Uncategorized

Updating Noir

Posted on Updated on

One of the authors who recently appeared for The Poisoned Pen, Halley Sutton, wrote noir herself in her debut novel, The Lady Upstairs. She also took on the subject in a recent article for CrimeReads. Sutton’s essay is “How Today’s Authors Are Reinvigorating Noir’s Classic Tropes”. You can find it here. https://bit.ly/39q4nQi

You can order Halley Sutton’s own book, The Lady Upstairs, through the Web Store. https://bit.ly/3nXJkIS

A modern-day noir featuring a twisty cat-and-mouse chase, this dark debut thriller tells the story of a woman who makes a living taking down terrible men…then finds herself in over her head and with blood on her hands. The only way out? Pull off one final con.

Jo’s job is blackmailing the most lecherous men in Los Angeles–handsy Hollywood producers, adulterous actors, corrupt cops. Sure, she likes the money she’s making, which comes in handy for the debt she is paying off, but it’s also a chance to take back power for the women of the city. Eager to prove herself to her coworker Lou and their enigmatic boss, known only as the Lady Upstairs, Jo takes on bigger and riskier jobs.

When one of her targets is murdered, both the Lady Upstairs and the LAPD have Jo in their sights. Desperate to escape the consequences of her failed job, she decides to take on just one more sting–bringing down a rising political star. It’s her biggest con yet–and she will do it behind the Lady’s back, freeing both herself and Lou. But Jo soon learns that Lou and the Lady have secrets of their own, and that no woman is safe when there is a life-changing payout on the line.

A delicious debut thriller crackling with wit and an unforgettable feminist voice, The Lady Upstairs is a chilling and endlessly surprising take on female revenge.

*****

And, don’t forget to watch Halley Sutton’s virtual appearance for The Poisoned Pen.

S.M. Goodwin’s Debut Mystery

Posted on Updated on

Although S.M. Goodwin has written romances as Minerva Spencer, Absence of Mercy is her debut mystery, a historical. John Charles from The Poisoned Pen interviewed Goodwin for a recent virtual event. You can find signed copies of Goodwin’s Absence of Mercy in the Web Store. https://bit.ly/2VbpVrK

Here’s the summary of Absence of Mercy.

A string of grisly murders in Pre-Civil War New York propels an unlikely pair of detectives into a deadly tinderbox in S. M. Goodwin’s debut novel, a sure hit for fans of Will Thomas and C. S. Harris.

Jasper Lightner is a decorated Crimean War hero and the most admired inspector in London’s Metropolitan Police. Along with a chest full of medals, he’s got a head injury that’s left large chunks of his memory missing. But Jasper’s biggest problem is his father, the Duke of Kersey, who, enraged by a series of front-page newspaper stories extolling Jasper’s exploits, decides he’s had enough of the embarrassment and uses his political connections to keep his son out of the headlines–and off the police force.

Jasper is sent packing to New York City on a year-long assignment to train detectives, and discovers a police department hovering on the brink of armed conflict. Assigned to investigate the murder of philanthropist and reformer Stephen Finch, Jasper joins forces with a man who might be even more of an outsider than he is: Hieronymus Law, a detective who had investigated two almost identical killings–and who is rumored to have taken money to help frame an innocent woman for murder.

Law is bent on restoring his good name. But can Jasper trust Hy enough to bring him into the investigation? As the city devolves into madness and law enforcement falls into the hands of dangerous gangs, this unlikely team has no choice but to work together to pursue an adversary more sinister than either has faced alone.

*****

Here’s the virtual event, the conversation between S.M. Goodwin and John Charles.

Halley Sutton & The Lady Upstairs

Posted on Updated on

Halley Sutton’s debut, The Lady Upstairs, has made quite a stir. Patrick Millikin from The Poisoned Pen introduced the recent virtual event by talking about female authors who are making a mark in noir fiction set in Los Angeles. You will have to reserve a copy of the debut novel because it’s currently out of stock at the bookstore. You can reserve it through the Web Store. https://bit.ly/3nXJkIS

Here’s the summary of The Lady Upstairs.

A modern-day noir featuring a twisty cat-and-mouse chase, this dark debut thriller tells the story of a woman who makes a living taking down terrible men…then finds herself in over her head and with blood on her hands. The only way out? Pull off one final con.

Jo’s job is blackmailing the most lecherous men in Los Angeles–handsy Hollywood producers, adulterous actors, corrupt cops. Sure, she likes the money she’s making, which comes in handy for the debt she is paying off, but it’s also a chance to take back power for the women of the city. Eager to prove herself to her coworker Lou and their enigmatic boss, known only as the Lady Upstairs, Jo takes on bigger and riskier jobs.

When one of her targets is murdered, both the Lady Upstairs and the LAPD have Jo in their sights. Desperate to escape the consequences of her failed job, she decides to take on just one more sting–bringing down a rising political star. It’s her biggest con yet–and she will do it behind the Lady’s back, freeing both herself and Lou. But Jo soon learns that Lou and the Lady have secrets of their own, and that no woman is safe when there is a life-changing payout on the line.

