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2019 Agatha Award Nominees

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Last week, I mentioned it’s time for the mystery award announcements. This week, Malice Domestic has announced the nominees for the 2019 Agatha Awards. The awards will be presented May 4 during Malice Domestic 31. Congratulations to all of the nominees.

Don’t forget to look for the nominated books in the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com

Best Contemporary Novel

Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane Books)
Beyond the Truth by Bruce Robert Coffin (Witness Impulse)
Cry Wolf by Annette Dashofy (Henery Press)
Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
Trust Me by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge)


Best Historical Novel  

Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
The Gold Pawn by LA Chandlar (Kensington)
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (Soho Crime)
Turning the Tide by Edith Maxwell (Midnight Ink)
Murder on Union Square by Victoria Thompson (Berkley)


Best First Novel

A Ladies Guide to Etiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman (Kensington)
Little Comfort by Edwin Hill (Kensington)
What Doesn’t Kill You by Aimee Hix (Midnight Ink)
Deadly Solution by Keenan Powell (Level Best Books)
Curses Boiled Again by Shari Randall (St. Martin’s)


Best Short Story

“All God’s Sparrows” by Leslie Budewitz (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)
“A Postcard for the Dead” by Susanna Calkins in Florida Happens (Three Rooms Press)
“Bug Appetit” by Barb Goffman (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)
“The Case of the Vanishing Professor” by Tara Laskowski (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)
“English 398: Fiction Workshop” by Art Taylor (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)


Best Young Adult Mystery

Potion Problems (Just Add Magic) by Cindy Callaghan (Aladdin)
Winterhouse by Ben Guterson (Henry Holt)
A Side of Sabotageby C.M. Surrisi (Carolrhoda Books)


Best Nonfiction

Mastering Plot Twists by Jane Cleland (Writer’s Digest Books)
Writing the Cozy Mystery by Nancy J Cohen (Orange Grove Press)
Conan Doyle for the Defense by Margalit Fox (Random House)
Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life by Laura Thompson (Pegasus Books)
Wicked Women of Ohio by Jane Ann Turzillo (History Press)

2019 Barry Award Nominees

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It’s award season, or at least the time when awards are announced. Once you’ve checked out this list of nominees, check the Web Store for the books. https://store.poisonedpen.com

Deadly Pleasures Magazine recently announced the nominees for the 2019 Barry Awards. Winners will be announced on October 31 at the Dallas Bouchercon Opening Ceremonies. Congratulations to all the nominees.


Best Novel
Lou Berney, NOVEMBER ROAD (Morrow)  
Michael Connelly, DARK SACRED NIGHT (Little, Brown)
Allen Eskens, THE SHADOWS WE HIDE (Mulholland)
Craig Johnson, DEPTH OF WINTER (Viking)
Mindy Mejia, LEAVE NO TRACE (Atria)
Abir Mukherjee, A NECESSARY EVIL (Pegasus)

Best First Novel
Oyinkan Braithwaite, MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER (Doubleday)
Karen Cleveland, NEED TO KNOW (Ballantine) 
John Copenhaver, DODGING AND BURNING (Pegasus) 
Caz Frear, SWEET LITTLE LIES (Harper)
James A. McLaughlin, BEARSKIN (Ecco)
C. J. Tudor, THE CHALK MAN (Crown)

Best Paperback Original 
Christine Carbo, A SHARP SOLITUDE (Atria) 
David Mark, DEAD PRETTY (Blue Rider Press) 
Dervla McTiernan, THE RUIN (Penguin) 
Sherry Thomas, THE HOLLOW OF FEAR (Berkley) 
Emma Viskic, RESURRECTION BAY (Pushkin Vertigo)

Best Thriller

Jack Carr, THE TERMINAL LIST (Atria)
Dan Fesperman, SAFE HOUSES (Knopf)
Mick Herron, LONDON RULES (Soho)
Anthony Horowitz, FOREVER AND A DAY (Harper)
Nick Petrie, LIGHT IT UP (Putnam)
James Swain, THE KING TIDES (Thomas & Mercer)

Arizona’s History

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On Monday, January 28 at 7 PM, historian Gary L. Stuart will appear at the Poisoned Pen to discuss his recent biography, Call Him Mac: Ernest W. McFarland, the Arizona Years. Copies will be available through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2R24aFX

Here’s the description of Call Him Mac.

