Ruth Bader Ginsburg, A Glimpse of History

Posted on Updated on

In honor of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, today I’m pointing to books about her in the Web Store. Check them out. https://bit.ly/33MPByN

Start with My Own Words,The New York Times bestselling book from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—“a comprehensive look inside her brilliantly analytical, entertainingly wry mind, revealing the fascinating life of one of our generation’s most influential voices in both law and public opinion” (Harper’s Bazaar).

Or, maybe you’d prefer Jeffrey Rosen’s Conversations with RBG.In her own words, Ruth Bader Ginsburg offers an intimate look at her life and career, through an extraordinary series of conversations with the head of the National Constitution Center.

There are even books for children in the Web Store. I’m sure, if you’re interested, that you’ll find a book or two to fit your needs.

An All-New Schedule of Virtual Events

Posted on Updated on

The new schedule of virtual events takes us almost to the end of September. Of course, I’ll continue to advise you to check the website for updates and changes. In the meantime, make sure you order books early from your favorite authors who are appearing at The Poisoned Pen. You can find their books in the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

There’s a terrific schedule of authors coming up! I hope you find one or two of your favorite authors here. Or, watch an event with an author you haven’t yet discovered. Enjoy!

Robert Dugoni
Craig Johnson
Mark Pryor
Nicotine Chronicles
Brian Freeman
Rachel Howzell Hall
Ann Cleeves/ Martin Edwards
Richard Osman
S Graham/ M Mizushima

Mike Lupica, in Conversation

Posted on Updated on

Mike Lupica has taken over writing Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone novels. His first one, Fool’s Paradise, is the nineteenth in the series. Guest host, author Joe Ide, gave Lupica a hard time in a recent conversation for Poisoned Pen. Check out Mike Lupica’s books in the Web Store, including signed copies of Fool’s Paradise. https://bit.ly/3iJKnK8

Here’s the summary of Fool’s Paradise.

When an unknown man is found murdered in Paradise, Jesse Stone will have his hands full finding out who he was–and what he was seeking.

When a body is discovered at the lake in Paradise, Police Chief Jesse Stone is surprised to find he recognizes the murder victim–the man had been at the same AA meeting as Jesse the evening before. But otherwise, Jesse has no clue as to the man’s identity. He isn’t a local, nor does he have ID on him, nor does any neighboring state have a reported missing person matching the man’s description. Their single lead is from a taxi company that recalls dropping off the mysterious stranger outside the gate at the mansion of one of the wealthiest families in town…

Meanwhile, after Jesse survives a hail of gunfire on his home, he wonders if it could be related to the mysterious murder. When both Molly Crane and Suitcase Simpson also become targets, it’s clear someone has an ax to grind against the entire Paradise Police Department.


Enjoy the conversation between Mike Lupica and Joe Ide about Jesse Stone and the books.

Anne Perry, in Conversation about Her 1930s Series

Posted on Updated on

Anne Perry and Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, have talked about books for years. They never really had the chance to talk about Perry’s first Elena Standish mystery, so they recently discussed both of them. Death in Focus was the first book, and A Question of Betrayal is the latest one. You can order both titles, and Perry’s other books, through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2oJJzhL

The Elena Standish books are set in the 1930s. Here’s the summary of the first one, Death in Focus.

In the start of an all-new mystery series set in pre–World War II Europe, an intrepid young photographer carries her dead lover’s final, world-shattering message into the heart of Berlin as Hitler ascends to power.

“Thrilling . . . reminiscent of works by Eric Ambler and Graham Greene.”—The Wall Street Journal

On vacation from London on the beautiful Italian coast, twenty-eight-year-old Elena Standish and her older sister, Margot, have finally been able to move on from the lasting trauma of the Great War, in which the newly married Margot lost her husband and the sisters their beloved brother. Touring with her camera in hand, Elena has found new inspiration in the striking Italian landscape, and she’s met an equally striking man named Ian. When Ian has to leave unexpectedly, Elena—usually the more practical of the sisters—finds she’s not ready to part from him, and the two share a spontaneous train trip home to England. But a shocking sequence of events disrupts their itinerary, forcing Elena to personally deliver a message to Berlin on Ian’s behalf, one that could change the fate of Europe.

Back home, Elena’s diplomat father and her secretive grandfather—once head of MI6, unbeknownst to his family—are involved in their own international machinations. Worried when Elena still hasn’t returned from Italy, her grandfather starts to connect the dots between her change in plans and an incident in Berlin, where Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich are on the rise. It seems the message Elena delivered has forced her into a dangerous predicament, and her grandfather’s old contacts from MI6 may be the only people who can get her out alive—if Elena can tell the difference between her allies and her enemies.

