Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween from The Poisoned Pen Bookstore!

Our reading the holidays series wouldn't be complete without including some ghost, goblins and of course vampires for Halloween.

Looking for a ghostly tale or two? Glen Hirshberg's The Two Sams is filled with them.
In the title story of this unique collec
tion, a husband struggles with the grief and confusion of losing two children, and forms an odd bond with the infant spectrals that visit him in the night. "Dancing Men" depicts one of the creepiest rites of passage in recent memory, when a boy visits his deranged grandfather in the New Mexico desert. In "Mr. Dark's Carnival," a college professor confronts his own dark places in the form of a mysterious haunted house steeped in the folklore of grisly badlands justice. "Struwwelpeter" introduces us to a brilliant, treacherous adolescent whose violent tendencies and reckless mischief reach a sinister pinnacle as Halloween descends on a rundown, Pacific Northwest fishing village. Tormented by his guilty conscience, a young man plumbs the depths of atonement as he and his favorite cousin commune with the almighty Hawaiian surf in "Shipwreck Beach."

Looking for something new? I just devoured Rachel Caine's weather warden serries featuring the Djinn.
Ill Wind is the first in the new Weather Warden series...Meet
Joanne Baldwin, Weather Warden. Usually, all it takes is a wave of her hand to tame the most violent weather. But now, she's trying to outrun another kind of storm: accusations of corruption and murder. So, she's resorting to the very human tactic of running for her life...

Her only hope is Lewis, the most powerful warden known. Unfortunately, he's stolen not one but three bottles of Djinn-making
him the most wanted man on earth. Still, she's racing hard to find him-before the bad weather closes in fast... I hope you enjoy them as much as I did..

On Thursday at 7 pm YA author Melissa De La Cruz will be in to sign Blue Blood 3: Revelatio
ns, the third in her vampire series for young adults. Special effects makeup artist, Brooke Love will be available for consultations and applications if you want to vamp it up. So come early and play with us. If you are a fan of Stephenie Meyer then you should try this author.

Within New York City's most elite families, there lurks a secret society of celebrated Americans whose ancestors sailed on the Mayflower. They are the powerful and the wealthy-and in fact, they are not human. They are the Blue Bloods, an ancient group of vampires." his remarkable gift for capturing mood and atmosphere to suggest the possibility that the most troubling ghosts of all are not the ones that hover above us and walk through walls, but those that linger in our memories and haunt our souls.

We have signed books from spooky writers like Pete Atkins, Glen Hirshberg and Leslie Klinger or choose a mystery:

Isis Crawford's Catered Halloween is a fun
well-plotted fifth culinary cozy to feature Bernadette and Libby Simmons (after 2007's A Catered Valentine's Day), the sisters cater a fundraiser for the Longely, N.Y., volunteer firemen that includes a high-tech haunted house, formerly the Peabody School. In a room evoking the setting of Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum, the severed head that rolls down some stairs and lands at Libby's feet proves to be real. The victim, Amethyst Applegate, had been a student years earlier at the Peabody School, where another student at the time, Bessie Osgood, died under suspicious circumstances. Is Bessie's ghost still haunting the place? Aided by their father, Sean, the town's retired police chief, Bernie and Libby discover that Amethyst, a notorious home wrecker, had no lack of enemies. A selection of delectable seasonal recipes rounds out the volume.ecipes.

Shelley Freydont's Halloween Murder
Former dancer Lindy Haggerty has to give the performance of a lifetime as the director of a small-town Halloween carnival that's turning into a real dance of death.

Carolyn Hart's new serries Ghost at Work
First in a new series. Bailey Ruth Raeburn has always been great at solving mysteries. Why should a little thing like her death change anything? In fact, being dead gives her more of an opportunity to be on top of events. Bailey Ruth is delighted that her unique position as a ghost makes it possible for her to lend a helping hand, sometimes seen and sometimes not. And if anybody needs a little help, it's Kathleen, the pastor's wife. There's a dead man on her porch, and once the body is discovered, the pastor is sure to become a suspect.
Uncharitable people might call it meddling, but Bailey Ruth knows Kathleen needs her help! As a member of Heaven's Department of Good Intentions, Bailey Ruth goes back to earth to extricate Kathleen from a dire situation. If Bailey Ruth has to bend a few rules to help Kathleen save her family, Wiggins, her fussbudget supervisor, will make sure it all turns out right in the end.

So curl up with a spooky read this evening and enjoy the evening!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Barry and Pearson have some fun at The Poisoned Pen

Both Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry were in The PP last week talking about Science Fair. The plot is pretty funny... Kids who attend a semi-elite school gain world-wide acclaim for their science fair projects.

It also so happens that the kids' parents are DOD engineers.

The projects turn out to showcase new technology not yet released by the government and one European Country sees the slip up as an opportunity. Grdankl the Strong, president of Kprshtskan infiltrates the school science fair, taking the DOD secrets into consideration for creating a weapon that will destroy the United States.

The young kids who stumble onto his plot take it upon themselves to stop him as he throws every road block possible in the way of their stolen Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile...

Barry and Pearson, of course, executed their own Science Fair in the bookstore. Humor ensued as well as a pretty large mess. They plead the fifth, but we think they knew the kind of destruction that they would cause and couldn't resist.

They are crowned champions of school yard humor and young readers will definitely see this come out in their new book which is available on our website. There are some signed first editions still available. Just click on the link. Science Fair (Disney Editions)

Two From Patrick

Walter Mosley The Right Mistake
walter After ten years, Mosley resurrects ex-convict and street philosopher, Socrates Fortlow (Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned and Walkin' the Dog) in a fresh series of interlinked South Central LA stories. Fortlow, now sixty years old, has a new project this time: the creation of a grassroots community center he dubs "The Big Nickel." The modest room, created out of a tin-plated home add-on that Socrates has rented, becomes a weekly meeting place for a motley crew of locals, including a Chinese martial arts master, the elderly Jewish son of a ragman, a rising pop singer, a recidivist criminal and gang member, and a young woman named Luna who sets her sights on Socrates. Each of the vignettes presents a different morality play. In a lesser writer's hands this might come across as self-conscious and heavy-handed, but Mosley doesn't offer easy, pat answers to the dilemmas his characters face. As the book progresses, the violence and chaos of the outside world keeps breaking in on the small group and Socrates once again finds himself facing a murder rap. I've always admired Mosley's work and Socrates Fortlow is my favorite of his fictional creations.

