Joanne Fluke, Raspberry Danish Murder

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Join Joanne Fluke at The Poisoned Pen on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 7 PM to celebrate the release of her 22nd Hannah Swenson mystery, Raspberry Danish Murder. You can pre-order signed copies at the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2o5JYqA

Raspberry Danish Murder

In Fluke’s books, baking goes hand-in-hand with the mysteries. She has a new series of videos out to go with this book.

And, here’s the link on Joanne Fluke’s website if the video doesn’t take you to the next in the series. http://bit.ly/2GdNc2L


Here’s the summary of Raspberry Danish Murder.

Thanksgiving has a way of thawing the frostiest hearts in Lake Eden. But that won’t be happening for newlywed Hannah Swensen Barton—not after her husband suddenly disappears . . .

Hannah has felt as bitter as November in Minnesota since Ross vanished without a trace and left their marriage in limbo. Still, she throws herself into a baking frenzy for the sake of pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving-themed treats while endless holiday orders pour into The Cookie Jar. Hannah even introduces a raspberry Danish pastry to the menu, and P.K., her husband’s assistant at KCOW-TV, will be one of the first to sample it. But instead of taking a bite, P.K., who is driving Ross’s car and using his desk at work, is murdered. Was someone plotting against P.K. all along or did Ross dodge a deadly dose of sweet revenge? Hannah will have to quickly sift through a cornucopia of clues and suspects to stop a killer from bringing another murder to the table . . .

Mark Greaney, Agent in Place

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Well, Mark Greaney really isn’t the “Agent in Place”. That’s the name of the seventh book in Greaney’s Gray Man series. He’ll be here Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 7 PM to talk about that international thriller, Agent in Place. You can pre-order your signed copy through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2o92azg

Agent in Place

Here’s the summary.

The Gray Man is back in another nonstop international thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan novels

Fresh off his first mission back with the CIA, Court Gentry secures what seems like a cut-and-dried contract job: A group of expats in Paris hires him to kidnap the mistress of Syrian dictator Ahmed Azzam to get intel that could destabilize Azzam’s regime.

Court delivers Bianca Medina to the rebels, but his job doesn’t end there. She soon reveals that she has given birth to a son, the only heir to Azzam’s rule–and a potent threat to the Syrian president’s powerful wife.

Now, to get Bianca’s cooperation, Court must bring her son out of Syria alive. With the clock ticking on Bianca’s life, he goes off the grid in a free-fire zone in the Middle East–and winds up in the right place at the right time to take a shot at bringing one of the most brutal dictatorships on earth to a close…


As an additional teaser, here’s a link to a terrific recent interview with Greaney in “The Real Book Spy”. http://bit.ly/2F4lBl7

Brad Parks is “Closer Than You Know”

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Award-winning author Brad Parks will be at The Poisoned Pen on Wednesday, March 7 at 7 PM, on book tour for his latest thriller, Closer Than You Know. Release date is March 6. You can pre-order a signed copy through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2GcYCUm

Closer Than You Know

Here’s the summary.

Brad Parks delivers another riveting, emotionally powerful stand-alone domestic suspense thriller perfect for fans of The Couple Next Door and What She Knew.

Disaster, Melanie Barrick was once told, is always closer than you know.

It was a lesson she learned the hard way growing up in the constant upheaval of foster care. But now that she’s survived into adulthood–with a loving husband, a steady job, and a beautiful baby boy named Alex–she thought that turmoil was behind her.

Until one Tuesday evening when she goes to pick up Alex from childcare only to discover he’s been removed by Social Services. And no one will say why. It’s a terrifying scenario for any parent, but doubly so for Melanie, who knows the unintended horrors of what everyone coldly calls “the system.”

Her nightmare mushrooms when she arrives home to learn her house has been raided by sheriff’s deputies, who have found enough cocaine to send Melanie to prison for years. The evidence against her is overwhelming, and if Melanie can’t prove her innocence, she’ll lose Alex forever.

Meanwhile, assistant commonwealth’s attorney Amy Kaye–who has been assigned Melanie’s case–has her own troubles. She’s been dogged by a cold case no one wants her to pursue: a serial rapist who has avoided detection by wearing a mask and whispering his commands. Over the years, he has victimized dozens of women.