A delicious debut thriller crackling with wit and an unforgettable feminist voice, The Lady Upstairs is a chilling and endlessly surprising take on female revenge.

*****

After Millikin’s introduction, author Amy Gentry asks Halley Sutton to read from The Lady Upstairs. The discussion follows. Here’s that virtual event.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted on Updated on

Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, recently ended a note to the staff with the comment, “I wish you joy.” We all wish you joy during this holiday season, and maybe the turkey below will evoke a smile or a laugh.

Thomas Perry’s Hot Book of the Week

Posted on Updated on

Thomas Perry’s Eddie’s Boy, the new book in the Butcher’s Boy series, is the current Hot Book of the Week at The Poisoned Pen. You can order a signed copy of that book, or copies of Perry’s other books, through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2FdR5bs

Here’s the information about Eddie’s Boy.

Michael Shaeffer is a retired American businessman, living peacefully in England with his aristocratic wife. But her annual summer party brings strangers to their house, and with them, an attempt on Michael’s life. He is immediately thrust into action, luring his lethal pursuers to Australia before venturing into the lion’s den—the States—to figure out why the mafia is after him again, and how to stop them.

Eddie’s Boy jumps between Michael’s current predicament and the past, between the skillset he now ruthlessly and successfully employs and the training that made him what he is. We glimpse the days before he became the Butcher’s Boy, the highly skilled hit man who pulled a slaughter job on some double-crossing clients and started a mob war, to his childhood spent apprenticed to Eddie, a seasoned hired assassin. And we watch him pit two prominent mafia families against each other to eliminate his enemies one by one.

He’s meticulous in his approach, using an old contact turned adversary in the Organized Crime Division of the Justice Department for information, without ever allowing her to get too close to his trail. But will he be able to escape this new wave of young contract killers, or will the years finally catch up to him?

Perry’s Edgar Award–winning Butcher’s Boy returns in full force in this exhilarating new installment to the beloved series.

*****

If you’re a fan of Thomas Perry’s writing, you might want to check out the virtual event on Tuesday, Dec. 1 on Poisoned Pen’s Facebook page.

MWA Announces Grand Master & Raven Award Recipients

Posted on Updated on

Mystery Writers of America (MWA) made the announcement about the two Grand Master Recipients for 2021. Check the Web Store for their books. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Mystery Writers of America (MWA) announced the recipients of its special awards. The board chose Charlaine Harris and Jeffery Deaver as the 2021 Grand Masters, and the 2020 Raven Award recipient is Malice Domestic.

“Mystery Writers of America is thrilled to honor Jeffery Deaver and Charlaine Harris as MWA’s 2021 Grand Masters,” said MWA President Meg Gardiner. “Over the course of decades, Deaver and Harris have gripped tens of millions of readers while broadening the reach of the genre with transformative books—notably, Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme series, and Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels—and while generously encouraging and supporting fellow writers and the reading public. We’re delighted to recognize their achievements.” MWA’s Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality.

Jeffery Deaver has published more than forty novels since the early 1990’s, including two series besides the Lincoln Rhyme novels, numerous stand-alone and short story collections. On being notified of the honor, Deaver said, “When I was a (relatively) young writer new to this business of penning novels, many years ago, the first professional organization I joined was Mystery Writers of America. Signing on felt to me like coming home—being welcomed into a community of fellow authors willing to share their expertise and offer support in a profession that was largely, well, a ‘mystery’ to me. Besides, how could I not join? MWA was the real deal; for proof, one had only to look at those in the ranks of the Grand Masters: Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Ellery Queen, James M. Cain . . . and so many others whose works populated my bookshelves. Yet it never once occurred to me, in all my years as a member and my two terms as president, that I might be invited into those very ranks. I wish to express by boundless gratitude to MWA for this honor, which stands, without question, as the highpoint of my career.”

Charlaine Harris has published 13 novels in the Southern Vampire series (adapted into the popular HBO series True Blood), which proved so popular that at one point her novels took half of the top ten slots on New York Times’ bestseller list. Her other series include the Aurora Teagarden novels, the Lily Bard (Shakespeare) books, the Midnight Texas trilogy (adapted for television) and numerous others, as well as several standalones. Harris said, “This is like winning the lottery and the Pulitzer Prize in one day. I am so honored and thrilled to join the ranks of revered writers who are Grand Masters. I thank the MWA Board from the bottom of my heart.” 

The Raven Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. For 2021, Mystery Writers of America selected the Malice Domestic mystery conference, founded in 1989 and held every spring since. Malice Domestic focuses primarily on traditional mysteries, their authors and fans, and also presents the Agatha Awards, with six categories. “Who says Friday the 13th is an unlucky day?” said Verena Rose, currently chair of the Malice Domestic Board of Directors. “Certainly, not me. This morning I received a call from Greg Herren, Executive Vice President of Mystery Writers of America, letting me know that Malice Domestic has been selected to receive the Raven Award in 2021. What an absolutely, amazing surprise and as the Chair, I can’t wait to give my fellow Board members the news. This is an honor we are beyond thrilled to receive.”