Kencops Bruen Once Were Cops
"Bruen returns with a ultra dark noir tale of two disturbed cops - one a member of the Irish police force, Michael O'Shea, who barely keeps his sociopathic insanity at bay, the other a violent K-bar wielding officer nicknamed "Kebar." O'Shea has always dreamed of becoming a NYPD cop, and when an exchange program is initiated, twenty Irish cops are sent to Gotham. When O'Shea and Kebar team up, the streets of New York don't stand a chance. This perfectly-crafted stand alone novel will disturb readers and jar them out of their comfort zone. Is there any higher praise than that? I don't know how Bruen does it, but this one reminded me of Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me: slippery, subversive and a hell of a lot of fun."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Signed FIrsts

Robert B Parker Rough Weather
A hurricane hinders a kidnapping and Spenser goes on a search for the man responsible— the infamous Gray Man, who has both helped and hunted Spenser in the past.

Heidi Bradshaw is wealthy, beautiful, and well connected —and she needs Spenser’s help. In a most unlikely request, Heidi, a notorious gold digger recently separated from her latest husband, recruits the Boston P.I. to accompany her to her private island, Tashtego. The reason? To attend her daughter’s wedding as a sort of stand-in husband and protector. Spenser consents, but only after it is established that his beloved Susan Silverman will also be in attendance.

It should be a straightforward job for Spenser: show up for appearances, have some drinks, and spend some quality time with Susan. But when Spenser’s old nemesis Rugar—the Gray Man—arrives, Spenser realizes that something is amiss. A storm, a kidnapping, and murder tear apart what should be a joyous occasion, and Rugar is seemingly at the center of it all. The only thing is that the sloppy kidnapping is not Rugar’s style—as Spenser knows from past encounters. With six dead bodies and more questions than he can process, Spenser begins a search for answers—and the Gray Man.

With its razor-sharp dialogue, crisply etched characters, and high-wire narrative tension, Rough Weather once again proves that “Robert B. Parker is a force of nature” (The Boston Globe).

Marcia Muller Burn Out
Traumatized by a recent life-or-death investigation, Sharon McCone flees to her ranch in California's high desert country to contemplate her future. Deep depression shadows her days and nights, and a chance encounter with a troubled, highly secretive Native American woman begins to haunt her dreams. Even though she is determined not to investigate anything during her stay--and perhaps not ever again--McCone is drawn into the plight of the young woman and her dysfunctional family. A murder and traces of violence at a deserted resort lead her across the desert and into Nevada, and finally to a remote and isolated ranch, where danger lies closer that she expects and where her future and life itself may hang in the balance.

Bill Loehfelm Fresh Kills
In Fresh Kills, the murder of John Sanders, Sr. on a New York street corner reunites his estranged and abused children, John, Jr. and Julia. While Julia struggles to keep things together on the home front, Junior, unhinged by his father's death, searches for the killer across the bleak, haunted landscape of his Staten Island hometown. Complicating Junior's pursuit are two police detectives: one, a former childhood friend; the other, a veteran cop who might have his own reasons to wish John, Sr. dead. Junior's affair with his high school sweetheart doesn-t exactly simplify the situation either, and his emotional state crumbles under the pressure coming at him from every side. When the opportunity for revenge presents itself, Junior must decide whether he will continue the chain of violence that has nearly destroyed his life, or give in to the possibility of a new beginning.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire

In the much-anticipated third volume of the Wicked Years, we return to Oz, seen now through the eyes of the Cowardly Lion.

While civil war looms in Oz, a tetchy oracle named Yackle prepares for death. Before her final hour, a figure known as Brrr—the Cowardly Lion—arrives searching for information about Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West. Abandoned as a cub, his path from infancy is no Yellow Brick Road. In the wake of laws that oppress talking Animals, he avoids a jail sentence by agreeing to serve as a lackey to the warmongering Emperor of Oz.

A Lion Among Men chronicles a battle of wits hastened by the Emerald City's approaching armies. Can those tarnished by infamy escape their sobriquets to claim their own histories, to live honorably within their own skins before they're skinned alive?

Gregory Maguire's new novel is written with the sympathy and power that have made his books contemporary classics.

You can meet Gregory Maguire at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore on Saturday, Nov 1 at 6:30 pm.

Click Here to Visit Gregory Maguire's website

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Burn Out by Marcia Muller

Muller, Marcia. Burn Out Signed.

Muller keeps on delivering strong story lines and surprises in her Sharon McCone series. Here the PI plumbs her Shoshone heritage, news we learned a few books back, as well as giving another twist to her marriage to Hy Ripinsky, a union of two risk-taking, danger-loving, professionals in private eye and security work. For those who love California’s high desert, the landscape here is a change from San Francisco, McCone’s usual beat.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Here are a few spooky reads for Halloween:

Moontown by Peter Atkins
ShelleBarbaray Campbell only meant to help people.
Recruited by her professor into working with a group-study program investigating phobias, Shelley has been using her ability as an empath to enter the minds of troubled patients. Within the dreamscape of their memories, Shelley uncovers their repressed childhood fears in order to help heal them.
But some fears are buried for a reason. Now, more than lost dreams are resurfacing. Something else is waking too, something dark and long forgotten, something hungry for the taste of our terror-
Shelley Campbell has gone too deep, has found the place where the darkness waits. A place ruled by the moon, a place where midnight lives, a place where every night is Halloween.
A place called Moontown.