The political life of Ernest W. McFarland—lawyer, judge, senator, governor, Supreme Court justice, and businessman—is well documented. Less well known is his life as a family man, country lawyer, rural judge, and visionary.

In Call Him Mac, Gary L. Stuart renders a nuanced portrait of a young, ambitious, restless, and smiling man on the verge of becoming a political force on his way to the highest levels of governance in Arizona and America. Stuart reveals how Mac became an expert on water law and a visionary in Arizona’s agricultural future. Using interviews with friends and family and extensive primary source research, Stuart spotlights Mac’s unerring focus as a loving husband, father, and grandfather, even in times of great personal tragedy. Mac’s commitments to his family mirrored his sense of fiduciary duty in public life. His enormous political successes were answers to how he dealt with threats to his own life in 1919, the loss of his first wife and three children in the 1930s, and a political loss in 1952 that no one saw coming.

Stuart writes the little-known story of how Arizona’s culture and citizens shaped this energetic, determined, likable lawyer. The fame Mac created was not for himself but for those he served in Arizona and beyond. Mac’s unparalleled political success was fermented during his early Arizona years, the bridge that brought him to his future as an approachable and likable elder statesman of Arizona politics.

*****

The SanTan Sun News recently ran an excellent article providing the background for the author and the book. http://bit.ly/2DoyIOQ

Katherine Arden & The Winternight Trilogy

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Katherine Arden is the author of the fantasy series, The Winternight Trilogy. Those books are The Bear and the Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower, and the latest book, already a New York Times best seller, The Winter of the Witch. All three books are available through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2TYvIht

Here’s the summary of The Winter of the Witch.

Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

“A tale both intimate and epic, featuring a heroine whose harrowing and wondrous journey culminates in an emotionally resonant finale.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviewers called Katherine Arden’s novels The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower “lyrical,” “emotionally stirring,” and “utterly bewitching.” The Winternight Trilogy introduced an unforgettable heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl determined to forge her own path in a world that would rather lock her away. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.

Praise for Winter of the Witch

“Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy isn’t just good—it’s hug-to-your-chest, straight-to-the-favorites-shelf, reread-immediately good, and each book just gets betterThe Winter of the Witch plunges us back to fourteenth-century Moscow, where old gods and new vie for the soul of Russia and fate rests on a witch girl’s slender shoulders. Prepare to have your heart ripped out, loaned back to you full of snow and magic, and ripped out some more.”—Laini Taylor

“Luxuriously detailed yet briskly suspenseful . . . A striking literary fantasy informed by Arden’s deep knowledge.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Visceral descriptions of battle, an atmospheric sense of place, and some truly heartbreaking moments of loss make this a gut-wrenching read, but there’s ample hope and satisfaction to be found as Vasya chooses her own unique path to triumph.”Booklist

*****

Thanks to Penguin Random House, there’s a short video of author Katherine Arden talking about her writing habits.

Matthew Quirk & The Night Agent

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Yesterday, I mentioned that Nick Petrie was going to appear with Matthew Quirk at The Poisoned Pen on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 PM. Quirk’s latest novel is The Night Agent. You can order his books, including a signed copy of The Night Agent, through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2RP7yZj

Here’s the description of The Night Agent.

“Plenty of breathless one-more-chapter, stay-up-late suspense wrapped around a meaty and timely story … irresistible.”
   — Lee Child

To find a Russian mole in the White House, an FBI agent must question everything. . . and trust no one

To save America from a catastrophic betrayal, an idealistic young FBI agent must stop a Russian mole in the White House in this exhilarating political thriller reminiscent of the early novels of John Grisham and David Baldacci.

No one was more surprised than FBI Agent Peter Sutherland when he’s tapped to work in the White House Situation Room. From his earliest days as a surveillance specialist, Peter has scrupulously done everything by the book, hoping his record will help him escape the taint of his past. When Peter was a boy, his father, a section chief in FBI counterintelligence, was suspected of selling secrets to the Russians—a catastrophic breach that had cost him his career, his reputation, and eventually his life. 

Peter knows intimately how one broken rule can cost lives. Nowhere is he more vigilant than in this room, the sanctum of America’s secrets. Staffing the night action desk, his job is monitoring an emergency line for a call that has not—and might never—come. 

Until tonight.

