Karin Slaughter & Her Hot Book of the Week

Karin Slaughter’s “Will Trent” is on ABC, but readers knew him first. She just appeared at The Poisoned Pen to talk about her latest book, After That Night. It’s the Hot Book of the Week at the bookstore. Although store owner Barbara Peters welcomed her and the live audience for the event, Isabella Maldonado was guest host. Slaughter’s events are always fun. You’ll want to watch it, and then you can still order a signed copy of After That Night through the Webstore. https://bit.ly/3ssna9a

Here’s the description of After That Night.


“Enter the world of Karin Slaughter. Just be forewarned, there’s no going back.” —Lisa Gardner

Will Trent and Sara Linton are back in an electrifying thriller featuring GBI investigator Will Trent and medical examiner Sara Linton from New York Times bestselling author Karin Slaughter

After that night, everything changed . . .

Fifteen years ago, Sara Linton’s life changed forever when a celebratory night out ended in a violent attack that tore her world apart. Since then, Sara has remade her life. A successful doctor, engaged to a man she loves, she has finally managed to leave the past behind her.

Until one evening, on call in the ER, everything changes. Sara battles to save a broken young woman who’s been brutally attacked. But as the investigation progresses, led by GBI Special Agent Will Trent, it becomes clear that Dani Cooper’s assault is uncannily linked to Sara’s.

And the past isn’t going to stay buried forever . . .

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular storytellers. She is the author of more than twenty instant New York Times bestselling novels, including the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and standalone novels The Good Daughter and Pretty Girls. An international bestseller, Slaughter is published in 120 countries with more than 40 million copies sold across the globe. Pieces of Her is now a #1 Netflix original series starring Toni Collette, Will Trent is now a hit television series starring Ramón Rodríguez on ABC, and further projects are in development for television. Karin Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, she lives in Atlanta.

If you’re a fan of Karin Slaughter, you’ll enjoy the event.

A.J. Pearce and The Emmy Lake Chronicles

A.J. Pearce’s latest Emmy Lake Chronicles novel is Mrs. Porter Calling. John Charles from The Poisoned Pen recently welcomed A.J. Pearce to talk about the series and her new book. You can order a copy of Mrs. Porter Calling through the Webstore. https://bit.ly/3qK7YUu

Here’s the description of Mrs. Porter Calling.

From the author of the bestselling “jaunty, heartbreaking winner” (PeopleDear Mrs. Bird comes a charming and irresistible novel featuring journalist Emmy Lake as she fights for her readers, her friends and her found family in London during World War II.

London, 1943. Twenty-five-year-old Emmy Lake is doing her part in the war effort by spearheading the hugely popular “Yours Cheerfully” advice column in Woman’s Friend magazine. The postbags are full, Emmy’s guidance offers much needed support to her readers, and Woman’s Friend is thriving. Cheered on by her best friends Bunty and Thelma, and resolute in the absence of her husband who is fighting in the army, Emmy is dedicated to helping women face the increasing challenges brought about by over three years of war.

But Emmy’s world is turned upside down when glamorous socialite, the Honorable Cressida Porter, becomes the new publisher of the magazine, and wants to change everything about it. Aided by Mrs. Pye, a Paris-obsessed fashion editor with delusions of grandeur, and Small Winston, the grumpiest dog in London, Mrs. Porter fills the pages with expensive clothes and frivolous articles about her friends. Worst of all, she announces that she is cutting the advice column and leaving the readers to fend for themselves. Her vision for the publication’s future is dreadful and Emmy is determined to fight back.

Emmy and her friends must save the magazine they love, but when personal tragedy strikes, can they find a way to do so while juggling the very real implications of life in war-torn London?

Perfect for book clubs and fans of The Paris Library and Lessons in ChemistryMrs. Porter Calling is a story about women coming together. Set during World War II but inherently resonant with how we choose our families today, Pearce’s signature combination of laugh-out-loud funny and heartbreakingly sad storytelling delivers a feel-good tribute to the strength of friendships. This stand-alone novel with its much-loved continuing characters is the perfect tonic for our times.

