Tuesday, March 25, 2008

From Barbara

Dietrich, William. The Rosetta Key (Harper $28 Signed). A new chapter in a Flashman type series set during Napoleon's attentions to the Middle East. Filled with mysteries, nonstop action, and an American youth with a limitless capacity to escape disaster, it's great fun and recreates an unusual past vividly and with vigor, combining science, military action, and some mysticism. Napoleon's Pyramids ($7.99).

Stone, David. The Orpheus Deception (Putnam $26 Signed). Picking up where The Echelon Vendetta ($10) left off, CIA cleaner Micah Dalton is on the run from his employers after an assassination attempt in Venice fells him but does not quell a Serbian warlord. Terrifying characters and a plot loaded with twists from Singapore to Italy. Love the final moment! Less cerebral than Silva, but definitely for his fans. Big recommend!

From Patricia

Carl, Lillian Stewart. The Burning Glass (Five Star, $26). Travel and history journalist for the magazine Great Scot, Jean Fairbairn escapes the August heat of the Edinburgh Festival to explore Ferniebank, a border castle with chapel. holy well and ghost, where retired cop Alasdair Cameron is designing a security system. Their tentative connection is a reclamation project because both come from failed marriages. A dead caretaker and a stolen medieval harp raise hackles not aroused in ordinary village life. So many Scottish phrases and attributions set the convincing stage for this pair's third outing after The Secret Portrait and The Murder Hole.


Fashion is going both romantic and historical this spring. And as I have been predicting, not only is the time ripe for the classic mystery to resurge, so it is for romantic suspense. Here is a discovery book we have just ordered

Fitzpatrick, Kylie. The Ninth Stone (Weidenfeld $30). An imaginative novel of suspense set in Victoria's day and recalling The Moonstone and the work of MM Kaye (and maybe Phyllis Whitney) moves from India to London and back. The narrative flows with the history of a diamond stolen from the goddess Kali, a maharaja who loves a dancing girl, a gutsy London orphan posing as a boy and working in the offices of the London Mercury, the widowed Lily Korechnya, grieving for her artist husband, who has been enlisted to help Lady Cynthia Herbert (whose spouse was murdered in India by Thugees) catalogue her jewels … Imaginative, terrific fun, well researched lending authenticity to the somewhat fantastical bits. We have a large number of such books to tell you about as we move into spring and early summer.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Nancy Drew

Clues for Real Life
The classic wit and wisdom of Nancy Drew

The classic wit and wisdom of Nancy Drew by Jennifer Fisher
Whether she's locked in a closet, captured by a robot, or nearly thrown into a volcano, Nancy Drew always finds a way to escape. She tackles each clue with energy and creative thought to foil the villains who stand in her way. And she does it all with grace and style. That's what makes Nancy Drew an American icon that is still popular today - more than 75 years after she was introduced.

Now you can celebrate the humor and wisdom of Nancy in this charming book that the auhor has signed.

For a signed copy email sales@poisonedpen.com or call (888) 560-9919 or (480) 947-2974

From Les

The new Chuck Logan thriller, South of Shiloh
Chuck Logan is best known for his Nina Pryce & Phil Broker series. In his new second stand-alone thriller and Logan's eighth book, South of Shiloh, Chuck Logan once again creates some very memorable characters. Paul Edin, a Civil War reenactor is killed by a bullet from a modified Enfield Civil War rifle during a recreation of the Battle of Kirby Creek. The local law enforcement promptly rules Paul's death an accident and closes the case.
When Paul's widow, Jenny, comes across new evidence that points to the shooting as the plot of a serial sniper and that the sniper's intended target was actually the local deputy sheriff, Kenny Beeman, she seeks help from her former lover and her daughter's biological father, John Rane. Rane, an ex-cop, together with Beeman are forced into a tense partnership to try and hunt down the assassin. South of Shiloh is a well paced thriller full of surprising plot twists and also fascinating insights about the Civil War reenactments subculture. This is probably one of Chuck Logan's better non-series books, the other book being his first novel, Hunter's Moon. The final confrontation between both John Rane and the sniper is truly tension-filled, edge of your seat reading. As such, I highly recommend Chuck Logan's, South of Shiloh to fans of both C.J. Box and Stephen Hunter.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tammy Lechner Signing

Saturday, March 15 at 1:00 Tammy Lechner signed her lovely Chicago Cubs: Our Team, Our Dream: A Cub's Fan's Journey into Baseballs Greatest RomanceTabletop book. If you are a Cubs fan, this is your story..Or if you know a Cubs fan this is the perfect gift!

