Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New in Paperback

Berry, Steve. The Charlemagne Pursuit ($10)

Rob and I had just been in Bavaria when the hardcover of this latest Cotton Malone historical thriller published. While it ranges from Germany to Antarctica as Malone, chasing answers as to why the supposed 1971 death of his father Capt. Forrest Malone in a nuclear sub accident in the North Atlantic was actually on a secret mission to Antarctica, and dodging the evil admiral scheming to become the next ranking officer of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stumbles upon an amazing, hidden civilization. Charlemagne, Nazis, ancient manuscripts, historical puzzles and scientific surprises figure into a plot rich as a plum pudding.

Birken, Gary. Code 15 (Jove $7.99)

Two brothers in her care die. Dr. Morgan Connolly tries to let it go despite her sadness. Then her father is killed in a seemingly random attack and the number of patients dying due to "preventable" errors-a Code 15-begins rising....

Bliss, Miranda. Murder Has a Sweet Touch (Berkley $6.99). Annie Capshaw knows the way to a man's heart is through his cooking class. Just as she and her best friend Eve are planning Annie's wedding day with Jim, her former cooking instructor and current boss, murder takes the cake when Jim's cousin Alex, a ladies man, is suspected of murdering a lovely suburban wife. Recipes.

Brandon, Jay. Running with the Dead ($7.99)

Texas noir by lawyer Brandon blends sexual politics, corruption, in high-school athletics, revenge, and a mysterious stalker in a legal thriller for San Antonio DA Chris Sinclair. She's coping with devious, vicious Malachi Reese, a murderer she put on death row who is petitioning for a new trial claiming the crimes were committed by someone looking just like him, and with a school superintendent she knows is guilty of murder. The overlooked Brandon is an ace writer.

Butcher, Jim. Princep's Fury ($7.99)

In Book Five in the Codex Alera series, we see how Alera and her furies have spent 1,000 years withstanding every enemy. Now the millennium is over and the dreaded Vord has come to Alera.... New in hc: The First Lord's Fury (Ace $26).

Childs, Laura. Eggs Benedict Arnold (Berkley $7.99)

When Cackleberry Café breakfast clubber Suzanne delivers a pie to funeral director Ozzie Driesden, she discovers him not working at the embalming table dead upon it. She barely has time to recognize his corpse before she is drugged with chloroform. There are more suspects than breakfast specials to crack in this case....

Cortez, Donn.CSI: The Killing Jar (Pocket $7.99). A teenager is found dead in his motel room, the cause of death: millipede poison. Crime scene investigator Gil Grissom must aid CSI's Nick Stokes and Riley Adams against a serial killer whose knowledge of entomology rivals his own who is not only using insects as the tools of destruction, but actually modeling the attacks after their behavior. CSI colleagues Catherine Willows and Greg Sanders meanwhile investigate a bizarre death where the victim was entangled with one group using and dealing crystal meth and another an avant-garde group of artists.

Dennison, Hannah. Exposé (Berkley $6.99)

It's snail-racing season in the small town of Gipping-on-Plym. When an early-morning call wakes obituary writer Vicky Hill from the arms of her dream man, an anonymous tipster tells her about the secret funeral of local celebrity Scarlett Fleming-coordinated by her husband, Doug. The entire town is baffled by the sudden death and oddly discreet funeral for flamboyant Scarlett. Vicky's suspicions heighten when she learns of the Flemings' shaky finances-and that Doug has almost as many admirers as Scarlett had enemies. While canvassing suspects and juggling three suitors, Vicky realizes she's writing not an obit but an exposé. A Vicky Hill Exclusive; Scoop ($6.99 each).

Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Valley of Fear (Hard Case Crime $7.99)

An interesting presentation of a classic Holmes adventure from pulps publisher Hard Case in its sexy style. A Pinkerton agent from Chicago infiltrates a brutal secret society and winds up mano a mano with...Sherlock Holmes. Try this one on your teen. And the Robert Downey Jr. movie tie-in: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes ($4.99), showing Holmes at the height of his powers, a man with powers modeled in part after Dr. Joseph Bell: observation, analysis, and inference.

Fairstein, Linda. Lethal Legacy ($7.99)

Alex Cooper and her team delve into the depths of the New York Public Library and a rarified world of trustees and book collectors (the Manhattan rich on parade) as well as another fascinating historical site, in a search for missing treasures, fraud, and a killer....

Ferris, Monica. Thai Die ($7.99)

One of Needlecrafter Betsy Devonshire's regulars unwittingly becomes involved in a deadly delivery of exotic antiques upon her return from Thailand. It all hinges on a small stone Buddha.... Includes original cross-stitch pattern.

Forman, Steven M. Boca Knights $7.99)

A retired Boston cop moves to Boca Raton, Florida, and brings his unique style of justice to this retirement haven by braking up a Russian crime ring and taking on neo-Nazis in a one-man crusade.