The Ghost In Love by Jonathan Carroll
"I envy anyone who has yet to enjoy the sexy, eerie, and addictive novels of Jonathan Carroll. They are delicious treats-with devilish tricks inghostside them."-Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Neil Gaiman has written: "Jonathan Carroll has the magic. He'll lend you his eyes, and you'll never see the world in quite the same way ever again." Welcome to the luminous and marvelously inventive world of The Ghost in Love. A man falls in the snow, hits his head on a curb, and dies. But something strange occurs: the man doesn't die, and the ghost that's been sent to take his soul to the afterlife is flabbergasted. Going immediately to its boss, the ghost asks, what should I do now? The boss says, we don't know how this happened but we're working on it. We want you to stay with this man to help us figure out what's going on. The ghost agrees unhappily; it is a ghost, not a nursemaid. But a funny thing happens-the ghost falls madly in love with the man's girlfriend, and things naturally get complicated. Soon afterward, the man discovers he did not die when he was "supposed" to because for the first time in their history, human beings have decided to take their fates back from the gods. It's a wonderful change, but one that comes at a price. The Ghost in Love is about what happens to us when we discover that we have become the masters of our own fate. No excuses, no outside forces or gods to blame-the responsibility is all our own. It's also about love, ghosts that happen to be gourmet cooks, talking dogs, and picnicking in the rain with yourself at twenty different ages. Stephen King has said that "Jonathan Carroll is as scary as Hitchcock, when he isn't being as funny as Jim Carrey." Jonathan Lethem sees Carroll as the "master of sunlit surrealism." However one regards this beguiling original, two facts are indisputable: It's tough being a ghost on an empty stomach. And The Ghost in Love is a triumphant return.

Ghost at Work by Carolyn Hart
First in a new series. Bailey Ruth Raeburn has always been great at soghostatworklving mysteries. Why should a little thing like her death change anything? In fact, being dead gives her more of an opportunity to be on top of events. Bailey Ruth is delighted that her unique position as a ghost makes it possible for her to lend a helping hand, sometimes seen and sometimes not. And if anybody needs a little help, it's Kathleen, the pastor's wife. There's a dead man on her porch, and once the body is discovered, the pastor is sure to become a suspect.
Uncharitable people might call it meddling, but Bailey Ruth knows Kathleen needs her help! As a member of Heaven's Department of Good Intentions, Bailey Ruth goes back to earth to extricate Kathleen from a dire situation. If Bailey Ruth has to bend a few rules to help Kathleen save her family, Wiggins, her fussbudget supervisor, will make sure it all turns out right in the end.

Locke and Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
In Lohillcke & Key acclaimed suspense novelist and New York Times best-selling author Joe Hill (Heart-Shaped Box) creates an all-new story of dark fantasy and wonder, with astounding artwork from Gabriel Rodriguez.
It tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them - and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all!

American Morons by Glen Hirshberg
From the author of the acclaimed novel THE SNOWMAN'S CHILDREN and the award-winning collection THE TWO SAMS comes American Morons, a new collection of dazzling and haunting tales... Two tramoronsveling college students confront their disintegrating relationship and the new American reality in a breakdown lane along the Italian Superstrade. A woman chases the ghost of her neglectful father to a vanished amusement park at the end of the Long Beach pier. Two recently retired teachers learn just how much Los Angeles has taken from them.
In these atmospheric, wide-ranging, surprisingly playful, and deeply mournful stories, grandkids and widows, ice cream-truck drivers and judges, travelers and invalids all discover - and sometimes even survive - the everyday losses from which the most vengeful ghosts so often spring.

The New Annotated Dracula by Leslie s. Klinger and Bram Stoker
This beautiful volume is cause for international celebration-the most important and complete edition of Dracula in decades.
In his first work since his best-selling The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Leslie S. Klinger returns with this spectacular, lavishly illustrated homage to Bram Stoker's Dracula. With a daring conceit, Klinger accepts Stoker's contention that the Dracula tale is based on historical fact. Traveling through two hundred years of popular culture and myth as well as graveyards and the wilds of Transylvania, Klinger's notes illuminate every aspect of this haunting narrative (including a detailed examination of the original typescript of Dracula, with its shockingly different ending, previously unavailable to scholars). Klinger investigates the many subtexts of the original narrative-from masochistic, necrophilic, homoerotic, "dentophilic," and even heterosexual implications of the story to its political, economic, feminist, psychological, and historical threads. Employing the superb literary detective skills for which he has become famous, Klinger mines this 1897 classic for nuggets that will surprise even the most die-hard Dracula fans and introduce the vampire-prince to a new generation of readers.Two-color throughout; 35 color and 400 black-and-white illustrations.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New British Signed

The Lemur by Benjamin Black

A new thriller from the Booker Prize–winning and Edgar-nominated author of Christine Falls and The Silver Swan

John Glass's life in New York should be plenty comfortable. He's given up his career as a journalist to write an authorized biography of his father-in-law, communications magnate and former CIA agent Big Bill Mulholland. He works in a big office in Mulholland Tower, rent-free, and goes home (most nights) to his wealthy and well-preserved wife, Wild Bill's daughter. He misses his old life sometimes, but all in all things have turned out well.

But when his shifty young researcher--a man he calls "The Lemur"--turns up some unflattering information about the family, Glass's whole easy existence is threatened. Then the young man is murdered, and it's up to Glass to find out what The Lemur knew, and who killed him, before any secrets come out--and before any other bodies appear.

Shifting from 1950s Dublin to contemporary New York, the masterful crime writer Benjamin Black returns in this standalone thriller--a story of family secrets so deep, and so dangerous, that anyone might kill to keep them hidden.

Perfect Night by Peter Grimsdale
A wonderfully assured and compelling thriller about a documentary film-maker who unknowingly captured a secret that governments are willing to kill for.

When ambitious young documentary film-maker Nick witnesses the death of a notorious arms dealer in Sri Lanka, he's lucky to escape with his own life. He was on his way to interview him on his yacht when it was blown to smithereens. But the head injuries he receives destroy his memory - and his burgeoning career.

Years later, working as a film archivist, he uncovers an image in a forgotten reel of film that seems to totally rewrite the incident that derailed his life. But as he starts to search for the other pieces of the puzzle, he quickly realizes that this single, explosive piece of film could destroy him all over again. Soon he's on the run from people who want the lid put very firmly back on the past. His only option is to restore his memory - however painful it turns out to be - and find the whole truth before it kills him.

Dante's Numbers by David Hewson
Is the seventh Niv Costa Novel.