AJ Pearce grew up in Hampshire, England. She studied at the University of Sussex and Northwestern University. Her collection of over 800 vintage women’s and news magazines is the inspiration for her series The Emmy Lake Chronicles, which includes Dear Mrs. Bird, Yours Cheerfully, and Mrs. Porter Calling. She lives in the south of England.  

Enjoy the discussion of women’s roles in wartime, women’s magazines, and historical fiction.

Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, Dead Mountain

Barbara Preston, owner of The Poisoned Pen, recently hosted Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child to talk about their latest Nora Kelly book, Dead Mountain. There are signed copies of Dead Mountain available in the Webstore. https://tinyurl.com/5xc4y8kb

Here’s the description of Dead Mountain.

#1 New York Times bestselling authors Preston & Child return in the latest installment of the bestselling series featuring renowned archaeologist Nora Kelly and FBI Agent Corrie Swanson, who investigate a mystery so enigmatic it may have no solution.

In 2008, nine mountaineers failed to return from a winter backpacking trip in the New Mexico mountains. At their final campsite, searchers found a bizarre scene: something had appeared at the door of their tent so terrifying that it impelled them to slash their way out and flee barefoot to certain death in a blizzard. Despite a diligent search, only six bodies were found, two violently crushed and inexplicably missing their eyes. The case, given the code name “Dead Mountain” by the FBI, was never solved.

Now, two more bodies from the lost expedition are unexpectedly discovered in a cave, one a grisly suicide. Young FBI Agent Corrie Swanson teams up with archaeologist Nora Kelly to investigate what really happened on that fateful trip fifteen years ago—and to find the ninth victim. But their search awakens a long-slumbering evil, which pursues Corrie and Nora with a vengeance, determined to prevent the final missing corpse from ever coming to light.

The thrillers of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child “stand head and shoulders above their rivals” (Publishers Weekly). Preston and Child’s Relic and The Cabinet of Curiosities were chosen by readers in a National Public Radio poll as being among the one hundred greatest thrillers ever written, and Relic was made into a number?one box office hit movie. They are coauthors of the famed Pendergast series, and their recent novels include The Cabinet of Dr. Leng, Diablo Mesa, Bloodless, The Scorpion’s Tail, and Crooked River. In addition to his novels, Preston is the author of the award-winning nonfiction book The Lost City of the Monkey God. Child is a Florida resident and former book editor who has published eight novels of his own, including such bestsellers as Chrysalis and Deep Storm.

Enjoy the release day conversation with Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Aimie K. Runyon discusses A Bakery in Paris

John Charles recently welcomed Aimie K. Runyon to The Poisoned Pen. She’s the author of A Bakery in Paris. You can order copies of A Bakery in Paris through the Webstore. https://bit.ly/3YGXstG

Here’s the description of A Bakery in Paris.

From the author of The School for German Brides, this captivating historical novel set in nineteenth-century and post–World War II Paris follows two fierce women of the same family, generations apart, who find that their futures lie in the four walls of a simple bakery in a tiny corner of Montmartre.

1870: The Prussians are at the city gates, intent to starve Paris into submission. Lisette Vigneau—headstrong, willful, and often ignored by her wealthy parents—awaits the outcome of the war from her parents’ grand home in the Place Royale in the very heart of the city. When an excursion throws her into the path of a revolutionary National Guardsman, Théodore Fournier, her destiny is forever changed. She gives up her life of luxury to join in the fight for a Paris of the People. She opens a small bakery with the hopes of being a vital boon to the impoverished neighborhood in its hour of need. When the city falls into famine, and then rebellion, her resolve to give up the comforts of her past life is sorely tested.

1946: Nineteen-year-old Micheline Chartier is coping with the loss of her father and the disappearance of her mother during the war. In their absence, she is charged with the raising of her two younger sisters. At the hand of a well-meaning neighbor, Micheline finds herself enrolled in a prestigious baking academy with her entire life mapped out for her. Feeling trapped and desperately unequal to the task of raising two young girls, she becomes obsessed with finding her mother. Her classmate at the academy, Laurent Tanet, may be the only one capable of helping Micheline move on from the past and begin creating a future for herself. 