Frazer, Margaret. A Play of Treachery (Berkley $6.99)

At the behest of his puissant patron the Bishop Beaufort, Joliffe journeys to France where he is to enact the role of servant to widowed duchess Jacquetta of Bedford. In actuality he's training in spycraft under the late Duke's spymaster. Then a member of her household is murdered....

Graham, Jo. Black Ships ($7.99)

Nine black ships appear captained by an exiled Trojan prince, forcing Gull-chosen at the age of seven to be the voice of the Lady of the Dead-to accept or reject her role. Excellent history in this fantasy.

Graves, Sarah. A Face at the Window ($7.99)

Three decades ago, Ozzie Campbell murdered Jacobia Tiptree' smother. Now Ozzie is about to stand trial. This suspenseful story revolves around Ozzie's master plan to make Jake recant her testimony....

Green, Simon R. Just Another Judgement Day ($7.99 Dec. 28)

There's a new sheriff in town and he's got the Nightside's rich and powerful quaking in their boots. The Walking Man's mission is to exorcise sinners-with extreme prejudice-in a new, macabre Nightside entertainment for fans of Jim Butcher.

Holt, Hazel. Mrs. Malory and Any Man's Death (Signet $6.99)

Mere Barton busybody Annie Roberts succumbs to mushroom poisoning. Mrs. Malory, as is often true, is the only person to find this suspicious. In Mere Barton because roped into to Annie's local history project, Sheila Malory quickly learns that nosy Annie had flushed out a number of dark secrets the villagers would kill to keep buried....

James, Steven. The Rook (Signet $7.99)

A baffling fire rips through a top-secret naval research facility near San Diego. Special Agent Patrick Bowers' unique ability to pinpoint the time, place, and special factors of a crime tells him that the arsonist had targeted something very specific. Is he, or they, or even she, a firebug-or a terrorist?

Johnson, Susan. Hot Property ($7.99)

To finish up her exposé on art collectors, Zoe Chandler has fled to a secluded lake house. Maybe her muscular neighbor Nick Mirovic could distract her. But he's reclusive too, haunted by his past in the CIA. Then a controversy surrounding her book brings trouble to her door....

O'Connell, Carol. Bone by Bone ($10)

Oren Hobbs quits his career in the Army CID to return home because he believes his father is dying. What he finds is that, 0 years after his younger brother Josh vanished, someone has been leaving human bones on the porch of his father's house and that his father is ready to bury both Josh and the past without further investigation. When the local sheriff is both obtuse and obstructive about the case, Oren reluctantly gets drawn in, stirring up memories for several troubled townspeople of this seemingly idyllic enclave. Oren must also face his own past and present crimes.

Pickens, Cathy. Can't Never Tell ($6.99)

Switch holidays to the Fourth, laser in on Dacus, South Carolina, birthplace of Avery Andrews where the celebration is complete with picnics, fireworks, and a dead body in the carnival's fright house....

Pinter, Jason. The Darkness (Mira $7.99)

A young man is found, his bones crushed nearly to dust before his body was dumped in NY's East River. Henry Parker tackles the crime-the murder of his surprise half-brother-in this his 5th case.

Porkpie, Jonny. The Corpse Wore Pasties (Hard Case Crime $7.99)

A burlesque dancer dies on stage during a show, inspiring its master of ceremonies to delve deep into the seedy and seductive bump-and-grind world the victim worked....

Rankin, Ian. Exit Music ($7.99)

Edinburgh DI John Rebus is at work tying up loose ends before his retirement when a new case lands on his desk: a dissident Russian poet has been murdered. Will Rebus resolve this in the few days remaining of his long and controversial career? Nice title, no?

Stabenow, Dana. Whisper to the Blood ($7.99). A terrific showcase not just for Kate Shugak but for the Park in winter, blows up around a series of attacks on snowmobilers on the Kanuyaq River, the open homicide of Park villain Louis Deems, a gold-mining company hotly buying up land, and some underhanded scheming... Trooper Jim Chopin and the Aunties can't quite steal the show from Kate. Loved it!

Woods, Stuart. Loitering with Intent ($10)

What better place than Key West to unwind? Manhattan lawyer Stone Barrington however is on rewind: looking for someone who doesn't want to be found....

Wright, SL. Confessions of a Demon (Signet $7.99)

After accidentally stealing the life force of a dying demon, Allay, now the only human-demon hybrid on earth, tries to satisfy the demon hunger to feed on human emotions while retaining some humanity by opening a bar.... Opens an urban fantasy series.

