Poisoned Pen Press Authors – An Interview

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Poisoned Pen Press authors Thomas Kies and Annie Hogsett recently discussed their second books in an interview for Crimespree Magazinehttp://bit.ly/2lrwK6C

The article, “Behind the Book: Writing That Second Novel”, asks both of them about their second mysteries. You can find Kies’ Darkness Lane and Hogsett’s Murder to the Metal in the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

The Gray Ghost – A New Interpretation

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Have you seen episodes of “Fred Judges a Book by Its Cover” on “Late Night with Seth Meyers”? Fred Armisen guesses the plots of books just by looking at the cover. He attempted that  with The Gray Ghost by Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell. Add a little humor to your day, and check out the episode.


Gray Ghost

Now, here’s one spoiler for Fred’s guess. Robin Burcell is a woman, not “he”.

And, here’s the actual summary of The Gray Ghost.

The search for a legendary automobile threatens the careers and lives of husband-and-wife team Sam and Remi Fargo in this thrilling new adventure in Clive Cussler’s bestselling series.

In 1906, a groundbreaking Rolls-Royce prototype known as the Gray Ghost vanishes from the streets of Manchester, England, and it is only the lucky intervention of an American detective named Isaac Bell that prevents it from being lost forever. Not even he can save the good name of Jonathan Payton, however, the man wrongly blamed for the theft, and more than a hundred years later, it is his grandson who turns to Sam and Remi Fargo to help prove his grandfather’s innocence.

But there is even more at stake than any of them know. For the car has vanished again, and in it is an object so rare that it has the capacity to change lives. Men with everything to gain and a great deal to lose have a desperate plan to find it–and if anybody gets in their way? They have a plan for that, too.


Interested? You can buy a signed copy of The Gray Ghost through the Web Store, if you’d rather read it, and not just guess the plot as Fred did. http://bit.ly/2thk8Da

The Pharaoh Key – Book Trailer

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Did you miss the Poisoned Pen’s program when Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child discussed their latest Gideon Crew novel, The Pharaoh Key? We still have signed copies available through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2HQxlHs

Pharaoh Key

We have another way to entice you. Douglas Preston recently posted a book trailer for the book. Check it out.


Too quick for you? Here’s the summary of The Pharaoh Key.

Don’t miss the this exciting adventure from #1 New York Times-bestselling authors Preston & Child, in which the secrets of a mysterious ancient tablet may point the way to untold treasure-or unspeakable danger.
“I just want to be crystal clear about this: if it has value, we’re gonna steal it. Are you with me?”
Effective Engineering Solutions has been inexplicably shut down and the head of the company, Eli Glinn, has all but vanished. Fresh off a diagnosis that gives him only months to live, Gideon Crew is contacted by one of his coworkers at EES, Manuel Garza, who tells him the two have mere hours to collect their belongings before the office closes forever. After years of dedicated service and several high-risk missions, theirs seems like the most ignoble of terminations-until Gideon and Garza happen upon an incredible discovery.
After centuries of silence, a code-breaking machine at EES has cracked the long-awaited translation of a centuries-old stone tablet, the Phaistos Disc, that dates back to an otherwise completely unknown, ancient civilization. The mysteries of the message itself hint at incredible treasures, and perhaps even a world-altering secret. No one remains at EES to take on this most remarkable mission but Gideon and Garza. The two agree to solve the mystery of the disc’s message and split the spoils: the perfect parting gift their employer doesn’t know he has given.
What lies at the end of the trail may save Gideon’s life-or bring it to a sudden, shocking close. As Gideon and Garza soon discover, some missions are more dangerous than others. But as Gideon has proved again and again, there’s no such thing as too great a risk when you’re living on borrowed tim

Cara Black – Back in the Hot Seat

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Cara Left Bank header

It’s been a couple years since I interviewed Cara Black, author of the Aimee Leduc Investigations. Today is release day for her latest book, Murder on the Left Bank. She’ll be at the Poisoned Pen on Thursday, June 21 at 7 PM to discuss that book and her others. If you can’t make it, don’t hesitate to order a signed copy of it, or catch up with her earlier books. You can find them in the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2lkPg0i

Cara agreed to answer questions, and then she also sent all kinds of tantalizing photos. I’ll try to fit them in with the questions, but there will also be some at the end. Watch for them, please! And, thank you, Cara, for sitting In the Hot Seat again.

