Detectives in Recent Crime Novels

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There are several reasons to share the link to Liberty Hardy’s recent article for Book Riot. Let’s start with the list itself, “10 of the Best Detectives from Recent Crime Novels”, http://bit.ly/31LjvR0. When Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, gives it a stamp of approval, saying ‘Excellent list”, you’ll want to pay attention. In fact, you just might want to look those books up in the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

The other reason deals with the sponsored book for this article. Sourcebooks is the sponsor. They’re also the publisher for Billy Jensen’s Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders.

As mentioned the other day on the blog, http://bit.ly/2KKxuzO, Jensen will be at the Pen on Saturday, August 24, joining Hank Phillippi Ryan for a special ticketed event. Check the web link above for the information, or call The Poisoned Pen at 480-947-2974 for information about buying tickets.

Here’s what the recent article says about Chase Darkness with Me.

Journalist Billy Jensen spent fifteen years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common—they didn’t have an ending. The killer was still out there. But after the sudden death of a friend, crime writer and author of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara, Billy got fed up. Following a dark night, he came up with a plan. A plan to investigate past the point when the cops had given up. A plan to solve the murders himself. Gripping, complex, unforgettable, Chase Darkness with Me is an examination of the evil forces that walk among us, illustrating a novel way to catch those killers, and a true-crime narrative unlike any you’ve read before.

Love and Death Among the Cheetahs

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Congratulations to Rhys Bowen, whose thirteenth Royal Spyness mystery, Love and Death Among the Cheetahs, appears at #15 on the new USA Today Best-Selling Books list. Bowen recently appeared at The Poisoned Pen, and there are signed copies of her latest book available through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2LV4U1i

You may have missed the event at The Poisoned Pen, but you can still listen to Rhys Bowen talk with Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, on the store’s Podcast. It’s a little over twenty minutes long. Here’s a link to the Podcast page. https://poisonedpen.podbean.com/

Love and Death Among the Cheetahs is summarized here.

Georgie and Darcy are finally on their honeymoon in Kenya’s Happy Valley, but murder crashes the party in this all-new installment in the New York Times bestselling series.

I was so excited when Darcy announced out of the blue that we were flying to Kenya for our extended honeymoon. Now that we are here, I suspect he has actually been sent to fulfill another secret mission. I am trying very hard not to pick a fight about it, because after all, we are in paradise! Darcy finally confides that there have been robberies in London and Paris. It seems the thief was a member of the aristocracy and may have fled to Kenya. Since we are staying in the Happy Valley—the center of upper-class English life—we are well positioned to hunt for clues and ferret out possible suspects.

Now that I am a sophisticated married woman, I am doing my best to sound like one. But crikey! These aristocrats are a thoroughly loathsome sort enjoying a completely decadent lifestyle filled with wild parties and rampant infidelity. And one of the leading lights in the community, Lord Cheriton, has the nerve to make a play for me. While I am on my honeymoon! Of course, I put an end to that right off. 

When he is found bloodied and lifeless along a lonely stretch of road, it appears he fell victim to a lion. But it seems that the Happy Valley community wants to close the case a bit too quickly. Darcy and I soon discover that there is much more than a simple robbery and an animal attack to contend with here in Kenya. Nearly everyone has a motive to want Lord Cheriton dead and some will go to great lengths to silence anyone who asks too many questions. The hunt is on! I just hope I can survive my honeymoon long enough to catch a killer. . . .

Billy Jensen & Hank Phillippi Ryan – Ticketed Event

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It’s never too early to highlight a ticketed event at The Poisoned Pen because seats are limited. Billy Jensen, author of Chase Darkness with Me, and Hank Phillippi Ryan, author of The Murder List, will appear at the Pen on Saturday, August 24 at 2 PM.

$28 Ticket includes one copy of Chase Darkness With Me or The Murder List (purchaser’s choice).

Seating is general admission. No reserved seating. Ticket holders will be admitted into the venue starting at 1pm. Program begins at 2pm and will last for approximately one hour, followed by the book signing at 3pm.

Can’t make it? Order your signed copies through the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Here’s the link with program and ticket information. http://bit.ly/2N2wvh3


Here’s information about Jensen’s Chase Darkness with Me.

***With an exclusive behind-the-scenes conversation between Billy Jensen and retired detective Paul Holes on the Golden State Killer, their favorite cold cases, and more***

Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect?

Journalist Billy Jensen spent fifteen years investigating unsolved murders, fighting for the families of victims. Every story he wrote had one thing in common—they didn’t have an ending. The killer was still out there.

But after the sudden death of a friend, crime writer and author of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara, Billy became fed up. Following a dark night, he came up with a plan. A plan to investigate past the point when the cops had given up. A plan to solve the murders himself.

You’ll ride shotgun as Billy identifies the Halloween Mask Murderer, finds a missing girl in the California Redwoods, and investigates the only other murder in New York City on 9/11. You’ll hear intimate details of the hunts for two of the most terrifying serial killers in history: his friend Michelle McNamara’s pursuit of the Golden State Killer and his own quest to find the murderer of the Allenstown Four. And Billy gives you the tools—and the rules—to help solve murders yourself.

Gripping, complex, unforgettable, Chase Darkness with Me is an examination of the evil forces that walk among us, illustrating a novel way to catch those killers, and a true-crime narrative unlike any you’ve read before.


Here’s the summary of Hank Phillippi Ryan’s The Murder List.

“An exhilarating thrill ride that keeps you turning pages.. Ryan deftly delivers a denouement as shocking as it is satisfying.”–Liv Constantine, bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish and The Last Time I Saw You

Law student Rachel North will tell you, without hesitation, what she knows to be true. She’s smart, she’s a hard worker, she does the right thing, she’s successfully married to a faithful and devoted husband, a lion of Boston’s defense bar, and her internship with the Boston DA’s office is her ticket to a successful future. 