Allan Prime's eyes were as large as any man's Peroni had ever seen. He looked ready to die of fright, even before the bright, shining spear with the blood-soaked tip reached his head ...The death mask of the poet Dante is to be exhibited at the premiere of a controversial film, "Inferno", based on his epic work. But at the grand unveiling this priceless artefact is replaced by a macabre death mask of the film's star, Allen Prime. And minutes later, the leading actress, Maggie Flavier, is threatened before her attacker is shot.After footage of Prime's murder is shown over the internet, the Carabinieri are determined to take over the investigation, certain that a crazed Dante fan is behind the killing. Nic Costa and his team follow the movie to its next showing in San Francisco, to safeguard the remaining items and hoping to recover the stolen death mask. However, in California the mystery deepens, with confusing new clues about the deaths in Rome. With the Carabinieri and local authorities distracted by false leads, can Costa protect Maggie, find the truth and stop the killer - all before life imitates art?

The Winter Ground by Catriona McPherson

Is the fourth in the Dandy Gilver series. Times are hard for a struggling family circus in the long, cold winter of 1925. With their sons off in America and the last of their big cats long gone, Pa and Ma Cooke are more than happy to accept the offer of free winter standing on the remote Blackcraig estate in Perthshire in return for a few shows to the Wilson family around Christmastime. Wealthy but brash Albert Wilson is cock-a-hoop to find himself the centre of a circle of bright young things from around the county, agog for the circus and ready to endure his company to get at it. With the threat of revolution blowing in from the east on the icy gales, Hugh Gilver is less pleased to see the troupe Prebrezhensky ensconced in the valley but the Gilver boys, especially, cannot get enough of Tiny Truman the midget, Andrew Merryman the giant, not to mention the mysterious and beautiful Anastasia, bare-back rider and troublemaker combined. When Ma Cooke asks for Dandy's help to get to the bottom of a string of spiteful tricks at the winter ground, Hugh gives his approval, one eye on the bank balance as always.But the fun runs out when the silly tricks take a darker turn, leaving one of the performers dead and the Cooke, Wilson and Gilver families fractured amid whispers of murder.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Exit Music Ian Rankin

Exit Music Ian Rankin
It's late in the fall in Edinburgh and late in the career of Detective Inspector John Rebus. As he is simply trying to tie up some loose ends before his retirement, a new case lands on his desk: a dissident Russian poet has been murdered in what looks like a mugging gone wrong.
Rebus discovers that an elite delegation of Russian businessmen is in town, looking to expand its interests. And as Rebus's investigation gains ground, someone brutally assaults a local gangster with whom he has a long history.
Has Rebus overstepped his bounds for the last time? Only a few days shy of the end to his long, controversial career, will Rebus even make it that far?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

New Fiction

The Glass of Time by Michael Cox ($24.95)
timeA page-turning late-Victorian mystery by a master, The Glass of Time is for fans of The Meaning of Night and for readers new to Michael Cox alike.

Picking up the lives of characters from the first novel some twenty years later, The Glass of Time begins in 1876. Nineteen-year-old orphan Esperanza Gorst arrives from Paris at the great country house of Evenwood to become lady's maid to the 26th Baroness Tansor, the former Miss Emily Carteret. But Esperanza is no ordinary servant. She has been sent by her guardian, the mysterious "Madame," to uncover the secrets that her new mistress has concealed for decades, and to set right a past injustice which - although Esperanza does not know it - is intimately linked with her own future as well as her past.

Gradually, those secrets are revealed, and with them the true identities of nearly every character - for it seems that no one in Esperanza's world is who she believes them to be. She finds herself enmeshed in a complicated web of intrigue, deceit, and murder that culminates in a devastating betrayal by those she trusted most.

Richly textured and elegantly told, The Glass of Time is a completely enveloping tale of identity, of the unexpected consequences of hidden truths, and of what can happen when past obsessions impose themselves on an unwilling present.

Hardly Knew Her by Laura Lippman
lippmanNew York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman has been hailed as one of the best crime fiction writers in America today, winning virtually every major award in the genre. The author of the enormously popular series featuring Baltimore P.I. Tess Monaghan as well as three critically lauded stand-alone novels, Lippman now turns her attention to short stories-and reveals another level of mastery.
Lippman sets many of the stories in this sterling anthology, Hardly Knew Her, in familiar territory: her beloved Baltimore, from downtown to its affluent suburbs, where successful businessmen go to shocking lengths to protect what they have or ruthlessly expand their holdings, while dissatisfied wives find murderous ways to escape their lives. But Lippman is also unafraid to travel-to New Orleans, to an unnamed southwestern city, and even to Dublin, the backdrop for the lethal clash of two not-so-innocents abroad. Tess Monaghan is here, in two stories and a profile, aligning herself with various underdogs. And in her extraordinary, never-before-published novella, Scratch a Woman, Lippman takes us deep into the private world of a high-priced call girl/madam and devoted soccer mom, exploring the mystery of what may, in fact, be written in the blood.
Each of these ingenious tales is a gem-sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous, always filled with delightfully unanticipated twists and reversals. For people who have yet to read Lippman, get ready to experience the spellbinding power of "one of today's most pleasing storytellers, hailed for her keen psychological insights and her compelling characterizations," (San Diego Union-Tribune), who has "invigorated the crime fiction arena with smart, innovative, and exciting work" (George Pelecanos). As for longtime devotees of her multiple award-winning novels, you'll discover that you hardly know her.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Need Some Gift Ideas?

DewyThe Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myrondewey
How much of an impact can an animal have? How many lives can one cat touch? How is it possible for an abandoned kitten to transform a small library, save a classic American town, and eventually become famous around the world? You can't even begin to answer those questions until you hear the charming story of Dewey Readmore Books, the beloved library cat of Spencer, Iowa.

Dewey's story starts in the worst possible way. Only a few weeks old, on the coldest night of the year, he was stuffed into the returned book slot at the Spencer Public Library. He was found the next morning by library director, Vicki Myron, a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm, a breast cancer scare, and an alcoholic husband. Dewey won her heart, and the hearts of the staff, by pulling himself up and hobbling on frostbitten feet to nudge each of them in a gesture of thanks and love. For the next nineteen years, he never stopped charming the people of Spencer with his enthusiasm, warmth, humility, (for a cat) and, above all, his sixth sense about who needed him most.

As his fame grew from town to town, then state to state, and finally, amazingly, worldwide, Dewey became more than just a friend; he became a source of pride for an extraordinary Heartland farming town pulling its way slowly back from the greatest crisis in its long history.