Photojournalist Lechner presents “a passionate photo documentary highlighting a 15-year span of seasons with the Chicago Cubs” who have “the most devoted fans in the world.” It begins its journey with the annual winter Cubs Fan Convention, travels to Arizona where hope is renewed in the fresh breeze of spring, continues into the baseball season to meet the Cubs players along with the “die-hard” fans of Wrigleyville, and dances through the decades of Cubs history and legends. Through some 300 photos, and enlightening text, both created by the award-winning photojournalist and Cubs fan, you encounter the essence of a spirited commitment. If you are a Cubs fan, this is your story, and it answers the question: “What is it about Cubs fans that keep them coming back for more…?” (The Cubs are in Tucson this day.)"

This is a great story about a great team and a great dream. It reveals the secrets of an enduring love and a magical journey. It is a story passionately told by a Cubs fan. And, it is about the passion of Cubs fans. I think that's perfect, because as they say, it takes one to know one."-Billy Williams, from the foreword.

Over the years, Barbara's mother, known as MM (My Mother), and other family members have been part of The Poisoned Pen. Now we add Barbara's brother, Clint Gibson of Paradise Valley, seen below on July 21 at Wrigley Field *

Clint, a lifelong Cubs fan, joined Barbara, Lorri, and Tammy Lechner to celebrate Tammy's book Chicago Cubs: Our Team, Our Dream

*Please let it remain "Wrigley Field" and not fall to some Sam Zell naming sale to corporate money. What a chance for Zell to become a noted Chicago philanthropist instead of just richer, no?

Tammy will be dropping by again on March 27. Don't miss this chance for her to sign a book to your Cubs fan. Just email sales@poisonedpen.com or call 480 947 2974

Sunday, March 16, 2008


French, Tana. In The Woods (Viking $25; $14 June 2008).
A truly horrifying story set in Ireland—horrifying in what underpins her murder. A young girl who dreams of being a ballerina, is found in the woods (no, this is not Druids stuff). The crime eerily echoes the disappearance of two children some 30 years ago. The surviving child, 12-year-old Adam Ryan, was discovered with his back pressed against an oak tree, his shoes filled with blood. Adam has never been able to recall what happened that day. And now, using his middle name of Rob, he’s one of the Garda Siochána team working the little dancer’s murder…. Part of what I like in this debut is the picture of the way crimes blight lives for good, as they do. And that life doesn’t always provide definite answers. What would you do if someone close to you, someone in your family, was a psychopath, a serial killer or arsonist?

And to read what happens if family members do nothing,

Tana French will sign The Likeness (Viking $24.95) here on August 1, 2008.

To explore a similar theme, read a February, 2008 first novel, Bill Floyd’s The Killer’s Wife

Lea loved this one. "Do you know who you are sleeping with?"

Appall yourself with Sadie Jones’ The Outcast (Harper $25; Chatto $70 Signed UK ed.), set in 1950s British suburbia.

Connolly, John. Book of Lost Things ($15). This glorious novel is built about the Irish author’s love of storytelling and the supernatural. From these he creates a coming-of-age story about a boy’s journey into adulthood combining dramatic themes (from fairy tales) with edge-of-your-seat suspense. A wonderful book to read aloud to the family or hug to yourself which embraces not just the Celtic tradition but the Brothers Grimm.