Zakour, John/Ganem, Lawrence. The Sapphire Sirens (Daw $7.99)

7th entry in a scifi-pulp fiction series starring Zach Johnson, the world's last freelance detective.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Fforde, Jasper. Shades of Grey ($27 Signed)

Griffiths, Elly. The Crossing Places ($25)

Hall, MR. The Disappeared ($34 Signed; $25 US)

Hunter, Stephen. I, Sniper ($26 Signed Jan. 13)

Kostova, Elizabeth. The Swan Thieves ($27 Signed)

Quinn, Spencer. Thereby Hangs a Tail ($26 Signed)

Todd, Charles. The Red Door ($25 Signed)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dana Stabenow in Publishers Weekly

Mark your calendars for Dana's upcoming trip to the Phoenix area:

2/16/10 - Dana signs A Night Too Dark (St Martins $25), a new case for Kate Shugak. This is the national Launch Party cohosted by the Arizona Biltmore in another of our literary evenings in the Grand Ballroom. Cash snacks/dessert/coffee bar. Cocktails from the bar around the corner. Free but books to be signed must be purchased from The Poisoned Pen.

Find out the major details here.

New Titles Just In

Burcell, Robin. The Bone Chamber. (Poisoned Pen $25 Signed on Jan 8)

robinMysteriously summoned to Quantico to help re-create the face of a murdered, mutilated young woman, FBI forensic artist Special Agent Sydney Fitzpatrick knows immediately this is no ordinary crime. The hit-and-run death of the forensic anthropologist assisting her-a close friend-and Sydney's abrupt dismissal from the case by covert government investigators only strengthen her need for answers. Now her hunt for a killer is carrying her from Washington to Rome to the hidden chamber of a legendary tomb-on the trail of a fabled treasure of the Knights Templar . . . and a curse.

For buried deep in the mysteries of the Freemasons and the Vatican's Holy See is a secret that could rock the world. Suddenly an ancient map is pointing Sydney toward something the Templars wished to hide away forever-something that could unleash an unstoppable tide of blood and devastation.

Garagiola, Joe. Just Play Ball ($22 Signed)

JoeJoe came by and signed some more copies of the wonderful book for us. Sure to make any baseball fan smile, Just Play Ball is chocked full of memories and photos of the beloved sport.

Our fathers remember baseball the way it should be. Colorful characters who played for the love of the game, fresh cut grass, rosin bags, and pine tar remind them what the game is all about. Baseball legend Joe Garagiola's new book, Just Play Ball, is an insightful look at what is right with America' s pastime.

James. P.D. Talking About Detective Fiction (Knopf $22)

pdIn a perfect marriage of author and subject, P. D. James-one of the most widely admired writers of detective fiction at work today-gives us a personal, lively, illuminating exploration of the human appetite for mystery and mayhem, and of those writers who have satisfied it.

P. D. James examines the genre from top to bottom, beginning with the mysteries at the hearts of such novels as Charles Dickens's Bleak House and Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, and bringing us into the present with such writers as Colin Dexter and Henning Mankell. Along the way she writes about Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie ("arch-breaker of rules"), Josephine Tey, Dashiell Hammett, and Peter Lovesey, among many others. She traces their lives into and out of their fiction, clarifies their individual styles, and gives us indelible portraits of the characters they've created, from Sherlock Holmes to Sara Paretsky's sexually liberated female investigator, V. I. Warshawski. She compares British and American Golden Age mystery writing. She discusses detective fiction as social history, the stylistic components of the genre, her own process of writing, how critics have reacted over the years, and what she sees as a renewal of detective fiction-and of the detective hero-in recent years.

There is perhaps no one who could write about this enduring genre of storytelling with equal authority and flair: it is essential reading for every lover of detective fiction.

Kingsolver, Barbara. The Lacuna( $40 Signed)

This title is #10 this week on the New York Times best seller list

Starred Review From PW, "Kingsolver's ambitious new novel, her first in nine years (after the The Poisonwood Bible), focuses on Harrison William Shepherd, the product of a divorced American father and a Mexican mother. After getting kicked out of his American military academy, Harrison spends his formative years in Mexico in the 1930s in the household of Diego Rivera; his wife, Frida Kahlo; and their houseguest, Leon Trotsky, who is hiding from Soviet assassins. After Trotsky is assassinated, Harrison returns to the U.S., settling down in Asheville, N.C., where he becomes an author of historical potboilers (e.g., Vassals of Majesty) and is later investigated as a possible subversive. Narrated in the form of letters, diary entries and newspaper clippings, the novel takes a while to get going, but once it does, it achieves a rare dramatic power that reaches its emotional peak when Harrison wittily and eloquently defends himself before the House Un-American Activities Committee (on the panel is a young Dick Nixon). Employed by the American imagination, is how one character describes Harrison, a term that could apply equally to Kingsolver as she masterfully resurrects a dark period in American history with the assured hand of a true literary artist. "

And for the chef on your list we have Beautiful copies of Sharing the Table at Garlands Lodge ($35) signed by Amanda Stine; Mary Garland

tableAmanda and Mary have lovingly created a very personal cookbook full of delightful anecdotes, fascinating historical tidbits, mouth-watering, easily doable recipes, and gorgeous photographs. If you can't get a reservation, it's the next best thing to being there! --Barbara Pool Fenzl, Les Gourmettes Cooking School, author of "Southwest the Beautiful"