New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry merges family secrets with suspense on the world stage, as darkness bubbles under the surface of a Europe on the brink of change. In these complicated times, Elena emerges as a strong new heroine who learns quickly that when nothing is certain, she can rely only on herself.

Praise for Death in Focus

“Masterful! It’s exceedingly rare for an author to have the talent to blend classic elements of a thriller with compelling family dynamics and geopolitical intrigue, but Anne Perry pulls it off like the consummate pro that she is. And, on top of all that, Death in Focus is written in her unique literary voice. I guarantee you’ll love Elena Standish. Brava!” —Jeffery Deaver, author of The Never Game


A Question of Betrayal has links to Elena Standish’s family.

On her first mission for MI6, the daring young photographer at the heart of this thrilling new mystery series by bestselling author Anne Perry travels to Mussolini’s Italy to rescue the lover who betrayed her.

Britain’s secret intelligence service, MI6, has lost contact with its informant in northern Italy, just as important information about the future plans of Austria and Nazi Germany is coming to light. And young Elena Standish, to her surprise, is the only person who can recognize MI6’s man—because he is her former lover. Aiden Strother betrayed her six years before, throwing shame on her entire family. Now, with so much to prove, Elena heads to Trieste to track down Aiden and find out what happened to his handler, who has mysteriously cut off contact with Britain.

As Elena gets word of a secret group working to put Austria in the hands of Germany, her older sister, Margot, is in Berlin to watch a childhood friend get married—to a member of the Gestapo. Margot and Elena’s grandfather, the former head of MI6, is none too happy about the sisters’ travels at this tumultuous time, especially when a violent event at home reminds him that even Britain is growing dangerous. As his own investigation collides with his granddaughter’s, what’s at stake on the continent becomes increasingly frightening—and personal.

Against the backdrop of a rapidly changing Europe, New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry crafts a novel full of suspense, political intrigue, and the struggle between love and loyalty to country.


If you enjoy history, and family stories of the 1930s and ’40s, you’ll enjoy the conversation.

Darcy Coates – A Poisoned Pen Press Partnership

Posted on Updated on

Darcy Coates’ horror novels are now part of the Sourcebooks/Poisoned Pen Press line. You can find her books in the Web Store. https://bit.ly/35Fg0ku

The partnership was recently covered in a Sourcebooks sponsored article in Publishers Weekly. Because it was sponsored by Sourcebooks, and is a shareable piece, I’m copying it here.

“Happily-Ever-After Horror: Spotlight on Darcy Coates”


Photo: Sandra Henri

Darcy Coates’s journey as a writer has been anything but easy. But with grit and determination, she went from self-published to a traditionally published author of more than 20 horror novels—many of which are USA Today bestsellers.

Seven years ago, Coates self-published her first horror e-book, “Once Returned,” a novella about a woman whose husband goes missing during a hiking trip. She followed that up by self-publishing 22 horror novels through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program. But Coates’s titles were slow to sell—that is, until 2015, when everything changed. That was the year Coates self-published The Haunting of Gillespie House. “People started to read it,” she says. “And each book I released after that sold more.”

For the next five years, Coates’s e-books, including The Folcroft GhostsThe Haunting of Ashburn House, and The House Next Door, captured the attention of countless readers. And her signature blend of classic horror with historical fiction, sci-fi, or the supernatural gave her novels a wide readership—her fans weren’t just horror fans. The author’s following was so strong that an employee at a New Jersey Barnes & Noble contacted Coates about purchasing physical copies of her books. At that time, Coates, who lives in Australia, was creating paperbacks through a print-on-demand company. She immediately sent copies to the U.S. and then, to Coates’s delight, the books began to sell.

That led to a meeting with Sourcebooks and their recently acquired mystery imprint Poisoned Pen Press, which led to a book deal. In 2019, Poisoned Pen Press acquired the paperback rights to 25 of Coates’s novels, beginning with Voices in the Snow, which was published in January 2020 and was followed up by 15 other Darcy Coates titles through August of this year, includingThe Haunting of Gillespie HouseParasite, and Craven Manor, which the New York Journal of Books called “eerie, scary, and utterly delightful.” Today, Coates’s books are available in the adult section of most bookstores, something, Coates says, “was never possible before.”