Indognito by dogKaren Ngo
Hilarious, charming, and inventive, INDOGNITO is Karen Ngo's visual treat for today's breed of dog lovers. A whimsical collection of stylishly photographed dog portraits, it affectionately embraces the quirky spirit of the primped pooch. Including humorous quotations, this book is sure to delight and inspire dog-lovers of every age!

Wesley the Owl The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl
by Stacey o'Brienwesley
On Valentine's Day 1985, biologist Stacey O'Brien first met a four-day-old baby barn owl -- a fateful encounter that would turn into an astonishing 19-year saga. With nerve damage in one wing, the owlet's ability to fly was forever compromised, and he had no hope of surviving on his own in the wild. O'Brien, a young assistant in the owl laboratory at Caltech, was immediately smitten, promising to care for the helpless owlet and give him a permanent home. Wesley the Owl is the funny, poignant story of their dramatic two decades together.With both a tender heart and a scientist's eye, O'Brien studied Wesley's strange habits intensively and first-hand -- and provided a mice-only diet that required her to buy the rodents in bulk (28,000 over the owl's lifetime). As Wesley grew, she snapped photos of him at every stage like any proud parent, recording his life from a helpless ball of fuzz to a playful, clumsy adolescent to a gorgeous, gold-and-white, macho adult owl with a heart-shaped face and an outsize personality that belied his 18-inch stature. Stacey and Wesley's bond deepened as she discovered Wesley's individual personality, subtle emotions, and playful nature that could also turn fiercely loyal and protective -- though she could have done without Wesley's driving away her would-be human suitors!
O'Brien also brings us inside the prestigious research community, a kind of scientific Hogwarts where resident owls sometimes flew freely from office to office and eccentric, brilliant scientists were extraordinarily committed to studying and helping animals; all of them were changed by the animal they loved. As O'Brien gets close to Wesley, she makes important discoveries about owl behavior, intelligence, and communication, coining the term "The Way of the Owl" to describe his inclinations: he did not tolerate lies, held her to her promises, and provided unconditional love, though he was not beyond an occasional sulk. When O'Brien develops her own life-threatening illness, the biologist who saved the life of a helpless baby bird is herself rescued from death by the insistent love and courage of this wild animal.
Enhanced by wonderful photos, Wesley the Owl is a thoroughly engaging, heartwarming, often funny story of a complex, emotional, non-human being capable of reason, play, and, most important, love and loyalty. It is sure to be cherished by animal lovers everywhere.

or maybe Mystery Lover's Puzzle Book
Crosswords with clues from your favorite mystery series!
loversNow you can enjoy both at the same time. Whether you like the humor of Janet Evanovich or the thrill of the chase with John Sandford, do crossword puzzles containing clues about your favorite fictional mystery characters.
Even if you have not read some of these authors, give the puzzles a try and get hooked on a new writer! The brief review for each series should help you with your reading selection. Whether you like cozies, thrillers, historical or legal suspense, pick a new author by mystery type, location, time period or character.
Keep track of the books you have already read by checking them off on the list of titles provided. Save time by not having to search for the next title in the series and save money by not accidentally buying a book you have already read. Other stand-alone mysteries, written by your favorite authors, are also included in order.
So have a little fun, find new authors, stretch those memory muscles or solve the problem of what to get your mystery-reading friends by trying out the Mystery Lover's Puzzle Book.

Click here for a sample Puzzle

From Patrick

Charlie Huston lastdEvery Last Drop ($14) PBO
It's like this: a series of bullet-riddled bad breaks has seen rogue Vampyre and terminal tough guy Joe Pitt go from PI for hire to Clan-connected enforcer to dead man walking in a New York minute. And after burning all his bridges, the only one left to cross leads to the Bronx, where Joe's brass knuckles and straight razor can't keep him from running afoul of a sadistic old bloodsucker with a bad bark and a worse bite. Even if every Clan in Manhattan is hollering for Joe's head on a stick, it's got to be better than trying to survive in the outer-borough wilderness.

So it's a no-brainer when Clan boss Dexter Predo comes looking to make a deal. All Joe has to do to win back breathing privileges on his old turf is infiltrate an upstart Clan whose plan to cure the Vyrus could expose the secret Vampyre world to mortal eyes and set off a panic-driven massacre. Not cool. But Joe's all over it. To save the Undead future, he just has to wade neck-deep through all the archenemies, former friends, and assorted heavy hitters he's crossed in the past. No sweat? Maybe not, but definitely more blood than he's ever seen or hungered for. And maybe even some tears, over the horror and heartbreaking truth about the evil men do no matter who or what they are.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

From Patrick

Looking for some fresh fiction? Then don't miss The Big O by Declan Burke, a book Patrick calls, "A hell of a lot of fun to read."

"At long last we're seeing a whole generation of Irish crime fiction emerging, and it's fascinating that an island as small as Ireland can produce such a variety of different styles - Bruen's brilliant, tormented Jack Taylor novels, Tana French's wicked psychological Dublin gothics, Colin Bateman's Ulster-set comic epics, and now Declan Burke.... The Big O seems to me a classic underworld caper in the same vein as Ray Banks or Allan Guthrie, but with a freshness and often satirical edge that distinguishes it from the lot. A hell of a lot of fun to read."

Read a great interview with Declan Burke

“Imagine Donald Westlake and his alter ego Richard Stark moving to Ireland and collaborating on a screwball noir, and you have some idea of Burke’s accomplishment.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly Signed First

Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly Signed First.
Lincoln lawyer Mickey Haller and LAPD Detective Harry Bosch team up in Michael Connelly's biggest novel ever!

Here is a wonderful interview in the NY Times

Read an excerpt, an interview, some reviews, get a reading guide, watch the videos, and listen to a clip from the audiobooks.

Michael is on a book tour promoting The Brass Verdict now.

He will be at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore on Wednesday, October 15 at Noon. Don't miss your chance to hear this wonderful author discuss his work.

Monday, October 13, 2008


The New Annotated DraculaWhat could fit the season better than revisiting the 1897 classic by Bram Stoker in the hands of Edgar-winner Klinger who has even unearthed the surprise ending to the original manuscript?