Between Mary's beautifully told story and stunning photographs, I could smell the sycamores and hear the tumbling waters of Oak Creek. Amanda Stine's recipes are appealing and clear. --Deborah Madison, author of "Local Flavors" and "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone"

Only a lucky few will ever get to stay at Garland's Lodge. But now, with this collection of Amanda's recipes, anyone can now cook up Lodge favorites for their families and friends. --Katharine Kagel, chef/owner, Cafe Pasqual's, Santa Fe

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Signed Books at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore

Henry, Sue. The End of the Road ($26 Signed)

New from the multiple award-winning author of The Refuge, whose "grasp of storytelling and strong characterization matches her with Sue Grafton."(Colorado Springs Gazette)

Maxie McNabb and her miniature dachshund, Stretch, are just back from their latest adventure when a murder shatters the quiet in their hometown of Homer, Alaska. Now it's up to Maxie to find the killer-a search that leads her to a place called "the end of the road."

Rendell, Ruth. The Monster in the Box ($43 Signed)

'He had never told anyone. The strange relationship, if it could be called that, had gone on for years, decades, and he had never breathed a word about it. He had kept silent because he knew no one would believe him. None of it could be proved, not the stalking, not the stares or the conspiratorial smiles, not the killings, not any of the signs Targo had made because he knew Wexford knew and could do nothing about it'. Wexford had almost made up his mind that he would never again set eyes on Eric Targo's short, muscular figure. And yet there he was, back in Kingsmarkham, still with that cocky, strutting walk. Years earlier, when Wexford was a young police officer, a woman called Elsie Carroll had been found strangled in her bedroom. Although many still had their suspicions that her husband was guilty, no one was convicted. Another woman was strangled shortly afterwards, and every personal and professional instinct told Wexford that the killer was still at large. And it was Eric Targo. A psychopath who would kill again...As the Chief Inspector investigates a new case, Ruth Rendell looks back to the beginning of Wexford's career, even to his courtship of the woman who would become his wife. The past is a haunted place, with clues and passions that leave an indelible imprint on the here and now.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More Holiday Stories

More mysteries with a holiday theme:

Baldacci, David. The Christmas Train ($6)

In the tradition of John Grisham's Skipping Christmas, this holiday tale offers humor, romance, mystery, and a reminder of what Christmas is all about.

Beaton, M.C. Kissing Christmas Goodbye ($7)
Agatha Raisin is bored. Her detective agency in the Cotswolds is thriving, but she’ll scream if she has to deal with another missing cat or dog. Only two things seem to offer potential excitement: Christmas, and her ex, James Lacey. This year Agatha’s sure that if she invites James to a splendid Christmas dinner, their love will rekindle like a warm Yule log…but that fantasy will have to wait for now. A wealthy widow—who sent Agatha a letter before her death saying one of her family intended to kill her—has been found dead. Now Agatha must set out to find the murderer, even though, in her heart, she’s still dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones she and James used to know….

Caine, Leslie. Holly and Homicide ($8)

It’s Christmastime in sleepy Snowcap, Colorado, and the town is up in arms. The venerable Goodwin Estate has been sold to enterprising out of towners and is getting a major makeover just in time for the holidays. Interior designers Erin Gilbert and Steve Sullivan walked smack into a storm of chaos: the estate’s new owners, including one whose idea of holiday decor involves inflatable elves and a gingerbread facade, are battling among themselves. Erin’s big-talking ex-boyfriend shows up just in time to make Sullivan crazy jealous, and when a local building inspector is found strangled with a strand of Christmas lights, Gilbert and Sullivan begin to suspect it might be time to leave this psychodrama of a project behind.

But after an incompetent sheriff accuses Erin of murder and there’s another gruesome killing, the only way out is to turn detective. Her new job: solve a mystery with too many clues…and far too many guilty parties….


Clark, Mary Higgins and Carol Higgins Clark. Deck the Halls/The Christmas Thief ($18)

From beloved storytellers Mary Higgins Clark, America's Queen of Suspense, and her daughter, bestselling author Carol Higgins Clark, two favorite suspense novels filled with holiday cheer.

Deck the Halls (first published in 2000) was the mother-daughter duo's first collaborative effort, a brilliant story of high-stakes intrigue and detection played out against a holiday setting. Christmas is only three days away when Regan Reilly, the dynamic young sleuth featured in the novels of Carol Higgins Clark, accidentally meets Alvirah Meehan, Mary Higgins Clark's sharp-witted lottery winner turned amateur sleuth, at a New Jersey dentist's office. When a call comes through on Regan's cell phone notifying her that her father and his driver, Rosita Gonzalez, are being held for $1,000,000 ransom, Alvirah insists that Regan allow her to lend a hand in gaining their release. Complicating the situation is the fact that Regan's mother, the famous mystery writer Nora Regan Reilly, has just been hospitalized with a broken leg, and a brutal winter storm is bearing down on them all. Regan must comfort her mother while trying to meet the harsh demands of her father's kidnappers, who are not just rank amateurs but also laughably inept -- making them all the more dangerous and unpredictable.