Cara, you’ve been a guest here before, but would you re-introduce yourself to readers?

-Thanks for having me, Lesa. Great to visit again! I live in San Francisco, am married to a former bookseller, and write the Aimée Leduc investigation series (now #18 is coming out) set in the different arrondissements of Paris. I get to Paris several times a year for research and am very lucky to have a friend’s couch to crash on.

Your detective, Aimee Leduc, has had some changes in her personal life. Would you bring us up-to-date?

-Aimée is now a single maman, her baby Chloé is ten months old as the story starts and we’re in September of 1999. She’s running her detective agency, which focuses on computer crime, and constantly juggling her life, work, baby and the man in her life. Trying to do her best to earn the daily baguette and butter it. She’s lucky to have Babette, a nanny who she shares child care with a family across the courtyard, and of course, needs to pick up her daughter from bébe swim and life gets complicated every minute.

Tell us about Murder on the Left Bank, without spoilers.

-Très chic Parisian détective Aimée Leduc is back, and a 50 year old confession has her on a collision course with a cabal of corrupt Parisian cops!

Would you tell us about the current art scene in the 13th arrondissement?

-The 13th arrondissement encompasses what were villages and old factory sites – once on the outskirts of Paris – but now part of it. The socialist mayor of this arrondissement loves street art and promotes it which means what was once considered ‘grafitti’ or tags are ‘street art’ encouraged and promoted. It’s a big part of his project to encourage art and artists. On the sides of buildings you’ll see amazing work several stories high that reflects social issues, history and the inhabitants.

Cara street art

Cara street art again

Several famous tag artists, who are now mainstream, started there notably MissTyk and Jeff Aerosol who command huge prices in galleries now. Because it’s so much a part of the 13th, as is the traditional Gobelins tapestry factory still in operation, that I felt this had to be part of the story, too.  It’s fun to do a walking tour of the street art, given by residents, who are so proud of how it reflects their quartier.

Cara's Tapestry

Cara tapestry 2

Cara tapestry 3
At Gobelins Tapestry factory

Anyone who reads the Aimee Leduc Investigations knows about her scooter. Tell us about your recent scooter tour of Paris.

-So much fun! I rode with Oliver, an Aussie who lives in Paris, and does podcasts and radio interviews about Paris. After he interviewed me, we walked around and took live questions, then hopped his scooter to Aimée’s apartment on the Ile Saint-Louis. He said let’s be spontaneous and go to her ‘work’, the real Duluc Detective agency on rue du Louvre. I held his camera phone on the steady cam and we drove on his scooter (his is red and Aimée’s is faded pink) to her office as Aimée would. Along the quai, across the Pont Philippe, weaving thru traffic on  rue de Rivoli. It was a real thrill! Must say, Oliver is a careful driver but we were almost stopped by the traffic flics for a random check. It took us eight minutes. But I’m sure Aimée makes it in five.

Cara, you’ve been going to Paris for years, and writing about the various arrondissements. Like any city, you can never see it all. Where would you still like to go in Paris? What have you not yet seen?

-There’s so much to discover. I learn about new places, out of the way museums, old shops all the time. I just found out about a shop on the Left Bank with a collection of old fans that I’m dying to visit. I’m a member of two historical associations who organise walks – highly recommended – and sometimes I get invitations to events at historical buildings only open to the associations…those are amazing.

Cara more street art

Cara 13th arrondissement

Pretend someone is in Paris for one week, for the first time. Where must they go?

-Definitely the Place des Vosges in the Marais, the 17th century arcaded square for the beauty, behind it the courtyard of Hotel Sully (it’s not a hotel, but a hotel particulier which is what they call townhouse mansions) and it’s incredible bookshop. Stroll on the banks of the Seine at twilight opposite Ile Saint-Louis. Drink an apéro outside at Chez Prune, a cool place, on the Canal Saint Martin. Museum wise, the musée de la Chasse, a hunting museum, in an old hotel particulier in the Marais and the Balzac museum in the 16th arrondissement where Balzac wrote hiding from his creditors. Be a ‘flaneur’ – a walker with no particular destination – and see where the streets take you…it’s always a good idea and you’ll discover Paris.

Favorite food in Paris?

-Jewel like eclairs from Eclair de Genie. Roasted cauliflower at Miznon in the Marais.