The New Annotated Dracula is fun to read on so many levels: vampire lore, real history, legends, new generations leading up to today's paranormal rage, movies-all lavishly illustrated. From the author of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes Vols. 1, 2 (Stories); Vol. 3 (Novels)

Don't miss your chance to meet the author
MONDAY, OCTOBER 20 at The Poisoned Pen, Leslie Klinger will speak and sign at a 7:00 pm Halloween Party.

Bring a carved pumpkin and/or wear a costume for prizes. Treats, no tricks.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Irregardless of WHAT?

This post will be a bit different then the others but, I think the whole 'blog' concept is great for this kind of thing so...

I watched an interview on youtube the other night and heard the word irregardless used and cringed. The truth is that one hundred percent of the time the word regardless will work equally as well. My initial thought was that this was a case of what linguists call hypercorrection. Which is defined as “The erroneous use of a word or form resulting from a misdirected effort to use what is believed to be a grammatically correct form” Based on this definition, it actually turns out to be hypercorrection.

But, I was certain hypercorrection was a different term which generally meant: people trying to sound more intelligent than they actually are. This is a crime I surely am not innocent of either.

It is a very difficult thing to avoid completely. It brings to mind a casual definition I’d heard of on old money and new money: Old money will sit down and eat McDonald's with you and not care, new money will be snooty seeming. (eg. Not wishing to being seen in a McDonald's.) New intellectuals desire to be smarter than they are and often make mistakes in pursuit of it. Old intellectuals will use the words that work, (hence my grandfather and parents only saying about six to twelve words to my twelve thousand) to convey the point.

Irregardless, certain words which are used in our society are unnecessary and are classified as either needless variants or nonwords. Referring to one of my favorite resources on grammar Garner’s Modern English Usage (A book I highly recommend,, which I think through its humor cuts much of the elitism found in grammar and language study)

Garner treats irregardless in his book and happens to lead to some very well known authors, and down an interesting path of linguistic knowledge. Garner defines irregardless as

A semiliterate portmanteau word formed from irrespective and regardless…and…should have been stamped out long ago. But it’s common enough in speech that it has found its way into all manner of print sources” (interestingly enough, The Arizona Republic writers come up more than once as examples Garner considers users of incorrect grammar…) He continues to say that “Although this widely scorned nonword seems unlikely to spread much more that it already has, careful users of language must continually swat at when they encounter it.

Following the new definitions, of which I had never heard of (eg portmanteau word and nonword) lead us to a very famous name.

“Portmanteau Words: Lewis Carroll improvised this term to denote words formed by combining the sounds and meaning of two different words. (Linguists use the term blend) Carroll gave us chortle (chuckle + snort) and galumph (gallop + triumph). Thus insinuendo combines insinuation with innuendo; quasar is from quasi and stellar; aerobicise derives from aerobic exercise. Other recent innovations are avigation, from aviation and navigation; pictionary fro picture-filled dictionary; and videbut for video and debut.
Most portmanteau words are words that do not gain currency; others, like brunch (breakfast + lunch) become standard. Among these protmanteau coinages are these

breathalyzer (breath + analyzer)
brotel (brothel + hotel)
motel (motor + hotel)
simulcast (simultaneous + broadcast)

Plus many, many others which you can find in Dick Thurner’s book Portmanteau Dictionary; Blend Words in the English Language, Including Trademarks and Brand Names. Had I the money, I would go out and get it now.

As humorous as some of them sound, like brotel, there are many that have become legitimate words. That is one of the remarkable things about language, those readers who are maybe in their fifties, (I’m only 26) would surely see this combining of two words right off the bat. I however don’t.

The last place we will visit in Garner’s Usage is nonword whose entry proves to be entertaining. Had I thought five years ago that language was actually the free-for-all as I understand it to be now I might have done better in my grammar class…probably not though…That aside, we get the following upon looking up nonword,

“H.W. Fowler’s formidable American precursor, Richard Grant White, wrote incisively about words that aren’t legitimate words:

As there are books that are not books, so there are words that are not words. Most of them are usurpers, interlopers, or vulgar pretenders; some are deformed creatures, with only half a life in the; but some of them are legitimate enough in their pretensions, although oppressive, intolerable, useless. Words that are not words sometimes die spontaneously; but many linger, living a precarious life on the outskirts of society uncertain of their position, and cause great discomfort to all right thinking, straightforward people.
-Words and Their Uses 184 (rev. ed. 1899)

Interestingly enough, Garner goes on to state that among the words
“White labeled nonwords are three that might still be considered so; enthused, experimentalize, preventative. But with most of the others he mentions, he proved anything but prophetic—they’re now standard; accountable, answerable, controversialist, conversationalist, donate, exponential, jeopardize, practitioner, presidential, reliable, tangential.
"The lesson appears to be that in any age, stigmatizing words is a tough business- no matter how good the arguments against them might be…The term nonword might appear to be a nonword itself because until recently it did not appear in most dictionaries.”

That is it for me and this tangent. However, I have one other observation that can follow the polemical tone White uses in his definition of nonwords, and that is:

Based on what I learned above, and having experienced academia for longer than I should have, I’ve come to use accept White’s nonwords as buzzwords within many different, acknowledged disciplines. They range even into political jargon. This is all very reminiscent of Orwell’s doublespeak. But don’t quote me on that.

My conclusion is that one should get a book of nonwords, use them profusely, across many disciplines. Crouch them in complex ideas as buzzwords and or even develop academic sounding ideas that give the nonwords legitimate meaning. That way you’ll be on the cutting edge of language, which now appears even more ragged than before.

I’ll try my hand at one of them here in the next week and post again on the subject. If you feel so inclined I’ll leave a list of other nonwords for you to give legitimacy to as well.

Speaking of Lewis Carroll, we have some charming notepads in the store featuring Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland we just got into the store which you might want to jot some ideas down in. They have the cool elastic strap over the end. Not to mention a wonderful version of Alice in Wonderland that would make a great Christmas gift.