In The Christmas Thief (2004), Alvirah and Regan team up again to investigate another kind of kidnapping. When an eighty-foot blue spruce is chosen to spend the holidays as Rockefeller Center's famous Christmas tree, the folks who picked the tree have no idea that attached to one of its branches is a flask chock-full of priceless diamonds that Packy Noonan, a scam artist just released from prison, had hidden there over twelve years ago. When an excited Packy breaks his parole and heads to Stowe, Vermont, to reclaim his loot, he discovers that his special tree will be heading to New York City the next morning, so he and his bumbling crew have to act fast. Meanwhile Alvirah Meehan and Regan Reilly happen to be on a weekend trip to Stowe with their families when they learn that the tree -- and Alvirah's friend Opal, who won the lottery, but lost all her winnings in Packy's scam -- has gone missing.

With two novels filled with twists and turns, intrigue and danger, as well as a hearty dose of good cheer, Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark offer stories that are as breathlessly suspenseful as they are heartwarming -- Christmas classics for many holiday seasons to come.

Garvey, Amy. Christmas Spirit ($7)

Deck the haunted halls for a romantic holiday starring one shy writer and a cynical journalist...and oh yes, a ghost….

Snow on the roofs and wreaths on the doors and chains on the tires…isn't Christmas in New England wonderful? But Charlotte Prescott is too busy taking in super-sexy reporter Sam Landry to notice the nip in the air. Make that the nip in the air alternating with the scorching heat that rises whenever she and Sam are alone together. Charlotte would be happy to forget the supernatural third wheel who seems to be staying for the season in the quaint old house she inherited. It is real. Someone's slurping down all the good eggnog. And something is drawing Charlie and Sam together under the mistletoe—not to mention everywhere else. Happy holidays!

Lamb, Wally. Wishin' and Hopin' ($20)

It's 1964 and ten-year-old Felix is sure of a few things: the birds and the bees are puzzling, television is magical, and this is one Christmas he'll never forget.

LBJ and Lady Bird are in the White House, Meet the Beatles is on everyone's turntable, and Felix Funicello (distant cousin of the iconic Annette!) is doing his best to navigate fifth grade—easier said than done when scary movies still give you nightmares and you bear a striking resemblance to a certain adorable cartoon boy.

Back in his beloved fictional town of Three Rivers, Connecticut, with a new cast of endearing characters, Wally Lamb takes his readers straight into the halls of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School—where Mother Filomina's word is law and goody-two-shoes Rosalie Twerski is sure to be minding everyone's business. But grammar and arithmetic move to the back burner this holiday season with the sudden arrivals of substitute teacher Madame Frechette, straight from QuÉbec, and feisty Russian student Zhenya Kabakova. While Felix learns the meaning of French kissing, cultural misunderstanding, and tableaux vivants, Wishin' and Hopin' barrels toward one outrageous Christmas.

From the Funicello family's bus-station lunch counter to the elementary school playground (with an uproarious stop at the Pillsbury Bake-Off), Wishin' and Hopin' is a vivid slice of 1960s life, a wise and witty holiday tale that celebrates where we've been—and how far we've come.

Mortimer, John. Rumpole Christmas ($22)

"As this fine holiday collection shows, Mortimer (1923–2009) could tell lovely tales that end with a gentle punch. Each of the five stories highlights English barrister Horace Rumpole's quirky personality, his love of food and drink, and life with his formidable wife, Hilda (aka She Who Must Be Obeyed). But most of all, each illustrates Rumpole's sense of justice and commitment to the law as well as his dry wit. As usual, Rumpole overshadows plots that often focus on the barrister trying to ignore the holiday. Rumpole and Father Christmas suggests that even a career criminal can get the holiday spirit. A businessman's past is used to secure funds for a church in Rumpole and the Old Familiar Faces. The most timely is the twisty Rumpole and the Christmas Break, about a murdered professor and an Islamic student with a religious vendetta against her. This is a perfect stocking stuffer for Mortimer fans" - PW

Perry, Anne. Silent Night Two Victorian Christmas Mysteries ($15)

Here are two holiday mysteries set in remote, snow-covered regions of Victorian Britain–where the nights are indeed silent but all is not calm, and where some will sleep in eternal peace.

While spending Christmas on the island of Anglesey off the coast of Wales, Superintendent Runcorn of Scotland Yard, a lonely bachelor, stumbles upon the lifeless body of the vicar’s younger sister in the village churchyard. Everyone insists that only a stranger to the island could have committed the heinous crime, but the evidence proves otherwise. Intending to uncover the identity of the ruthless killer, Runcorn never dreams that the case may also, miraculously, open the door to a new future for himself.

