make the first move.


Would you like to know what Box says about Joe Pickett?

About Joe Pickett

Even better than reading that note, though – you can come to The Poisoned Pen and hear C.J. Box talk about Joe Pickett. If you can’t be there, you can still order a signed copy of Vicious Circle from the Web Store.

Owen Laukkanen & The Forgotten Girls

Owen Laukkanen was at The Poisoned Pen while on book tour for The Forgotten Girls.

Forgotten Girls

Here’s the summary of the book, as it appears in the Web Store.

They are the victims no one has ever cared about, until now. Agents Stevens and Windermere return in the blistering new crime novel from the fast-rising, multi-award-nominated suspense star.
She was a forgotten girl, a runaway found murdered on the High Line train through the northern Rocky Mountains and, with little local interest, put into a dead file. But she was not alone. When Kirk Stevens and Carla Windermere of the joint FBI-BCA violent crime force stumble upon the case, they discover a horror far greater than anyone expected—a string of murders on the High Line, all of them young women drifters whom no one would notice.

But someone has noticed now. Through the bleak midwinter and a frontier land of forbidding geography, Stevens and Windermere follow a frustratingly light trail of clues—and where it ends, even they will be shocked.


Following an introduction by Patrick Millikin, manager of The Poisoned Pen, author Linda Castillo hosted Laukkanen.

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Left to right – Castillo, Laukkanen, and Millikin
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Castillo and Laukkanen
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Linda Castillo and Owen Laukkanen

Interested in buying a signed copy of The Forgotten Girls? Check the Web Store for that title, and Owen Laukkanen’s other books.