Problem is–she’s wrong. 

And in this cat and mouse game–the battle for justice becomes a battle for survival. 

The Murder List is a new standalone suspense novel in the tradition of Lisa Scottoline and B. A. Paris from award-winning author and reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan.

Hot Book of the Week – Inland

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The Poisoned Pen picks a novel set in Arizona as the current Hot Book of the Week. Inland is by Tea Obreht, bestselling author of The Tiger’s Wife. There are signed copies of Inland available through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/31yqYTx

Here’s the review of Inland from The New York Times. https://nyti.ms/2MdBTyj

Then, read Ron Charles’ review of Inland in The Washington Post. I think you’ll find it intriguing. https://wapo.st/2KBe2W0 Now, are you ready to order a signed copy of the book?

Here’s the summary of Inland.

The New York Times bestselling author of The Tiger’s Wife returns with “a bracingly epic and imaginatively mythic journey across the American West” (Entertainment Weekly).

In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives unfold. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of the men in her life—her husband, who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her elder sons, who have vanished after an explosive argument. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home.

Meanwhile, Lurie is a former outlaw and a man haunted by ghosts. He sees lost souls who want something from him, and he finds reprieve from their longing in an unexpected relationship that inspires a momentous expedition across the West. The way in which Lurie’s death-defying trek at last intersects with Nora’s plight is the surprise and suspense of this brilliant novel.

Mythical, lyrical, and sweeping in scope, Inland is grounded in true but little-known history. It showcases all of Téa Obreht’s talents as a writer, as she subverts and reimagines the myths of the American West, making them entirely—and unforgettably—her own.

Advance praise for Inland

“This is no boilerplate Louis L’Amour yarn—there are ghosts, camels and other fantastical elements.”Newsday (Best Summer Books 2019)

“The long-anticipated second novel from Téa Obreht transports readers to the Wild West through the juxtaposed stories of a frontierswoman whose husband and sons have gone missing, and of an outlaw on the run.”Bustle

“Magnificent . . . brings to mind similar effects in, say, Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude or Toni Morrison’s Beloved.”The Times Literary Supplement

“Obreht masterfully intertwines [Nora’s and Lurie’s] seemingly unconnected stories with the rich prose, nods to history, and elements of magical realism she’s known for.”Real Simple

“It will enchant lovers of lyrical prose and the mythical American West.”Harper’s Bazaar


Priscilla Royal & Medieval Mysteries

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Priscilla Royal’s latest medieval mystery, her fifteenth, is just out from Sourcebooks/Poisoned Pen Press. The publication of The Twice-Hanged Man means it’s the perfect time for her to discuss why she writes medieval mysteries. You can find her recent essay in CrimeReads. http://bit.ly/2ZKffka

You can order The Twice-Hanged Man through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2OMkn6n

Here’s the summary.

Autumn, 1282

As Edward I wages a bloody conflict with Wales, Prioress Eleanor escorts her younger brother, Robert, and his wife, who is in labor, from their Marcher lands to greater safety at a Wynethorpe manor in a village just inside the English border. They are joined by Brother Thomas, the Prioress’s trusted friend, and Sister Anne, who helps navigate the difficult birth and delivers a baby girl.

Mother and child may be healthy, but Death never wanders far from this beloved Prioress—whether she’s home at Tyndal in Norfolk or traveling the realm. The local abbot begs her help—the village priest has been found dead and standing over him is, a reliable witness says, the ghost of Hywel, the village stonemason who was recently hanged for slaying some sleeping English soldiers.

Bone tired, Brother Thomas questions the village hangman, who assures him that Hywel was hanged once and then, when the weight of the fat felon strung up alongside him broke the beam of the gallows, was hanged again. The experienced executioner checked all the bodily signs—Hywel was dead. But where is his grave? And what secrets are the mysterious locals keeping from the outsiders visiting their troubled home?

The Ngaio Marsh Awards

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Here’s another one of the terrific lists of award nominees that has been recently announced. Congratulations to all of the nominees! Check The Poisoned Pen’s Web Store for the books. https://store.poisonedpen.com

The finalists for the 2019 Ngaio Marsh Awards, honoring the best in New Zealand crime writing, are:

This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman
Money in the Morgue by Ngaio Marsh & Stella Duffy
The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney
Call Me Evie by JP Pomare
The Vanishing Act by Jen Shieff

First Novel:
One for Another by Andrea Jacka
Crystal Reign by Kelly Lyndon
Call Me Evie by JP Pomare

The Great New Zealand Robbery by Scott Bainbridge
The Short Life and Mysterious Death of Jane Furlong by Kelly Dennett
Behind Bars by Anna Leask
The Cause of Death by Cynric Temple-Camp

Winners will be announced September 14

Killers of the Flower Moon – The Movie

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Have you read Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann? Its subtitle is “The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI”. You might want to pick up a copy now before it becomes a movie. You can order a copy through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2LRnYxT

Here are some possible connections to the film; Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro. Check out the latest information. http://bit.ly/2ZlEFEE

Here’s the description of Killers of the Flower Moon.


New York Times Notable Book

Named a best book of the year by Amazon, Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, GQ, Time, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly, Time Magazine, NPR, Vogue, Smithsonian, Cosmopolitan, Seattle Times, Bloomberg, Lit Hub, and SlateFrom the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history

            In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
            Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. One of her relatives was shot. Another was poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more Osage were dying under mysterious circumstances, and many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. 
            As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case, and the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including a Native American agent who infiltrated the region, and together with the Osage began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.