With Christmas just around the corner, Thomas Pitt’s sister-in-law, Emily Radley, is suddenly called from London to be with her dying aunt on the western coast of Ireland. Emily soon discovers that painful memories of an unsolved murder haunt the lonely Irish town and sets out to unmask the culprit. When a lone shipwreck survivor washes up onshore, he brings with him not only the key to solving the terrible crime but the opportunity for the townspeople to make peace with the past–and with one another.

Viets, Elaine. Murder with all the Trimmins ($7)

A humbug of a Shopping mystery...

From The Anthony and Agatha Award-Winning Author of Accessory to Murder

Includes insider shopping tips!

Mystery shopper Josie Marcus doesn’t get the appeal of the year-round Christmas shop. But when three such holiday houses pop up within two blocks, she’s assigned to rate them anonymously.

Easy enough, Josie thinks, until she realizes that shoppers at one store are finding a strange—even deadly—secret ingredient in their holiday cake. And Josie must get to the bottom of it all before someone else becomes a Christmas spirit.

Washburn, Livia J. The Christmas Cookie Killer ($7)

Phyllis Newsom stands a good chance in the Christmas cookie contest with her snowflake-shaped lime sugar cookies. But Mrs. Simmons' gingerdoodles might give her a run for her money-until she's found strangled in a pile of cookies. With many on Santa's naughty suspect list, this case is a cookie Phyllis means to crumble...

Wingfield, R.D. Frost at Christmas ($7)

The irascible Detective Inspector Jack Frost spends the holiday season searching for a missing child with the help of a dubious psychic and a bumbling new partner.

'Affecting, frightening, and, especially in Frost's dialogue, extremely amusing' Listener

Ten days to Christmas and Tracey Uphill, aged eight, hasn't come home from Sunday school.Her mother, a pretty young prostitute, is desperate.Enter Detective Inspector Jack Frost, sloppy, scruffy and insubordinate.To help him investigate the case of the missing child, Frost has been assigned a new sidekick, the Chief Constable's nephew.Fresh to provincial Denton in an oversmart suit, Detective Constable Clive Barnard is an easy target for Frost's withering satire.

Assisted and annoyed by Barnard, Frost, complete with a store of tasteless anecdotes to fit every occasion, proceeds with the investigation in typically unorthodox style.After he's consulted a local witch, Dead Man's Hollow yields up a skeleton.Frost finds himself drawn into an unsolved crime from the past and risks not only his career, but also his life...

'A crisp, confident, ripely-characterized novel; exciting, ingenious, roundly satisfying’Literary Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Premier Gift Idea From The Poisoned Pen

Need a gift for someone who is difficult to buy for? Would you like to treat yourself to a surprise? We have the perfect gift for you, a gift that lasts the year though.


With this club there is no single selection. Instead we collect a member profile and match it. The monthly selection can be tailored to any taste and budget. It can be a paperback or a hardcover. Can be monthly or bimonthly. In fact there are few limitations. Selections can be from the ranks of the traditional mystery or any other genre the recipient would prefer.

This club makes a terrific gift idea: once a month a book and shipping is charged to the giver’s card and the selection is then mailed to the recipient. While most often membership is a gift, some people enroll themselves into this premier club to get a regular, hand-picked, surprise treat!

Contact or phone (888 560 9919) or (480 947-2974)
A good book makes a great gift!
Sign up today!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More Gift Ideas

Need a gift for someone special. Why not make it easy and give them a Poisoned Pen Gift Card.

And Don't Forget about OUR BOOK CLUBS
Too busy to pick out books?
Let us send our selections to your door.

We have a variety of automatic selection book clubs designed to provide you with fresh and exciting books each month in a variety of crime and other fiction.

What are the club picks?
The monthly club selections are signed true first editions, US or UK.

How does it work?
Each month the club pick is charged to your credit card and shipped to the recipient. If you have other books on order with us, picks will be held and shipped with your other books to reduce shipping costs.

You may resign from a club at any time with the proviso that books already reserved for you will be sent to complete your membership.

How do I join?
To enroll, call, fax, or email us.
Phone: (480) 947-2974
Toll free: (888) 560-9919
FAX: (480) 945-1023

Can I give a club membership as a gift?
Absolutely! A membership is a terrific gift and is longer lasting than say the contents of the Fruit of the Month Club. We have a Mystery of the Month as well as a Modern Firsts Club which works well for the non-mystery reader.

To sign someone up, contact us with the name and shipping address of the recipient and supply your own credit card #. You will be billed for the book and shipping each time a book is sent.
We will send a Gift Certificate to the recipient to acknowledge the gift.