Including Melanie. Yet now her attacker might be the key to her salvation . . . or her undoing.


What’s better than a summary? Hearing the author present a teaser. Here’s Brad Parks reading the first chapter of Closer Than You Know.

You might want to mark your calendar now for March 7. It’s “closer than you know”.

Walter Mosley @ The Poisoned Pen

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Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley, author of Down the River Unto the Sea, will be at The Poisoned Penn on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 7 PM to discuss his latest book. Signed copies can be ordered through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2EpZSHb

Down the River

Here’s the summary of the book.

“Mosley writes with great power here about themes that have permeated his work: institutional racism, political corruption, and the ways that both of these issues affect not only society at large but also the inner lives of individual men and women.” —Booklist (starred review)

Joe King Oliver was one of the NYPD’s finest investigators, until, dispatched to arrest a well-heeled car thief, he is framed for assault by his enemies within the NYPD, a charge which lands him in solitary at Rikers Island.
A decade later, King is a private detective, running his agency with the help of his teenage daughter, Aja-Denise. Broken by the brutality he suffered and committed in equal measure while behind bars, his work and his daughter are the only light in his solitary life. When he receives a card in the mail from the woman who admits she was paid to frame him those years ago, King realizes that he has no choice but to take his own case: figuring out who on the force wanted him disposed of–and why.
Running in parallel with King’s own quest for justice is the case of a Black radical journalist accused of killing two on-duty police officers who had been abusing their badges to traffic in drugs and women within the city’s poorest neighborhoods.
Joined by Melquarth Frost, a brilliant sociopath, our hero must beat dirty cops and dirtier bankers, craven lawyers, and above all keep his daughter far from the underworld in which he works. All the while, two lives hang in the balance: King’s client’s, and King’s own.
Marilyn Stasio’s review of Down the River Unto the Sea is the lead in her recent Crime column in the New York Timeshttps://nyti.ms/2BW597H
Here’s Richard Lipez’ review, “Walter Mosley is back with a whole new character to love” from The Washington Posthttp://wapo.st/2EoT0FO

Matt Haig & How to Stop Time

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Matt Haig, author of How to Stop Time, just appeared at The Poisoned Pen for the first time. You might want to pick up a copy now because it has already been optioned for a movie with Benedict Cumberbatch supposed to star and be the executive producer. Signed copies are available through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2nZA76a

How to Stop Time

You can watch Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, interview Haig on Facebook. It’s a fascinating interview.

Here’s the summary of How to Stop Time.

“The first rule is that you don’t fall in love,’ he said… ‘There are other rules too, but that is the main one. No falling in love. No staying in love. No daydreaming of love. If you stick to this you will just about be okay.'”

“A quirky romcom dusted with philosophical observations….A delightfully witty…poignant novel.” —The Washington Post

“Haig’s novel offers a wry, intriguing meditation on time and an eternal human challenge: how to relinquish the past and live fully in the present.” —People

Named one of the most anticipated books of 2018 by Entertainment WeeklyEsquire, HelloGiggles, and Bustle.

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history–performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.

So Tom moves back his to London, his old home, to become a high school history teacher–the perfect job for someone who has witnessed the city’s history first hand. Better yet, a captivating French teacher at his school seems fascinated by him. But the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: Never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society’s watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can’t have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.

How to Stop Time tells a love story across the ages – and for the ages – about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live. It is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.


Matt Haig is the author of number of fiction and nonfiction book for children and adults. You can learn more about him on his website, www.matthaig.com.

In fact, one of his children’s books, written for his son, is A Boy Called Christmas. The American Library Association just named that book as an Odyssey Honor Audiobook. It was narrated by Stephen Fry.


Just a couple photos taken during the book signing, Matt Haig with fans.

Matt Haig and customer

Matt Haig and Canadian fan



Bill Crider, RIP

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Bill Crider died on Monday, Feb. 12. His brother, Cox Robert Crider made the announcement. “Cox Robert Crider: My brother, Bill Crider, passed away this evening at 6:52 PM CST, Monday February 12, 2018. It was a peaceful end to a strong body and intellectual mind. Services pending and will be announced later.”