Let’s end with Aimee Leduc. If Murder on the Left Bank is just out, you’ve probably finished the next book. Give us a hint of Aimee’s next investigation, please.

-You’re spot on, Lesa. Yes, she’ll be crossing back over the Seine to the right bank, there’s tension in her personal life; with her baby’s biological father and her American mother, and a crime at one of the oldest private cemeteries in Paris where Lafayette is buried and it’s tentatively titled ‘Murder in Bel Air’.


Thank you, Cara.

I’m really going to end with two things – first, a reminder that Cara Black will be at the Poisoned Pen on Thursday, June 21 at 7 PM.

Then, I have a final set of pictures. Cara mentioned you should wander around Paris. She sent pictures of a costume sale at Opera Comique. Her comment was, “an unexpected thing I stumbled across, as one does in Paris”.

Cara costume sale

Cara costumes

Cara costumes again

Cara Black’s Aimee Leduc Investigations

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Liam Callanan hosts Cara Black, author of the Aimee Leduc Investigations, on Thursday, June 21 at 7 PM. Signed copies of Black’s eighteenth mystery in the series, Murder on the Left Bank, are available through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2IYOeVY

Murder on the Left Bank

Here’s the summary of Murder on the Left Bank.

The eighteenth mystery in the New York Times bestselling Parisian detective series! 

A dying man drags his oxygen machine into the office of Éric Besson, a lawyer in Paris’s 13th arrondissement. The old man, an accountant, is carrying a dilapidated notebook full of meticulous investment records. For decades, he has been helping a cadre of dirty cops launder stolen money. The notebook contains his full confession—he’s waited 50 years to make it, and now it can’t wait another day. He is adamant that Besson get the notebook into the hands of La Proc, Paris’s chief prosecuting attorney, so the corruption can finally be brought to light. But en route to La Proc, Besson’s courier—his assistant and nephew—is murdered, and the notebook disappears.

Grief-stricken Éric Besson tries to hire private investigator Aimée Leduc to find the notebook, but she is reluctant to get involved. Her father was a cop and was murdered by the same dirty syndicate the notebook implicates. She’s not sure which she’s more afraid of, the dangerous men who would kill for the notebook or the idea that her father’s name might be among the dirty cops listed within it. Ultimately that’s the reason she must take the case, which leads her across the Left Bank, from the Cambodian enclave of Khmer Rouge refugees to the ancient royal tapestry factories to the modern art galleries.


Recently, Cara Black’s publisher put together a guide to the series. It’s a fascinating look at the setting and stories. Even if you’re up-to-date with the mysteries, you’ll want to check it out. https://www.discovermysteries.com/black/


Hot Book of the Week – A Taste for Vengeance

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Martin Walker will be at the Poisoned Pen on Monday, June 18 at 7 PM. His latest Bruno, Chief of Police mystery, A Taste for Vengeance is the current Hot Book of the Week. If you can’t make it on Monday evening, you can still order a signed copy of that book, or copies of Walker’s other books,  through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2ynMUXE

Taste for Vengeance

Here’s the summary of A Taste for Vengeance.

A missing woman, a shocking pregnancy, a dash of international intrigue, and a bottle or two of good Bergerac: it’s another case for Bruno, Chief of Police.

When a British tourist fails to turn up for a luxurious cooking vacation in Bruno’s usually idyllic Dordogne village of St. Denis, the worried hostess is quick to call on Bruno for help. Monica Felder is nowhere to be found, and her husband, a retired British major, is unreachable. And not long after Bruno discovers that Monica was traveling with a mysterious Irishman (her lover?), the two turn up dead. The Irishman’s background in intelligence and his connection to Monica’s husband only raise more questions for Bruno. Was she running away? How much does her husband really know? What’s the real story behind a scandal buried in the threesome’s military past? Meanwhile, the star of the girls’ rugby team, a favorite of Bruno’s, is pregnant, putting at risk her chances of being named to the French national squad. Bruno’s search for the truth in both cases leads him to places he hadn’t intended to go–but, as ever, he and his friends take time to savor the natural delights of the Dordogne. Santé!

Enjoy June

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In this June edition of BookNews, you’ll find out about the latest books from Martin Walker, Matthew Pearl, Liam Callanan, Cara Black, Matt Goldman and so much more! Click here to view the PDF