Hay, Sheridan. The Secret of Lost Things (Anchor $15.)In the same bookloving/lovers’ tradition, not Irish but underlining Connolly, try this 2007 Book Sense Pick: "Grumpy, odd booksellers, an immigrant who finds her place in the rarified / abysmal world of a New York bookstore, the whiff of an elusive Herman Melville manuscript, and, best of all, an author who can write about the world of books in words you will savor…of things and emotions lost and found, of lives and worlds that surround and abound with depths we never notice." An added treat is the recognizable portrait of that cherished institution, Manhattan’s The Strand bookstore, where thoussands have whiled away many hours—and so might you. A bibliophile’s delight this, and something of an Awful Warning as well.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Louise Penny at The Poisoned Pen

Last night, I went to see Louise Penny at The Poisoned Pen. Louise is just as kind as her character, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. She’s warm and personable. Before the formal introduction, Louise went around to the audience, introduced herself, and spoke to each person. And, funny! She has a witty sense of humor, with no unkindness. The audience appreciated her warmth and style. With only one teen in the audience, Louise started by asking her age, and when she was told thirteen, she asked if she’d read Rick Riordan’s mythological series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians. She made a connection with everyone in the room.

Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, held an interesting conversation with Louise Penny. In fact, she began by introducing her in French, and then explaining what she had said. Louise lives in a French village in Canada, about an hour and a quarter from Montreal. She said actually the English speakers and French speakers in Canada get along fine. It’s only in politics that the English and French doesn’t work.

Louise explained that Chief Inspector Armand Gamache could not be English. The major cities all have their own police forces, but in Quebec, the Sûreté investigates crime outside of the major cities. So, Penny’s inspector had to be exotic and work for the Sûreté. It was the only way she could send him to villages, such as Three Pines, the setting of the series. Because Quebec follows the Napoleonic Code, they have different laws from the rest of Canada. The British Commonwealth stresses individual rights, while the French emphasize the common good, not individual rights. The audience laughed when Louise slyly said, "It’s not really considered a crime to murder someone who is English."

Penny said she worked for twenty years as a journalist for the Canadian Broadcasting System. However, she got jaded and cynical, and started to see everything as dark. She was forty years old and had turned into a person she didn’t like. She quit work, and her husband said the best thing he could have said to her. "If you want to quit work and write a book, I’ll support you." She said that’s right up there with I love you.

Barbara Peter talked about giving Louise Penny the Dilys Award last year for Still Life
. The Dilys Award is for the mystery that independent booksellers most enjoyed selling. Louise said that was the first U.S. award she won. When she submitted Still Life, nobody wanted it. Fifty or sixty publishers rejected it. It was an international failure before it was accepted in the U.K. That’s why her books come out in the U.K. first. When she submitted it in Canada, she was told nobody would be interested in a mystery set in Canada. Barbara talked about village mysteries, traditional mysteries set in villages, making a comeback. The popular mysteries from Scandinavia right now are set in villages. Village mysteries can be set anywhere, so there is no reason they can’t be set in Canada.

Three Pines, the setting of Penny’s books, might be referred to as mystical or mythical. It’s an idyllic village, where villagers don’t lock their doors. Louise commented that if they don’t lock their doors by now, after the murders in three books, they deserve to be slaughtered. She said Gamache does investigations all over Quebec, and other cases are referred to in the books, but she writes about his cases in Three Pines. She’s going to kill off as many people as she wants in the village. She said her next book is a shout out to Agatha
Christie, and her book, And Then There Were None. Gamache is at a remote lodge, celebrating his wedding anniversary, when he’s called out to Three Pines. Book Five is set totally in Three Pines, and Book Six is set half in Three Pines and half in Quebec City during Carnival.

Louise said she had so much fun designing Three Pines. She wanted to create a sense of belonging, a place for friends, and a place not to be alone. It was a place she wanted to be. It’s a place with friends, a bistro to eat at, a used bookstore, a bakery, a Bed and Breakfast, and a general store. She wants to bring in more of the permanent villagers in the books.

The reader also gets to see police politics as well. You get to know Gamache as a man of integrity, a kindly and good man. He makes conscious choices. The contrast is the internal Sûreté politics, and the Byzantine way in which they work out their differences.

Before she read from Cruelest Month
, Louise pulled out her handwritten notebook for her next book. Each book gets a notebook, with dividers for ideas, plots, quotes, and notes. Penny said the advice she gives new writers is to persevere. Believe in yourself, and keep sending the book out. She also advises them to read poetry.