We Have Signed First Le Carre

John Le Carre A Most Wanted Man ($45)
A half-starved young Russian man in a long black overcoat is smuggle
d into Hamburg at dead of night. He has an improbable amount of cash secreted in a purse round his neck. He is a devout Muslim. Or is he? He says his name is Issa. Annabel, an idealistic young German civil rights lawyer, determines to save Issa from deportation. Soon her client's survival becomes more important to her than her own career. In pursuit of Issa's mysterious past, she confronts the incongruous Tommy Brue, the sixty-year-old scion of Brue Freres, a failing British bank based in Hamburg. A triangle of impossible loves is born. Meanwhile, scenting a sure kill in the so-called War on Terror, the spies of three nations converge upon the innocents. Poignant, compassionate, peopled with characters the reader never wants to let go, A Most Wanted Man is alive with humour, yet prickles with tension until the last heart-stopping page. It is also a work of deep humanity, and uncommon relevance to our times.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

We Have More Double-Signed Plague Ships!

The Plague Ship number 5 in the Oregon Files by Clive Cussler.
We were able to get more first double-signed by Clive and Jack so if you missed out the first time here's your chance to add to your collection!
The Oregon, a covert ship completely dilapidated on the outside but, on the inside, packed with sophisticated weaponry and intelligence-gathering equipment. Captained by the rakish, one-legged Juan Cabrillo and manned by a crew of former military and spy personnel, it is a private enterprise, available for any government agency that can afford it— and now Cussler sends the Oregon on its most extraordinary mission yet.
Plague Ship is a high-stakes, high-seas journey that proves once again that Cussler is “just about the best storyteller in the business” (New York Post).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory Signed

The Other Queen signed

Two women competing for a man's heart
Two queens fighting to the death for dominance
The untold story of Mary, Queen of Scots

This dazzling novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory presents a new and unique view of one of history's most intriguing, romantic, and maddening heroines. Biographers often neglect the captive years of Mary, Queen of Scots, who trusted Queen Elizabeth's promise of sanctuary when she fled from rebels in Scotland and then found herself imprisoned as the "guest" of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his indomitable wife, Bess of Hardwick.

The newly married couple welcome the doomed queen into their home, certain that serving as her hosts and jailers will bring them an advantage in the cutthroat world of the Elizabethan court. To their horror, they find that the task will bankrupt them, and as their home becomes the epicenter of intrigue and rebellion against Elizabeth, their loyalty to each other and to their sovereign comes into question. If Mary succeeds in seducing the earl into her own web of treachery and treason, or if the great spymaster William Cecil links them to the growing conspiracy to free Mary from her illegal imprisonment, they will all face the headsman.

Philippa Gregory uses new research and her passion for historical accuracy to place a well-known heroine in a completely new tale full of suspense, passion, and political intrigue. For years, readers have clamored for Gregory to tell Mary's story, and The Other Queen is the result of her determination to present a novel worthy of this extraordinary heroine.

About the Author
Philippa Gregory is the New York Times bestselling author of several books, including The Other Boleyn Girl and The Boleyn Inheritance. A writer and broadcaster for radio and television, she lives in England. She welcomes visitors and messages at her website,

Monday, October 6, 2008

Two Notable Trade Mysteries

The Serpent and the Scorpion Book 2 of the Ursula Marlow series, by Clare Langley-Hawthorne.
It’s the end of 1911 and Ursula Marlow, struggling to maintain control over her father’s textile empire, finds her business trip to Egypt interrupted by two violent deaths. The first victim is her new friend, Katya—the mysterious wife of a wealthy Russian financier. Then when a young woman dies in a fire in one of Ursula’s factories just days later, she returns to investigate and discovers the woman was already dead before the fire started. Driven by her need for justice, the headstrong Ursula is determined to unravel the possible connection between the two deaths, the return of her Bolshevik ex-lover, and disturbing events in the Middle East. The Serpent and the Scorpion is a tale of romance, betrayal, and murder that will appeal to fans of Elizabeth Peters, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Jacqueline Winspear.

The Lover's Knot by Clare O'Donohue, producer the HGTV show, Simply Quilts.
Twenty-six-year-old Nell Fitzgerald is thrilled when she receives a gorgeous handmade quilt in a lover’s knot pattern as an engagement gift from her grandmother Eleanor Cassidy. However, her joy is short-lived as her fiancĂ© announces that the wedding is off. Heartbroken, Nell flees New York City for her grandmother’s home in Archers Rest. In this small town Eleanor’s life revolves around her quilt shop, Someday Quilts, and the members of her shops’ quilting circle.

When a local handyman known for his flirting is found murdered in the shop, Nell finds herself drawn into the case – and drawn to the shy police chief. As a pattern of clues begins to emerge, one of the prime suspects is Nell’s ex-fiancĂ©, whose arrival in Archers Rest seems suspicious, especially to Nell.

With Eleanor and the quilting circle helping out, Nell sets out to solve two mysteries. One is the murder of the local handyman and the other is deciding what future, and what man, is right for her.

Join us at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore on Tuesday, October 28 at 7 pm as Clare O'Donohue and Clare Langley-Hawthorne discuss and sign.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Meet Pseudonymous Bosch

If You're Reading This, It's Too Late: ($16.95) Dangerous secrets lie betwereading thisen the pages of this book. We last left our heroes, Cass and Max-Ernest, as they awaited initiation into the mysterious Terces Society, or the ongoing fight against the evil Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais. The kids stumble upon the Museum of Magic, where they finally meet the amazing Pietro! What about the missing Sound Prism, the nefarious Lord Pharaoh, or the mysterious creature born in a bottle over 500 years ago, the key to the biggest secret of all?

Bring your children and grandchildren as we kick off the month with children's author Pseudonymous Bosch Tuesday, October 7 at 7 PM
Bosch will talk to the audience and sign: The Name of This Book Is Secret and If You're Reading This, It's Too Late

What a better way to kick off the holiday season and possibly pick up some special gifts for Christmas?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Four For The Holidays

New Hardcover Fun For The Holidays

The Chocolate Snowman Murders by Joanna Carl
Don't miss the scrumptious, and deadly, hardcover debut of the natchocolate snowmanional bestselling Chocoholic Mysteries.

Lee McKinney Woodyard knows that being in the luxury chocolate business isn't all sweetness and light, and neither is the holiday season. But she tries to draw the line at cold-blooded murder.