Bill Crider new

Crider, the award-winning author of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes mysteries, wrote other mysteries as well as westerns, horror novels, and children’s books. On his blog, Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine, he discussed music, classic mysteries and science fiction, and even ads. He brought many blogs to the attention of the mystery community in his column, “Blog Bytes” for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.

When I ran a series about favorite Christmas mysteries, Bill was the first author to say he’d write a piece. His Dec. 1, 2016 column featured Timothy Hallinan’s Fields As They Lay. On July 24, 2017, we celebrated the August release of Bill’s 24th Sheriff Dan Rhodes mystery, Dead, To Begin With.

Bill Crider was always willing to help a blogger or fellow writer. That kindness is just one reason the mystery community mourns the loss of another author.

Rest in Peace, Bill Crider.


Best of Genre Fiction

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The Reading List Council has announced the 2018 selections of the Reading List, an annual best-of list comprising eight different fiction genres for adult readers. A shortlist of honor titles was also announced. The list was announced during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting held in Denver.

Each category consists of a winning title, read alikes for those who enjoyed the winning title, and the shortlist of honor titles. Check for these books in the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

The 2018 selections are:


“Fierce Kingdom” by Gin Phillips. Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Joan and her four-year-old son, Lincoln, are enjoying an afternoon outing at the zoo when the unthinkable happens–a mass shooting. Trapped and in tremendous danger, Joan must rely on her bravery and survival instincts to make it out alive. This terrifyingly plausible thriller unfolds in real time.

Fierce Kingdom

Read alikes
“Lockdown” by Laurie R. King.
“The Quality of Silence” by Rosamund Lupton.
“This Is Where it Ends” by Marieke Nijkamp.

Short List
“The Marsh King’s Daughter: A Novel” by Karen Dionne. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
“She Rides Shotgun: A Novel” by Jordan Harper. Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
“Lola: A Novel” by Melissa Scrivner Love. Crown, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House.
“The Force: A Novel” by Don Winslow. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.


“Down Among the Sticks and Bones” by Seanan McGuire. A Tor.com Book, published by Tom Doherty Associates.

Twin sisters Jack and Jill discover a portal that leads them to the Moors, a dark and unsettling world that reveals their true selves. But will their conflicting desires tear them apart?


Read alikes
“The Book of Lost Things” by John Connolly
“The Magicians” by Lev Grossman
“Birthright” by Joshua Williamson (graphic novels)

Short List
“Winter Tide” by Ruthanna Emrys. A Tor.com Book, published by Tom Doherty Associates.
“Passing Strange” by Ellen Klages. A Tor.com Book, published by Tom Doherty Associates.
“The Witches of New York: A Novel” by Ami McKay. Harper Perennial.
“A Gathering of Ravens: A Novel” by Scott Oden. Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press.

Historical Fiction

The Half-Drowned King: A Novel” by Linnea Hartsuyker. Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Betrayed and left for dead, Viking raider Rangvald seeks revenge and his inheritance, while his sister Svanhild’s path to freedom lies with Rangvald’s mortal enemy. This epic tale of uneasy alliances, set in 9th century Scandinavia, offers action, intrigue and historical detail.

Half-drowned king

Read alikes
“The Sagas of Icelanders” by Robert Kellogg
“Saxon Tales” (series) by Bernard Cornwell
“Vikings” (TV series)

Short List
“The Confessions of Young Nero: A Novel” by Margaret George. Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
“Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee. Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Book Group.
“Golden Hill: A Novel of Old New York” by Francis Spufford. Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
“Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions: A Kopp Sisters Novel” by Amy Stewart. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


“Kill Creek” by Scott Thomas. Inkshares.

An homage to horror and the authors who write it, “Kill Creek” features four prominent authors who are lured into spending the night in a famous haunted house as a publicity stunt. The aftermath is both unexpected and terrifying.

Kill Creek

Read alikes
“Hex” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
“The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson
“The Family Plot” by Cherie Priest

Short List
“Little Heaven” by Nick Cutter. Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
“In the Valley of the Sun: A Novel” by Andy Davidson. Skyhorse Publishing.
“A God in the Shed” by J-F Dubeau. Inkshares.
“Ararat: A Novel” by Christopher Golden. St. Martin’s Press.