She then summarized the beginning of The Cruelest Month. She researched to find out how late Easter could be because she wanted to set the book in late April. It’s a transition month in which any weather could occur. That gives a feeling of unease, when you don’t know what might happen.

She said the villagers have had better ideas than to hold a séance at the old Hadley House at night. When she read the séance scene from The Cruelest Month, the audience was totally absorbed. She’s a terrific reader, and her pacing and emphasis had us hanging on her words, and laughing at the scene. She has a dramatic reading voice, and it was wonderful to hear it read in her Canadian accent. When Barbara asked her if she read her own recordings of the books, she said no, but said A Fatal Grace was just nominated for an Audie Award for best mystery, an award for audiobooks.

She said she thinks her biggest audience is in the States, just because of the sheer numbers. However, in Canada, she could feel the rise of popularity and awareness. With her third book, she appeared on the covers of magazines, and on news shows. She said for an author, she thinks the tipping point is when booksellers are asked for the book, not by the title, but with the question, "Do you have the latest Louise Penny?" That happens through word of mouth. With her first book, no one had read it. She said she was serious about word of mouth. When she picks up a new author, it’s first because a friend recommends it. Second, is if a favorite bookseller recommends it. It’s seldom a review that causes her to pick up a book.

Louise said she reads poetry, which needs to be read aloud. When asked if she reads her own books aloud to see how they sound, she said no. Her editor suggests it, but she’s resistant. She does do a lot of editing. She loves editing. She said things do become clear when you read it aloud. She thinks she’s just lazy. She took one of those personality tests in a woman’s magazine, and her overriding personality trait is sloth.

When asked about Clara and her artistic career, and her relationship with Peter, Louise said Clara’s career in on the ascendancy. Readers will see her career in subsequent books.

Someone mentioned how rude the villagers can be to each other. However, they love each other. They’re diverse characters. Ruth’s poetry is actually Margaret Atwood’s from a book called Morning In The Burned House.

One audience member said her books are positive books, with positive people who have a benevolent view of the world. She was asked how she maintains that positive view. Louise said she has a keen sense of gratitude. She has a genuine understanding of how fortunate she is, and that she’s being blessed.

Most of the people in Three Pines are wounded when they arrive there. It’s really only found when it’s needed. Three Pines is a state of mind inside all of us. Barbara, and others, mentioned places such as Brigadoon, Shangri-La, and Narnia. People choose to go there because they need to be there.

She said if there’s a fear of loneliness and loss, the fears grow into terror. When you let it go, you can see goodness exists. The books are about love and friendship. Still Life is about choice. A Fatal Grace is about belief, becoming what we love, and the third book, The Cruelest Month, is about redemption.

Louise said she can be lazy, but she’s a person of extremes. She’s extremely disciplined when writing. She gets a book written from January to June by writing 1,000 to 2,000 words a day. She does nothing in the summer, lies by the pool with the dogs, watches TV and eats gummy bears.

I thought the nicest thing she could have said was that Gamache is her husband, Michael. She sees Gamache as a father figure, similar to Ben Cartwright or Walter Cronkite. She was influenced by them.

She said traditional mysteries aren’t fashionable right now. But she’s writing to her interest. Barbara Peters said traditional mysteries might reappear soon because they’re cyclical. She said genre fiction goes through cycles, and it’s time for something fresh. Mysteries were popular in the ’90s, and now thrillers are popular. But, the classic form still works.

Louise said she’s judging Best First Novel for the Ellis Awards right now. The awards are named for Arthur Ellis, the name always used for Canada’s executioners, so they could remain anonymous. The award itself is a hanged man. She said there’s been discussion as to whether or not books were actually mysteries when they read more like literary fiction. They’re not classic crime fiction. Barbara said she felt the difference is that crime fiction has a story, and literary fiction often doesn’t have a story. The name crime fiction embraces thrillers and all manner of mysteries.