Both women must grapple with loss, learn to accept love, and face impossible choices armed with little more than their courage and a belief that a bit of flour, yeast, sugar, and love can bring about a revolution of their own. 

Aimie K. Runyan is a multipublished and bestselling author of historical fiction. She has been nominated for a Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer of the Year award and two Colorado Book Awards. She lives in Colorado with her wonderful husband and two (usually) adorable children.

John Charles always asks authors who they were before they started writing. You can hear Runyan’s conversation and response.

Upcoming Events

It’s time for a reminder about upcoming events at The Poisoned Pen. Before coming this week, though, you might want to check with the bookstore at 480-947-2974. Sundays event with Alice Hoffman was cancelled. You just might want to check. But, it’s a terrific lineup. After you verify the event will happen, you can then check the Webstore for books by your favorite author. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Preston & Child
A.J. Pearce
Graham Norton
Karin Slaughter w/Isabella Maldonado
Nina Simon
Taylor Moore
Angie Kim w/Chris Bohjalian

J.H. Gelernter’s Latest Books

Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, recently welcomed J.J. Gelernter to talk about his books. The Thomas Grey books include his latest one, The Montevideo Brief. As Josh Haven, he’s the author of The Siberia Job. There are signed copies of both books in the Webstore. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Here’s the description of The Montevideo Brief.

A secret treaty will determine whether England can survive against Napoleon, and Captain Grey races across the Atlantic to intercept a treasure fleet.

Vienna—June 1804. At the glittering debut of Beethoven’s Third Symphony, a Spanish diplomat meets with Captain Thomas Grey, agent of His Majesty’s Secret Service. In exchange for a gigantic bribe, the Spaniard discloses Spain’s darkest secret the actual terms of the Treaty of San Ildefonso with France.

Spain’s neutrality in Napoleon’s war on Britain is only a ruse to keep the British navy from attacking the great treasure-armada now gathering in South America. Spanish warships will depart Montevideo, Uruguay, carrying 2,000 tons of gold; when the gold is safely in Madrid, Spain will declare war on Britain and ally with France to divide the British Empire between them. Britain’s only hope is to sink or capture the treasure fleet, and the responsibility of delivering that blow falls to Grey. As Jack Aubrey would have said in such a crisis, “There is not a moment to be lost!”

J. H. Gelernter is the author of the Thomas Grey novels: The Montevideo Brief, Hold Fast, and Captain Grey’s Gambit.

This is the summary of The Siberia Job.

A Texas businessman travels to the furthest reaches of post-Soviet Russia in search of the country’s new wealth — and finds new dangers as well. Based on true events.

After the demise of the Soviet Union, the newly-established Russian government privatized its industry by issuing vouchers to all of its citizens, allowing them the chance to be shareholders in the country’s burgeoning businesses. The slips are distributed among the population and auctions are arranged where they can be exchanged for actual shares. For the country’s rural populations living in abject poverty, the vouchers appear to be little more than pieces of paper, totally separated from the far-off concept of potential future fortunes. 

But for Texas businessman John Mills and his Czech companion, Petr Kovac, the seemingly-valueless chits suggest a lucrative potential, worth much more than what the current owners are willing to sell them for. They travel to the furthest, coldest reaches of the country to acquire vouchers for the country’s national oil company, Gazneft, roving from town to town with suitcases full of cash. But  they quickly learn that the plan has complications — for example, the fact that the auctions at which these vouchers are traded for actual shares have been planned at the most remote, inaccessible locations possible to deter outsiders from buying in. And when the Russian mafia and the oligarchs in charge of Gazneft catch wind of their successes, the stakes become suddenly more deadly.

A thrilling adventure inspired by true events, The Siberia Job charts a course through one of the most impactful periods in recent Russian history, whose reverberations continue to be felt in the present day.

Before publishing his first novel, Josh Haven was an art critic for magazines & newspapers in the US & Europe and an astrogeophysicist who solved the Saturn-Hyperion density/porosity problem. His seafaring adventure novels are published under the name J.H. Gelernter, and Fake Money, Blue Smoke is his first crime novel.