What Clubs are available?
Click here

Or a Christmas Music CD from local sports/newcaster Mike Chamberlain Christmas C
ollection ($15) and signed copy of God Has a Sense of Humor...for Heaven's Sake ($14.95)

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


How Not to Survive the Holidays a guide of original short stories from your Desert Sleuths - Sisters in Crime ($14.95)

"The anthology has a little bit of crime for everyone. Deborah J. Ledford's "A Christmas Tail" is a story for those of us who are cat lovers. There's something sneaky going on in Connie Flynn's story, "There's a Dead Elf in Santa's Workshop." Try Roni Olson's "Relativity," a traditional mystery about a family trapped by a blizzard at Christmas. JoAnne Zeterberg brings us a protective ghost in "The Gift. And, try two favorites, Judy Starbuck's story of a mystery writer who takes her life into her own hands, "A Christmas Stalking," and Merle McCann's "Yule Night," a historical piece set in 1902." -Lesa Holstine

Monday, December 14, 2009

Need a Gift?

We have a wonderful selection of beautiful children's books:
Start with the new book by Christopher Paolini, Eragons Guide to Alagesia ($24.99)

From the creators of the bestselling books Dragonology, Egyptology, Piratelogy, and others, this is a never-before-seen glimpse into the world of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance cycle. Alagaësia comes alive in a lush and detailed look at an unforgettable magical land. From elves, dwarves, Urgals, humans, and dragons, to the natural landscape and the magic it contains, Eragon himself offers the reader an unsurpassed tour. This oversized, full-color book provides 15 spreads chock full of spectacular artwork, engaging novelty elements, and fascinating insights into Eragon’s home. With gorgeous jewels adorning the cover and pages filled with envelopes, gatefolds, samples of dragon skin, and more, Eragon’s Guide to Alagaësia is sure to appeal to the legions of fans of Christopher Paolini’s bestselling Inheritance cycle.
Dragonology the Complete Book of Dragons by Dugald A Steer ($19.99)
from Booklist, "Purportedly a facsimile of an original book published in 1896, this is a handsome, dryly tongue-in-cheek volume about "the proper study of the dragonologist or student of dragon lore." Replete with large foldout pages, small inset foldouts, and maps showing dragons as indigenous to most parts of the world, the book covers everything from dragon habitats, physiology, and behavior to finding, tracking, taming, and flying them. The pages are sturdy and have an antique look about them, as do the plentiful, mostly full-color illustrations, some of which were contributed by Helen Ward. Appendixes provide advice on setting up a dragonology lab, useful spells and charms, and a history of dragonologists and dragon slayers. There are also ads for equipment, such as the "famous" Draco dragon-whistle, and some practical advice: to wit, wearing special, heat-protective clothing when approaching dragons. All in all, a delightful treatment for readers fascinated by dragons."And don't miss the Dragonology Handbook ($12.99)

Egyptology Search for the Tomb of Osiris ($19.99)
A new discovery from the publishers of DRAGONOLOGY!

Discover the wonders of ancient Egypt through a fascinating journal from a lost expedition - a treasure trove of fact and fantasy featuring a novelty element on every spread.

Monsterology: The Complete Book of Monstrous Beasts ($19.99)
A second major volume by the esteemed Dr. Drake — a lavish exploration of fantastical beasts, from yetis to unicorns

Mythology ($19.99)
Presenting the newest discovery in the series with the Midas touch — a mythical exploration fit for the gods

In the early nineteenth century, an English nobleman embarked on a tour of the sites of ancient Greece. He brought as his guide a primer on Greek myths written by his friend Lady Hestia Evans, a devotee of Lord Byron who had recently taken the same voyage. In the true Romantic spirit, Lady Hestia’s book was not only lavishly illustrated but also boasted many paper crafts and novelties, including a card game featuring the twelve Olympians, an oak-leaf oracle of Zeus, a pop-up Pandora’s box (with hope still inside), a booklet retelling the tale of Odysseus, a piece of the Golden Fleece, a gold OBOLOS coin to pay the ferryman on the River Styx, and many more flaps, foldouts, and other surprises. The nobleman added his own witty comments and drawings along the way, but seems to have wished for something odd at the Delphic oracle: as the book nears its end, it slowly begins to turn . . .to gold. Now, for lovers of Greek myths and those just discovering their timeless power, this fascinating volume is faithfully reproduced with all its Romantic ambience, clever wit and novelty features intact.

Oceanology: The True Account of the Voyage of the Nautilus ($19.99)
Follow the fascinating journey of Captain Nemo and explore the ocean’s wonders, both real and imagined ... or are they?

What if a sixteen-year-old assistant traveled aboard the storied Nautilus, the narwhal-shaped submarine of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? And what if he were the sole survivor of the ill-fated voyage and went on to relay his adventures to a certain . . . Jules Verne? Find this brave young man’s own account in the lavishly illustrated Oceanology, a tale of an 866 voyage of discovery that investigates diving bells and shipwrecks; coral reefs and ice canyons; sharks, giant octopi, and luminous sea monsters; underwater volcanoes, and even the legendary island of Atlantis.

Spyology ($22.99)
A spy reveals startling secrets and carries out a breathless mission — in an astonishing guide that takes the 'Ologies to a new level.