It was so nice to finally meet Louise Penny. She hugged me, held my hands, and thanked me for the support from the very beginning. In emailing friends today, who met her last night at The Poisoned Pen, we all agreed we wanted to be Louise Penny’s friend, and spend time in Three Pines with her.
Louise Penny's website is www.louisepenny.com
Her blog is at www.louisepenny.com


Friday, March 14, 2008

More Mystery in the Irish Vein

Bowen, Rhys. In Dublin's Fair City ($6.99).
Blazing a trail for independent women in the 20th Century, PI Molly Murphy was always slated to return to her roots and the murder scene she fled for the immigrant-laden ship to NY. Working for an actress aboard passage back to Eire lands Molly in another murder and in a bittersweet reunion with her family. Tell Me, Pretty Maiden
($24 Signed) moves Molly's life in New York on as she and her fiancé, suspended police captain Daniel Sullivan, stumble over a nearly frozen young woman in a wintry Central Park snowdrift….

Bruen, Ken. Cross (St Martins $24).
Galway's Jack Taylor, burned out by and with years of boozing, decides to cut his losses and move to America, but first he agrees to help Ridge, a lesbian cop, solve horrible crimes involving crucifixion and burning. Confronting Jack is a girl who has let grief over the hit-and-run death of her religious fanatic mother evolve into a quest for biblical-style vengeance. "Bruen riffs on different meanings and implications of the word cross throughout, and his insights into pain, loss and Irishness are unforgettable." So is the Jack Taylor series beginning with The Guards ($13), a 2003 Hardboiled Crime Pick.

Greeley, Andrew M. Irish Tiger (Forge $25).
Nuala Anne McGrail and husband Dermot battle not just malice but what they sense is actual evil directed at a pair of passionate grandparents embarked on a second marriage. They may have to call in the (retired police)dogs to help. Irish Linen ($7.99). Greeley's The Magic Cup ($6.99) retells a medieval Irish legend.

Hughes, Declan. Price of Blood (Morrow $25)/
Father Vincent Tyrell brings Dublin PI Ed Loy scant clues to finding FX Tyrell, a prominent trainer of racehorses. Then, while working another case, Loy finds a phone number linked to FX—but it's attached to a badly beaten body. As the Leopardstown Racecourse Christmas Festival looms, Loy's lines of inquiry begin to converge into a grim, shattering picture. The Wrong Kind of Blood ($7.99) earned playwright Hughes, an ace with local color, a First Mystery Pick and 2007 Shamus Award winner; The Color of Blood ($7.99) begins when a dentist, son of a legendary doctor, hires Loy to find his difficult daughter. And no wonder she's a tiger given her wildly dysfunctional family.

McGilloway, Brian. Gallows Lane (Macmillan $34 Signed)
Gallows Lane was the road down which condemned Donegal criminals were once led. When a young woman is found beaten to death on a building site in what appears to be a sex crime, Ins. Benedict Devlin, whose beat is The Borderlands ($16) focuses on a local body-builder and steroid addict. But days later, born-again ex-con James Kerr is found nailed to a tree—crucified—after having been released from gaol and gone off home to spread the word of God. Increasingly torn between his young family and his job, Devlin is driven to solve these gruesome murders, whatever the risk….

Monday, March 10, 2008


Black, Benjamin (John Banville). Silver Swan (Holt $25). Irish crime fiction is truly hot thanks to such artists as Shamus Award winners Ken Bruen and Declan Hughes (and John Connolly, even if Charlie Parker works mostly in Maine). I like taking it back over half a century to when Church and pubs dominated, Ireland was not a boom Euro economy, and when secrecy and hidden family and personal secrets hadn't collided with our confessional, Internet age. Morose pathologist Quirke nurses more than one
secret, we know. And now someone from his past appears to ask a favor which Quirke grants. Murder follows…For his mysteries, Banville makes a shift to third-person narrative which works extremely well, snagging him a 2008 Edgar nomination for Christine Falls ($14), Quirke's first case.