The Reader Who Has Everything?

Posted on Updated on

What do you give the reader who has everything? How about a membership in one of The Poisoned Pen’s Book Clubs? Every month, a member will receive a signed first edition. Are they cozy mystery fans? Science Fiction/Fantasy readers? Do they like first mysteries? There might be a book club for someone you love.

It’s that time of year to gift someone you love, or give a gift to yourself. Check out the website for details, and the answers to questions you might have. https://poisonedpen.com/book-clubs/

David Baldacci & A Virtual Debut

Posted on Updated on

If you’re a fan of David Baldacci’s books, you’ll enjoy the virtual debut of his latest Atlee Pine novel, Daylight. He and Barbara Peters talked about writing, the settings of his novels, and a wide range of subjects. Before you watch the event, you can check out the Web Store with his books, including signed copies of Daylight. https://bit.ly/3pNAuPD

Here’s the summary of Daylight.

FBI Agent Atlee Pine’s search for her sister Mercy clashes with military investigator John Puller’s high-stakes case, leading them both deep into a global conspiracy — from which neither of them will escape unscathed.

For many long years, Atlee Pine was tormented by uncertainty after her twin sister, Mercy, was abducted at the age of six and never seen again. Now, just as Atlee is pressured to end her investigation into Mercy’s disappearance, she finally gets her most promising breakthrough yet: the identity of her sister’s kidnapper, Ito Vincenzo.

With time running out, Atlee and her assistant Carol Blum race to Vincenzo’s last known location in Trenton, New Jersey — and unknowingly stumble straight into John Puller’s case, blowing his arrest during a drug ring investigation involving a military installation.

Stunningly, Pine and Puller’s joint investigation uncovers a connection between Vincenzo’s family and a breathtaking scheme that strikes at the very heart of global democracy. Peeling back the layers of deceit, lies and cover-ups, Atlee finally discovers the truth about what happened to Mercy. And that truth will shock Pine to her very core.

*****

Here’s the virtual event from The Poisoned Pen. Enjoy!

Launching December

Posted on Updated on

The photos below are only eight days worth of virtual events on The Poisoned Pen’s Facebook page, but what a book-filled eight days! Mark your calendars for events you want to see, and pre-order your favorite authors’ books through the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Just look at this schedule of events!

Lars Kepler
Thomas Perry
Caz Frear
S.J. Rozan
Carlisle / Shelton
Kensington Cozy Writers
Patterson / Child
December 7
Jane Cleland

Clive Cussler’s Marauder, with Boyd Morrison

Posted on Updated on

In a recent virtual event, Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, introduced Boyd Morrison who worked with Clive Cussler on Oregon Files books. Marauder is the second in a series of adventures the two wrote together. Morrison then discussed books and background with Don Bentley, author of the forthcoming book, The Outside Man, a Matt Drake Thriller. You can order a signed copy of Morrison’s Marauder, and pre-order The Outside Man through the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Here are short bios of Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison.

Clive Cussler was the author of more than seventy books in five bestselling series, including Dirk Pitt, NUMA Files, Oregon Files, Isaac Bell, and Sam and Remi Fargo. His life nearly parallels that of his hero Dirk Pitt. Whether searching for lost aircraft or leading expeditions to find famous shipwrecks, he and his NUMA crew of volunteers discovered and surveyed more than seventy-five lost ships of historic significance, including the long-lost Confederate submarine Hunley, which was raised in 2000 with much publicity. Like Pitt, Cussler collected classic automobiles. His collection features more than one hundred examples of custom coachwork. Cussler and his wife made their home in Arizona.

Boyd Morrison is the coauthor with Cussler of the Oregon Files novels Piranha, The Emperor’s Revenge, Typhoon Fury, and Shadow Tyrants, and the author of six other books. He is also an actor and engineer, with a doctorate in engineering from Virginia Tech, who has worked on NASA’s space station project at Johnson Space Center and developed several patents at Thomson/RCA. In 2003, he fulfilled a lifelong dream by becoming a Jeopardy! Champion. He lives in Seattle.

Here’s the summary of Marauder.

It is up to Juan Cabrillo and the crew of his ship, the Oregon, to stop a terrorist plot to release a deadly chemical weapon across the globe in the explosive new novel in Clive Cussler’s #1 New York Times bestselling series.

While interrupting an attack on a Kuwaiti oil tanker, Juan Cabrillo and his team discover something even more dangerous: a ruthless billionaire’s dying wish has allowed a paralyzing chemical to end up in the hands of a terrorist group. When an Oregon crew member falls victim to the poison, Juan Cabrillo will stop at nothing to find an antidote before it is too late. He and his team must connect an ancient mystery with a cunning modern enemy in order to save millions of innocent lives, including their own.

*****

You might enjoy the conversation in the virtual event.