Enjoy the conversation.

Naomi Hirahara discusses Evergreen

Naomi Hirahara is the author of Clark and Division. Her latest book is Evergreen. She appeared at The Poisoned Pen to discuss Evergreen. Barbara Peters, owner of the bookstore, welcomed her for a live event. There are signed copies of the book available in the Webstore. https://bit.ly/3QK9cJU

Here’s the description of Evergreen.

A Japanese American nurse’s aide navigates the dangers of post-WWII and post-Manzanar life as she attempts to find justice for a broken family in this follow-up to the Mary Higgins Clark Award–winning Clark and Division.

It’s been two years since Aki Ito and her family were released from Manzanar detention center and resettled in Chicago with other Japanese Americans. Now the Itos have finally been allowed to return home to California—but nothing is as they left it. The entire Japanese American community is starting from scratch, with thousands of people living in dismal refugee camps while they struggle to find new houses and jobs in over-crowded Los Angeles.

Aki is working as a nurse’s aide at the Japanese Hospital in Boyle Heights when an elderly Issei man is admitted with suspicious injuries. When she seeks out his son, she is shocked to recognize her husband’s best friend, Babe Watanabe. Could Babe be guilty of elder abuse?

Only a few days later, Little Tokyo is rocked by a murder at the low-income hotel where the Watanabes have been staying. When the cops start sniffing around Aki’s home, she begins to worry that the violence tearing through her community might threaten her family. What secrets have the Watanabes been hiding, and can Aki protect her husband from getting tangled up in a murder investigation?

Naomi Hirahara is the Mary Higgins Clark Award–winning author of Clark and Division, and the Edgar Award–winning author of the Mas Arai mystery series, including Summer of the Big Bachi, which was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and one of the Chicago Tribune’s Ten Best Mysteries and Thrillers; Gasa Gasa Girl; Snakeskin Shamisen; and Hiroshima Boy. She is also the author of the LA-based Ellie Rush mysteries. A former editor of The Rafu Shimpo newspaper, she has co-written non-fiction books like Life after Manzanar and the award-winning Terminal Island: Lost Communities of Los Angeles Harbor.

The Stanford University alumna was born and raised in Altadena, CA; she now resides in the adjacent town of Pasadena, CA.

Naomi Hirahara talks about her background and her books. It’s a fascinating discussion.

Launch Date for Vampires of El Norte

Check out the beautiful cover for Isabel Canas’ Vampires of El Norte. Canas appeared for The Poisoned Pen on launch day for her book. Barbara Peters, owner of the bookstore, welcomed her for the event, along with Patrick Millikin. There are signed copies of Vampires of El Norte available in the Webstore. https://bit.ly/3KITM4I

Here’s the summary of Vampires of El Norte.

Vampires and vaqueros face off on the Texas-Mexico border in this supernatural western from the author of The Hacienda.

As the daughter of a rancher in 1840s Mexico, Nena knows a thing or two about monsters—her home has long been threatened by tensions with Anglo settlers from the north. But something more sinister lurks near the ranch at night, something that drains men of their blood and leaves them for dead.

Something that once attacked Nena nine years ago.

Believing Nena dead, Néstor has been on the run from his grief ever since, moving from ranch to ranch working as a vaquero. But no amount of drink can dispel the night terrors of sharp teeth; no woman can erase his childhood sweetheart from his mind.

When the United States invades Mexico in 1846, the two are brought abruptly together on the road to war: Nena as a curandera, a healer striving to prove her worth to her father so that he does not marry her off to a stranger, and Néstor as a member of the auxiliary cavalry of ranchers and vaqueros. But the shock of their reunion—and Nena’s rage at Néstor for seemingly abandoning her long ago—is quickly overshadowed by the appearance of a nightmare made flesh.

And unless Nena and Néstor work through their past and face the future together, neither will survive to see the dawn.