Join us Sunday March 9 when John Banville writing as Benjamin Black speaks and signs at 1:00 pm The Irish Cultural Center 1106 N Central Ave Phoenix 602 258-0109

McKenna, Christina. The Misremembered Man
(Toby $25). County Derry, Summer, 1974. Jamie's years in a cruel orphanage have left him anxious and wary of people. He's set as a bachelor farmer until his kindly neighbors Patrick and Rose tell him he's in need of a wife. Lydia, the rector's daughter, lives at home stuck with her demanding mother. An ad in the Lonely Hearts of the Mid-Ulster Vindicator brings together these two absolute opposites, chronicling a search for love and, more darkly, a search for a stolen childhood. This debut ties into Christine Falls, above, and Ken Bruen's The Magdalen Martyrs ($13).

And for the Cozy Crowd
Meier, Leslie. The St. Patrick's Day Murder (Kensington $22). Pennysaver reporter Lucy Stone heads to an interview with Tinker's Cove's new harbormaster when she stumbles on a beheaded body at the end of the pier. It's Old Dan Malone, a grizzled barkeeper. Lucy not only breaks it but breaks the news to Dan's brother, Dylan, a famous Irish actor in town to direct a play for the church's centennial St. Patrick's Day celebration. "As Dylan's daughter encourages Lucy's little girl to believe in fairies and goblins, Lucy hunts for a very real killer. Warm and homespun characters, plenty of seaside ambience and a fast-moving plot make this a perfect winter cozy," says PW.

From Patricia

Cleverly, Barbara. Tug of War (Delta, $13) Apr 29, pbo Esteemed police detective Joe Sandilands obeys orders to go to France and prove which of four claimants is relative to a shell-shocked amnesia victim in 1926. Perhaps he is an Englishman. Acting escort to his niece Dorcas on her way to the south of France is no burden. Being daughter to an artist gives Dorcas an ease with languages and nuance that makes her an asset as the plot unwinds. What Joe uncovers at the widow's vineyard, at a family business missing its heir and in the parlor of the absent man's mistress makes a reader shudder at what festers in human hearts. His discoveries cause him to relive the horrors he saw during the war. Cleverly recreates the atmosphere of the shattered world rebuilding in the area near Reims, Champagne country, with vivid detail.
Last Kashmiri Rose, Ragime in Simla, Damascened Blade, Palace Tiger, Bee's Kiss.

Falcones, Ildefonso, Cathedral of the Sea (Dutton, $26) Apr Translated from the Spanish. A victim when his cruel lord exercises his feudal rights from raping the bride on her wedding day to abusing an infant son later, the peasant Bernat escapes with his child Arnau to Barcelona to earn freedom if he can hide for a year and a day. The homeless boy Joan who becomes a second son gets a church education and enters the Dominican order in time to be an inquisitor adept at torture, while Arnau loads ships and carries stone blocks to build a cathedral for the Virgin Mary, then goes to war to evade a married woman in lust with him. The suffering he causes for ordinary people to realize the schemes of kings and cardinals follows him home to Barcelona where the plague scourges rich and poor alike. The fortunes of the two brothers unfold for decades as the cathedral rises, a frame for the affairs of men in its shadow. Spanish events among the lower classes and in the Jewish quarter during the 1300's come alive in these pages. The author forges a chain with links as strong at the beginning as they are at the end. He deserved the best book awards in Spain and Italy and a place on the bestseller lists there for over a year.

Swanson, Denise. Murder of a Chocolate-covered Cherry (Obsidian, $7) Apr, pbo School psychologist and consultant to a small town police force outside Chicago, Skye Denison learns her mother submitted a recipe in every category of Grandma Sal's cooking contest with a different family member's name. Under duress, Skye agrees to cook the chicken casserole she "entered". The discord that erupts among the sponsors , judges and contestants results in death by drowning in chocolate. Since Skye's prowess for solving murders exceeds her ability to follow a recipe, she assists her police chief boyfriend under the granite countertops. Winniing recipes included. The tenth Scumble River mystery.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

From David

Headhunters by Peter Lovesey. Soho Crime. $24.00

Peter Lovesey returns with his thirtieth novel, and second to feature Chichester DCI Henrietta Mallin. When two girls, Jo and Gemma, begin an innocent conversation about killing one of their bosses, that’s really all it is: innocent. But things take an abrupt change when Jo discovers the body of a half naked woman on Selsey Beach a short time later. When a second body turns up, also the victim of an apparent drowning, Hen Mallin and her team are handed the task of discovering if the deaths are accidental or if there’s a killer on the loose whose preferred method of dispatch is water. Lovesey is on the top of his game here and fans of the traditional British mystery won’t be disappointed. All the clues are laid bare, but things in Lovesey’s novels are rarely what they seem, especially when he sets his sights on placing the seemingly innocent in a tangled web of deceit.