Coates’s work has been called atmospheric horror—stories that rely on location and emotional, mental, and psychological states. Instead of focusing on action sequences and gore, Coates concentrates on feelings, specifically feelings of unease. “I’ve always preferred books that build dread and leave me warily watching the darkest corners of my room,” she says. “When I write, any gore is a byproduct of the story, not the reason for it. I’ve always wanted to capture the feeling you have when you’re outdoors at night and someone starts to tell eerie campfire stories. A special kind of dread rises up, the kind that’s both addictive and consuming.”

To create that slow-building fear, Coates often sets her stories in large, aging houses. “The building or house can grow into a personality of its own,” she says. “A looming presence that watches—or perhaps adds to—the protagonist’s struggles.”

Those protagonists tend to be in their 20s, which makes Coates’s books great for YA readers, too. “There’s a bit of magic in writing early-20s characters,” she says. “It’s a point of change in life. You’re trying to plan for your future, live on your own for the first time, and establish the friendships you’ll have as an adult. It’s full of awkwardness and self-doubt and fear, and what better time to put that person in an impossible situation, such as a house with a sinister history, or to tell them that their best friend has gone missing while hiking in a remote forest?”

Dread isn’t the only through line that connects Coates’s work. “One thread that shows up repeatedly in my books is finding home,” Coates says. “Whether home is a physical location to feel safe at, or a family, or friends who are as good as family, most of my books have a character who is searching for something and conclude with them finding it, though often not in the form they expected.”

Another commonality in the author’s books is their happy endings—something Coates describes as unexpected but necessary. “A lot of horror features flawed characters essentially being punished for their past sins,” she says. “The story serves to call them to task for their flaws and ultimately mete out punishment—usually death. While those stories can be very satisfying, they’re not what I’m most drawn to. I like to read about characters who end up in a bad situation, not necessarily through their own fault, and have to find a way to survive it. It’s their test: they must rise to it, and they must be smarter and more resourceful than they ever imagined they could be. But, as long as they keep fighting, as long as they always strive to make the best choices in their power, I believe they deserve to come out the other side. It’s valuable, I think, not just for the characters but also for readers and even myself. That ending is a palate cleanser, a reward for the stress we feel while reading— and writing—the book.”

Sponsored by Sourcebooks A version of this article appeared in the 09/14/2020 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline: Happily-Ever-After Horror: Spotlight on Darcy Coates ALSO ON PW

Ruth Ware in Conversation with A.J. Finn

Posted on Updated on

Thanks to virtual events, The Poisoned Pen was able to host Ruth Ware, author of One By One. Barbara Peters, owner of the bookstore, did a very short introduction, and then turned the event over to A.J. Finn for the discussion with Ruth Ware. Finn’s The Woman in the Window is available through the Web Store. Ware’s books, including the new one, One By One, is as well. https://store.poisonedpen.com/ No promises, but, while supplies last, One By One comes with a signed bookplate. The other item it comes with may already be gone because there were hats for the first fifty orders, a beanie hat with One By One embroidery.

If you haven’t heard the summary of One By One yet, here it is.

“The Agatha Christie of our generation.” —David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Diabolically clever.” —Riley Sager, author of Final Girls

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Turn of the Key and In a Dark Dark Wood returns with another suspenseful thriller set on a snow-covered mountain.

Getting snowed in at a luxurious, rustic ski chalet high in the French Alps doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world. Especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a full-service chef and housekeeper, a cozy fire to keep you warm, and others to keep you company. Unless that company happens to be eight coworkers…each with something to gain, something to lose, and something to hide.

When the cofounder of Snoop, a trendy London-based tech startup, organizes a weeklong trip for the team in the French Alps, it starts out as a corporate retreat like any other: PowerPoint presentations and strategy sessions broken up by mandatory bonding on the slopes. But as soon as one shareholder upends the agenda by pushing a lucrative but contentious buyout offer, tensions simmer and loyalties are tested. The storm brewing inside the chalet is no match for the one outside, however, and a devastating avalanche leaves the group cut off from all access to the outside world. Even worse, one Snooper hadn’t made it back from the slopes when the avalanche hit.

As each hour passes without any sign of rescue, panic mounts, the chalet grows colder, and the group dwindles further…one by one.

Enjoy the discussion!

Attica Locke, on Land and History

Posted on Updated on

Today, I’m linking to an article in the Guardian newspaper. Attica Locke’s article, “Why did my black ancestors never leave Texas? They knew land is power”, is “is an extract of a lecture commissioned by the National Centre for Writing and the University of East Anglia for the the 2020 Noirwich crime writing festival.” If you read the newspaper article, it will link to the full lecture.