At 1:05 a.m. the phone rings. A terrified young woman named Rose tells Peter that her aunt and uncle have just been murdered and that the killer is still in the house with her. Before their deaths, they gave her this phone number with urgent instructions: “Tell them OSPREY was right. It’s happening. . . “

The call thrusts Peter into the heart of a conspiracy years in the making, involving a Russian mole at the highest levels of the government. Anyone in the White House could be the traitor. Anyone could be corrupted. To save the nation, Peter must take the rules into his own hands and do the right thing, no matter the cost. He plunges into a desperate hunt for the traitor—a treacherous odyssey that pits him and Rose against some of Russia’s most skilled and ruthless operatives and the full force of the FBI itself. 

Peter knows that the wider a secret is broadcast, the more dangerous it gets for the people at the center. With the fate of the country on the line, he and Rose must evade seasoned assassins and maneuver past jolting betrayals to find the shocking truth—and stop the threat from inside before it’s too late.

*****

Do you want a hint as to what you might hear on Thursday night? The Real Book Spy asked Matthew Quirk five questions earlier this week. You can find that interview here. http://bit.ly/2D9zTkU

Hot Book of the Week – The New Iberia Blues

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James Lee Burke’s latest Dave Robicheaux novel, The New Iberia Blues, is the latest Hot Book of the Week at the Poisoned Pen. You can order a signed copy through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2SJ8gVl

There’s so much to share about this book, beyond the description. But, I’ll start with that.

The shocking death of a young woman leads Detective Dave Robicheaux into the dark corners of Hollywood, the mafia, and the backwoods of Louisiana in this gripping mystery from “modern master” (Publishers Weekly) James Lee Burke. 

Detective Dave Robicheaux’s world isn’t filled with too many happy stories, but Desmond Cormier’s rags-to-riches tale is certainly one of them. Robicheaux first met Cormier on the streets of New Orleans, when the young, undersized boy had foolish dreams of becoming a Hollywood director.

Twenty-five years later, when Robicheaux knocks on Cormier’s door, it isn’t to congratulate him on his Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. Robicheaux has discovered the body of a young woman who’s been crucified, wearing only a small chain on her ankle. She disappeared near Cormier’s Cyrpemort Point estate, and Robicheaux, along with young deputy, Sean McClain, are looking for answers. Neither Cormier nor his enigmatic actor friend Antoine Butterworth are saying much, but Robicheaux knows better.

As always, Clete Purcel and Davie’s daughter, Alafair, have Robicheaux’s back. Clete witnesses the escape of Texas inmate, Hugo Tillinger, who may hold the key to Robicheaux’s case. As they wade further into the investigation, they end up in the crosshairs of the mob, the deranged Chester Wimple, and the dark ghosts Robicheaux has been running from for years. Ultimately, it’s up to Robicheaux to stop them all, but he’ll have to summon a light he’s never seen or felt to save himself, and those he loves.

Stephen King hailed New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke “as good as he ever was.” Now, with The New Iberia Blues, Burke proves that he “remains the heavyweight champ, a great American novelist whose work, taken individually or as a whole, is unsurpassed” (Michael Connelly).

*****

On Facebook, James Lee Burke shared a conversation from Authors on the Air on the Global Radio Network. He’s in conversation with Reavis Z. Wortham, Poisoned Pen Press author of Gold Dust. http://bit.ly/2H45DMx

And, The Real Book Spy recently shared “Five Questions with James Lee Burke”. http://bit.ly/2CZyzB6

Poisoned Pen’s Hot Book of the Week, the topic of a conversation for Authors on the Air, and an interview with The Real Book Spy. All reasons you might want to pick up a signed copy of The New Iberia Blues.

The Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2019

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According to CrimeReads editors, this is the list of the most anticipated crime books of 2019. http://bit.ly/2Ri38KY You’ll want to check it out, and then check the calendar for Poisoned Pen events. Many of the authors on the list are already scheduled to appear at the Pen, or will be scheduled when their books are released. Here’s the calendar link. http://www.poisonedpenevents.com/

Last night, Thomas Perry was here. His novel, The Burglar, is on the list. You can still order a signed copy through the Web Store. http://bit.ly/2FdR5bs

We’ve already mentioned that Lyndsay Faye will be here Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 7 PM. You might want to pre-order The Paragon Hotel. http://bit.ly/2Rvwghl

Wednesday, January 16 at 7 PM, the Pen hosts authors Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. Their novel, An Anonymous Girl is on the list. You can order a signed copy. http://bit.ly/2sfLecZ

That’s just two weeks of author appearances at the Poisoned Pen. If you’re looking for exciting reading for the next year, check that list, match it up with author appearances, and check the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/