As treasurer of WinterFest, Lee is up to her elbows in the arguments, egos, and last-minute mix-ups that happen behind the scenes. But she's coping, even when the guest juror of the art show shows up drunk. Lee leaves him to sleep it off, and is stunned the next day when her husband, Joe, discovers someone has put the visiting dignitary into a permanent state of repose...

halloweenA Catered Halloween by Isis Crawford
In Crawford's fun, well-plotted fifth culinary cozy to feature Bernadette and Libby Simmons (after 2007's A Catered Valentine's Day), the sisters cater a fundraiser for the Longely, N.Y., volunteer firemen that includes a high-tech haunted house, formerly the Peabody School. In a room evoking the setting of Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum, the severed head that rolls down some stairs and lands at Libby's feet proves to be real. The victim, Amethyst Applegate, had been a student years earlier at the Peabody School, where another student at the time, Bessie Osgood, died under suspicious circumstances. Is Bessie's ghost still haunting the place? Aided by their father, Sean, the town's retired police chief, Bernie and Libby discover that Amethyst, a notorious home wrecker, had no lack of enemies. A selection of delectable seasonal recipes rounds out the volume.

The Spy Who Came for Christmas by David Morrell
spy christmasIt's Christmas Eve in Santa Fe, but among the revelers on Canyon Road, a decidedly unholy scene is taking place. A desperate man, dressed all in black, feverishly seeks refuge for himself and the squirming bundle he holds tightly against his breast. Agent Paul Kagan's bundle is a baby who has the power to change the course of global events. His pursuers are his former colleagues-members of the Russian mafia who will stop at nothing to accomplish their mission. Now Kagan is a spy on the run-he must ensure this baby's survival, even if it will cost him his own life. Just a short distance away, Kagan will find an unexpected pair of allies-a mother and her young son, who huddle together after a horrible episode of domestic violence leaves them home alone, with no means of transportation.
And so, with the exquisitely honed skills of his profession and the help and good faith of a weary woman and a disillusioned boy, Kagan must take on forces that will stop at nothing. In the course of a wild and violent night, the unlikely trio learn lessons of generosity, courage, and selflessness, discovering within themselves the luminous strength of the true Christmas spirit.

Fleece Navidad by Maggie Sefton
This is the sixth in Maggie's Knitting Mysteries
fleece navidadIt's beginning to look a lot like Christmas for the knitters of Fort Connor, Colorado, who are furiously working on their holiday projects. Juliet, the town's "little brown wren" librarian, is known for her beautiful handmade Christmas capes, and she has extra reason to be joyful this year-she's in love. But as soon as she finds happiness, death finds her.

Suspicion falls on a newcomer to the knitting group, but Kelly Flynn and the rest of the crew aren't convinced of this person's guilt. It's up to them to separate the true lion from the lambs- before someone else gets fleeced

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Signed Books From The Poisoned Pen

We had a wonderful response for our National Launch Party of Phoenix Media Star Jana Bommersbach new paperback. Jana signed her new true-crime, Bones in the Desert ($6.99), with Terri Bowersock. We still have a few double-signed books available.

Loretta Bowersock and her daughter, Terri, ran a multimillion-dollar furniturestore based in Tempe, Arizona, where they were well-known and admired by many. Together, these two women seemed to be living the American Dream, until one man decided to take it all away. Taw Benderly worked his way into Loretta's heart, home, and business. Though the couple appeared to be happy, their lives behind closed doors told another story. Terri had always known that the handsome, charming, and usually unemployed Taw was manipulating her mother but she did not know the extent of the abuse or how far he would go to defraud her. Then, just before Christmas in 2004, Loretta went missing.

Different Paths by Judy Clemens
When Stella’s friend and veterinarian Carla Beaumont is car-jacked it’s just the beginning of a rash of vici
ous attacks on local business women. A truck driver, minister, and personal trainer are next in line for vandalism and theft, but the community is shaken to the core when the kind-hearted Dr. Peterson is found murdered in her office.

Stella, worried tha
t she and her farmhand Lucy might be next in line, takes it upon herself to find the connection between the victims – something other than their gender. Who knew about these women enough to go after them? It seems obvious that someone is targeting specific leaders in the town, and Stella makes it her job to track down the killer and get the good Detective Willard to stop the violence.

Meanwhile, Stella’s boyfriend, Nick, joins her on the farm when he hears of the danger surrounding her. Will he, with his newly diagnosed MS, be able to protect her? And does she even want him to? It’s hard enough that Nick’s younger sister hates Stella and what she represents, but will that be able to keep them from making the decisions about the future?

As Stella investigates she finds much that doesn’t seem right in her usually quiet town. Between her suspicions of steroids at the local gym, irate patients at the doctor’s office, and Carla’s brand-new boyfriend, Stella’s not sure which way to focus her attention. But she knows she must--before any more women die.

A Cure for Night by Justin Peacock

“That’s what the criminal law is: it’s how the day tries to correct the night’s mistakes. Most of my cases, people have done something they never would’ve dreamed of doing in broad daylight.”

“What does that make us?” I said. “The night’s janitors?”

“We’re absolutely that,” Myra said, sipping her cosmo. “What else do we do but clean up after it? That’s why we’ll never run out of work. Not unless someone invents a cure for night.

In Brooklyn’s criminal courts, justice often depends on who has the better story to tell.

After a drug-related scandal ejects Joel Deveraux from his job at a white-shoe law firm, he slides down the corporate ladder to the Public Defenders’ office in Brooklyn, where he defends the innocent and the guilty alike, a cog in the great clanking machine that is the New York City justice system. When his boss offers him the second chair to the savvy Myra Goldstein in a high-profile murder case, he eagerly takes it. The defendant is Lorenzo Tate, a black pot dealer from the projects who is charged with the murder of a white college student in a street shooting; and the tabloids have sunk their teeth into the racially tinged trial.

In this twisty and overwhelmingly authentic journey through the real Brooklyn, Justin Peacock paints a portrait of the law as a form of combat where the best story wins—but who’s telling the truth and who’s lying are matters of interpretation. And of life and death.

This compelling debut novel announces Justin Peacock as a writer who enters the territory of Richard Price and Scott Turow with a fresh new take on urban crime and punishment.