Attica Locke’s article provides the history and background for her crime novels, beginning with Bluebird, Bluebird. She tells about the connection to her other books, all of them available through the Web Store. https://bit.ly/32qXHxf

Here’s the book that started it all.

A “heartbreakingly resonant” thriller about the explosive intersection of love, race, and justice from a writer and producer of the Emmy-winning Fox TV show Empire (USA Today).

“In Bluebird, Bluebird Attica Locke had both mastered the thriller and exceeded it.”-Ann Patchett

When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules — a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about growing up black in the lone star state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home.

When his allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark, where two murders — a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman — have stirred up a hornet’s nest of resentment. Darren must solve the crimes — and save himself in the process — before Lark’s long-simmering racial fault lines erupt. From a writer and producer of the Emmy winning Fox TV show Empire, Bluebird, Bluebird is a rural noir suffused with the unique music, color, and nuance of East Texas.

Andrew Pyper, in Conversation

Posted on Updated on

Although we all miss meeting the authors at bookstores, virtual events allows readers to “meet” authors from around the world. Canadian author Andrew Pyper recently discussed his career and his new book, The Residence, with Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen. The book described as “creepy”, is available through the Web Store. https://bit.ly/2RlrEIT

Here’s the description of The Residence.

In this gripping and terrifying horror story based on true events, the President’s late son haunts the White House, breaking the spirit of what remains of the First Family and the divided America beyond the residence’s walls.

The year is 1853. President-elect Franklin Pierce is traveling with his family to Washington, DC, when tragedy strikes. In an instant, their train runs off the rails, violently flinging passengers about the cabin. But when the great iron machine finally comes to rest, the only casualty is the President-elect’s beloved son, Bennie, which casts Franklin’s presidency in a pall of sorrow and grief.

As Franklin moves into the White House, he begins to notice that something bizarre is happening. Strange sounds coming from the walls and ceiling, creepy voices that seem to echo out of time itself, and visions of spirits crushed under the weight of American history.

But when First Lady Jane Pierce brings in the most noted Spiritualists of the day, the Fox sisters, for a séance, the barrier between this world and the next is torn asunder. Something horrible comes through and takes up residence alongside Franklin and Jane in the walls of the very mansion itself.

Only by overcoming their grief and confronting their darkest secrets can Jane and Franklin hope to rid themselves—and America—from the entity that seeks to make the White House its permanent home.


If you enjoy “real” ghost stories that relate to history, you’ll enjoy Andrew Pyper’s discussion of his research for The Residence. You can “meet” Pyper here.

Jenn McKinlay, in Conversation

Posted on Updated on

John Charles at The Poisoned Pen recently hosted a virtual event with Jenn McKinlay, author of the new Library Lover’s Mystery, One for the Books. She was joined by several of her author friends. Kate Carlisle is the author of the Bibliophile Mysteries, including The Grim Reader. Paige Shelton’s latest Scottish Bookshop mystery is The Stolen Letter. You can order signed copies of One for the Books and The Grim Reader from the Web Store, as well as copies of Paige Shelton’s books. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Here’s the description of One for the Books.

Wedding bells are ringing in the latest page-turning Library Lover’s Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Word to the Wise.

Love is in the air in Briar Creek as library director Lindsey Norris and boat captain Mike (Sully) Sullivan are finally tying the knot. The entire town is excited for the happy day, and Lindsey and Sully’s plan for a small wedding evaporates as more and more people insist upon attending the event of the year.   

When Lindsey and her crafternoon pals head out to Bell Island to see if it can accommodate the ever-expanding guest list, they are horrified to discover a body washed up on the rocky shore. Even worse, Lindsey recognizes the man as the justice of the peace who was supposed to officiate her wedding ceremony. When it becomes clear he was murdered, Lindsey can’t help but wonder if it had to do with the wedding. Now she has to book it to solve the mystery before it ends her happily ever after before it’s even begun….


You’ll have fun with the video of this virtual event.

Upcoming Virtual Events

Posted on Updated on

You’ll want to check out the list of the upcoming virtual events for September at The Poisoned Pen. And, don’t forget to watch the website for updates. Sometimes new events are added. Order early if you want copies of books by your favorite authors. Copies go quickly because they’re more limited this year. Check the Web Store for copies. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Mike Lupica/ Joe Ide
Ruth Ware/ A.J. Finn
Anne Perry
Kyle Mills
Bradford Morrow
Wendy Walker
Charlie Lovett / Fiona Davis
L.C. Shaw