“The Dime” by Kathleen Kent. Mulholland Books/Little, Brown.

Dallas detective Betty Rhyzyk comes from a family of cops. She’s nearly six feet tall, has flaming red hair, a New Yorker’s sharp tongue, and a girlfriend. When her investigation into a Mexican drug lord goes sideways, she must salvage the operation while dealing with a highly disturbed stalker.


Read alikes
Mallory Novels (series) by Carol O’Connell.
“Cop Town” by Karin Slaughter.
“Revolver” by Duane Swierczynski.

Short List
“The Dry: A Novel” by Jane Harper. Flatiron Books.
“Magpie Murders: A Novel” by Anthony Horowitz. Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
“Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel” by Matthew Sullivan. Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
“Casualty of War: A Bess Crawford Mystery” by Charles Todd. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.


“An Extraordinary Union: A Novel of the Civil War” by Alyssa Cole. Kensington Books.

Elle Burns, a free black woman, voluntarily leaves the North to work in the Confederacy as a slave and a spy. When she uncovers a possible plot she also encounters Malcolm, a white Union spy. Their intense attraction places their lives in danger in this tale of forbidden love.

Extraordinary Union

Read alikes
“The Spymaster’s Lady” by Joanna Bourne.
“Indigo” by Beverly Jenkins.
“His at Night” by Sherry Thomas.

Short List
“The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1” by G.L. Carriger. Gail Carriger LLC.
“Wild at Whiskey Creek: A Hellcat Canyon Novel” by Julie Anne Long. Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
“Hate to Want You” by Alisha Rai. Avon Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
“The Lawrence Browne Affair” by Cat Sebastian. Avon Impulse, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Science Fiction

The Collapsing Empire” by John Scalzi. Tor, a Tom Doherty Associates Book.

In the Interdependency, each planet relies on its far-flung neighbors for survival. Now a galactic change is transforming the universal order, a new empress has been crowned, a rival is plotting a revolution, and a foul-mouthed captain is caught in the middle.

Collapsing Empire

Read alikes

Foundation series by Isaac Asimov
“The Cold Between” by Elizabeth Bonesteel
“The Wrong Stars” by Tim Pratt

Short List
The Power” by Naomi Alderman. Little, Brown and Company.

“A Closed and Common Orbit” by Becky Chambers. Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

“Paradox Bound” by Peter Clines. Crown, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House.

“An Oath of Dogs” by Wendy N. Wagner. Angry Robot, an imprint of Watkins Media, Ltd.

Women’s Fiction

The Almost Sisters” by Joshilyn Jackson. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Geeky Leia is pregnant after an encounter with a sexy, anonymous Batman. Pondering when to tell her Southern family she is expecting a biracial child, her life is upended by the implosion of her half-sister’s marriage, her grandmother’s dementia, and a skeleton in the attic in this humorous tale.

almost Sisters

Read alikes

“June” by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
“Six of One” by Rita Mae Brown
“Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe” by Fannie Flagg

Short List
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman. Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
“The Woman Next Door: A Novel” by Yewande Omotoso. Picador.
“Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk: A Novel” by Kathleen Rooney. St. Martin’s Press.
“The Garden of Small Beginnings: A Novel” by Abbi Waxman. Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

The winners were selected by the Reading List Council whose members include eleven expert readers’ advisory and collection development librarians. The eight genres currently included in the Council’s deliberations are adrenaline, fantasy, historical fiction, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction, and women’s fiction. However, the Council is adaptable to new genres and changes in contemporary reading interest.

The Council consists of Nanette Donohue, Champaign Public Library, chair; Meagan Day, High Plains Library District; Michele Drovdahl, King County Library System; Matthew Galloway, Douglas County Libraries; Edward Kownslar, Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi; Daryl A. Maxwell, Los Angeles Public Library; Tammy Ryan, Phoenix Public Library; Lisa Schimmer, NoveList; Estella Terrazas, Altadena Library District; Barry Trott, Williamsburg Regional Library; and Joy Walk, Milan-Berlin Library District.