Peter will be at The Poisoned Pen to sign Headhunters on

April 30, 2008 at 7:00pm.

The Poisoned Pen

4014 N Goldwater Blvd

Scottsdale, AZ

480 974 2974

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

From Barbara:

Each month the American Booksellers Association's Book Sense program publishes a list of books recommended by independent booksellers.


K.S. Bodman, Gambit ($26).

Manning Coles, A Toast to Tomorrow ($15).

Earl Emerson, Primal Threat ($27 Signed).

Miles Langan, Dark Horse ($26).

Charlie Newton, Calumet City ($14).

Christopher Rice, Blind Fall ($26 Signed).

You can see my review of Manning Coles' classic work, in my view the one that kicked off the modern spy novel along with Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household, by scrolling down to the scan of the Book Sense flyer that Lorri has posted here for you.

Here we go with a couple more of Notables: to purchase, www.poisonedpen.com

Emerson, Earl. Primal Threat (Ballantine $27 Signed). If you are a mountain or trail biker, if you love the woods, hiking, the unspoilt outdoors, this wonderful book is for you. Fireman Emerson has always brought a stunning sense of authenticity to his work, but here he's loosened up the narrative a bit, created some unforgettable characters, and given it a ral head of steam.

The opening scene where fireman Zak crawls inside a wrecked SUV to steady a girl while a crew cuts her out of the wreckage is wonderfully wrought. The consequences of this good deed he can't forsee, nor can the reader. Emerson lets it unroll in a way that shows how one of those "it seemed an okay idea at the time" scenarios can gradually snowball out of control and lead to devastating consequences, here pitting Zak and some friends off for a three day ride in nearly pristine Northwest woods against a group of naïve, and let's face it, spoiled idiots led by a trust-fund guy who wants to jack Zak around. Just a great read.

Rice, Blind Fall (Scribner $26 signed here April 5).

John Houck became a Marine to further his dream of being a her, but he failed to notice an explosive device that nearly caused the captain of his Force Recon Company, a well respected Marine, to sacrifice himself to save their lives. Home from Iraq, John pays the man a visit only to learn that he has been gruesomely murdered. Hotly pursuing a fleeing suspect, John learns the man, Alex, is not the killer but the victim's secret lover—and the killer's next target. So John, fulfilling a debt of honor, sets out to teach Alex how to protect himself. In soo doing, John revisits his own family history.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

GM Ford's Writer's Workshop

Author GM Ford was at the Poisoned Pen on Saturday, March 01, 2008 to host How to Pace a Mystery. He inspired many.

Nameless Night

His new book Nameless Night is a stand-alone novel, featuring a man with no name, no past—and at the center of a conspiracy so pervasive he's forced to run from the only home he's ever known—straight into the abyss—in his search for truth. . . .

Discovered lying near death in a railroad car, his body broken, his mind destroyed, Paul Hardy has spent the past seven years living in a group home for disabled adults, his identity and his past lost—seemingly forever. Then, after a horrific car accident, he awakens a new man, his face reconstructed, and his mind shadowy with memory. With only a name and a vaguely remembered scene to guide him, he goes on a cross-country quest to find out who he really is. But his search for the truth makes a lot of people uncomfortable—from the DA's office to the highest levels of government. Soon Paul is being tailed by an army of pursuers as he finds himself at the center of a government cover-up that has already claimed too many innocent lives—and the numbers are mounting. It's the kind of thing that could make even a man on the outskirts of society feel the pull of justice. A justice that might be worth killing for. Or dying for . .