Isabel Cañas is a Mexican American speculative fiction writer. After having lived in Mexico, Scotland, Egypt, Turkey, and New York City, among other places, she has settled in the Pacific Northwest. She holds a doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and writes fiction inspired by her research and her heritage.

What genre is Vampires of El Norte? Horror? Mexican gothic? Speculative fiction? Watch the event, and decide for yourself.

The Latest Sigma Force – Tides of Fire

James Rollins had all kinds of scientific information to discuss in his latest appearance at The Poisoned Pen. Barbara Peters, owner of the bookstore, welcomed him for a live event to discuss his latest Sigma Force novel, Tides of Fire. There are signed copies of Tides of Fire available in the Webstore. https://bit.ly/45qFvBG

Here’s the description of Tides of Fire.

In the latest riveting thriller from James Rollins, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sigma Force series, an international research station in the Coral Sea comes under siege during a geological disaster that triggers massive quakes, deadly tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. To stop the world from burning, it’s up to Sigma Force to uncover a secret buried at the heart of our planet. 

The Titan Project—an international research station off the coast of Australia—discovers a thriving zone of life in an otherwise dead sea. The area teems with a strange bioluminescent coral that defies science, yet holds great promise for the future. But the loss of a military submarine in the area triggers a brutal attack and sets in motion a geological disaster that destabilizes an entire region.

Massive quakes, volcanic eruptions, and deadly tsunamis herald a greater cataclysm to come—for something is stirring miles under the ocean, a threat hidden for millennia.

As seas turn toxic and coastlines burn, can Sigma Force stop what has been let loose—especially as an old adversary returns, hunting them and thwarting their every move? For any hope of success, Commander Gray Pierce must search for a key buried in the past, hidden deep in Aboriginal mythology. But what Sigma could uncover is even more frightening—something that will shake the very foundations of humanity.

James Rollins is the author of international thrillers that have been translated into more than forty languages. His Sigma series has been lauded as one of the “top crowd pleasers” (New York Times) and one of the “hottest summer reads” (People magazine). In each novel, acclaimed for its originality, Rollins unveils unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets–and he does it all at breakneck speed and with stunning insight. He lives in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Enjoy the conversation.

Mark Pryor discusses The Dark Edge of Night

Mark Pryor got up at 4:00 AM to make it to Scottsdale. Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, welcomed him to the bookstore. Signed copies of his latest book, The Dark Edge of Night, are available through the Webstore. https://tinyurl.com/2p87ch8f

Here’s the description of The Dark Edge of Night.

“Sharp eyed and sharp mouthed police detective”* Henri Lefort, is determined to solve homicides and uncover any German conspiracies threatening France—in Mark Pryor’s newest World War II mystery, The Dark Edge of Night.

Winter 1940: With soldiers parading down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Nazi flags dangling from the Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower defaced with German propaganda, Parisians have little to celebrate as Christmas approaches. Police Inspector Henri Lefort’s wishes for a quiet holiday season are dashed when the Gestapo orders him to investigate the disappearance of Dr. Viktor Brandt, a neurologist involved in a secret project at one of Paris’s hospitals.

Being forced onto a missing persons case for the enemy doesn’t deter Henri from conducting his real job. A Frenchman has been beaten to death in what appears to be a botched burglary, and catching a killer is more important than locating a wayward scientist. But when Henri learns that the victim’s brother is a doctor who worked at the same hospital as the missing German, his investigation takes a disturbing turn.

Uncovering a relationship between the two men—one that would not be tolerated by the Third Reich—Henri must tread carefully. And when he discovers that Dr. Brandt’s experimental work is connected to groups of children being taken from orphanages, Henri risks bringing the wrath of both the SS and the Gestapo upon himself and everyone he loves.

MARK PRYOR is a former newspaper reporter and felony prosecutor, originally from England but now living in Austin, Texas. He is the author of the Hugo Marston mystery series, set in Paris, London, and Barcelona. Mark is also the author of the psychological thrillers, Hollow Man, and its sequel, Dominic. As a prosecutor, he appeared on CBS News’s 48 Hours and Discovery Channel’s Discovery ID: Cold Blood.

Enjoy the conversation!