The year is 1958, and British spy Spencer Blake, aka "Agent K," is on an undercover mission to expose a deadly criminal organization. As he traverses the globe with his American and Soviet cohorts — from Scotland to Berlin to Las Vegas to Cuba — he furtively records his secret techniques in a manual for new recruits.

Once they've primed themselves on the essentials of spy craft, keen-eyed readers will discover that Agent K has been setting them challenges and clues to decipher all along. If they are clever enough to unravel them all, a great reward awaits!

Book Lovers Calendar ($12.99)

Packed with hundreds of great reads, Book Lover's is the calendar that keeps you reading. So many books to choose from: There's Union 1812, the definitive, richly detailed account of America's "second war of independence." A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini's poignant followup to The Kite Runner. Plus where to start with Jorge Luis Borges, Lincoln Child's page-turning oceanic thriller Deep Storm, and a fascinating portrait of the life and times of Benny Goodman

Besides our Poisoned Pen T-shirts ($17)
We now have a lovely Reading Between the Wines tee package to look like a bottle. Just the thing to add to a wine basket! ($22) and ($24)

And for the chef on your list we have Beautiful copies of Sharing the Table at Garlands Lodge ($35) signed by Amanda Stine; Mary Garland

Amanda and Mary have lovingly created a very personal cookbook full of delightful anecdotes, fascinating historical tidbits, mouth-watering, easily doable recipes, and gorgeous photographs. If you can't get a reservation, it's the next best thing to being there! --Barbara Pool Fenzl, Les Gourmettes Cooking School, author of "Southwest the Beautiful"

Between Mary's beautifully told story and stunning photographs, I could smell the sycamores and hear the tumbling waters of Oak Creek. Amanda Stine's recipes are appealing and clear. --Deborah Madison, author of "Local Flavors" and "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone"

Only a lucky few will ever get to stay at Garland's Lodge. But now, with this collection of Amanda's recipes, anyone can now cook up Lodge favorites for their families and friends. --Katharine Kagel, chef/owner, Cafe Pasqual's, Santa Fe

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Signed First Edition Makes a Wonderful Holiday Gift!

Need a gift for someone hard to buy for? Remember a signed first edition makes a wonderful gift.
And we have:
Baldacci, David. True Blue ($30 Signed)

From PW, "This promising first in a new series from bestseller Baldacci (First Family) introduces Beth Perry, chief of the District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police, and Beth's younger sister, Mace Perry, a former police officer dubbed the Patty Hearst of the twenty-first century after she was seized by bandits, drugged and taken along on a series of armed robberies around Washington. Mace, who's just getting out of prison after serving a two-year sentence, is willing to risk everything to clear her name and reclaim her life as a cop by cracking a big case on her own. The rape-murder of a powerful lawyer as well as the killing of a prominent U.S. attorney provide Mace an opportunity to vindicate herself. While Baldacci draws his characters in bright primary colors, and some of the action reaches comic book proportions, he delivers his usual intricate plotting and sets the stage nicely for highly competent Beth and impulsive, streetwise Mace to take on more bad guys."

Bradford, Barbara Taylor. Breaking the Rules ($28 Signed)

Following a terrifying encounter in the quiet English countryside, a young woman flees to New York in search of a new life. Adopting the initial M as her name, and reinventing herself, she embarks on a journey that will lead her to the catwalks of Paris, where she becomes the muse and star model to France’s iconic designer Jean-Louis Tremont. When M meets the charming and handsome actor, Larry Vaughan in New York they fall instantly in love and marry. Soon, they become the most desired couple on the international scene, appearing on the cover of every celebrity magazine, adored by millions. With a successful career and a happy marriage, M believes she has truly put the demons of her past behind her. But M’s fortunes are about to take another dramatic twist. A series of bizarre events turn out not to be accidents at all, but assaults on M and her family. The dark figure from M’s past, a psychopath with deadly intent, has made a vow: to shatter M’s world forever. But M also makes a vow: she will do everything to keep them all safe. When those you love are threatened and at risk, there’s nothing you won’t do to protect them… you’ll even resort to breaking the rules! Moving from New York to the chic fashion capitals of London and Paris, to the exotic locations of Istanbul and Hong Kong, this new tale from a renowned storyteller is a genuine pageturner.

Connelly, Michael. Nine Dragons ($28 Signed)

LAPD Detective Harry Bosch is off the chain in the fastest, fiercest, and highest-stakes case of his life.

Fortune Liquors is a small shop in a tough South L.A. neighborhood, a store Bosch has known for years. The murder of John Li, the store's owner, hits Bosch hard, and he promises Li's family that he'll find the killer. The world Bosch steps into next is unknown territory. He brings in a detective from the Asian Gang Unit for help with translation--not just of languages but also of the cultural norms and expectations that guided Li's life. He uncovers a link to a Hong Kong triad, a lethal and far-reaching crime ring that follows many immigrants to their new lives in the U.S. And instantly his world explodes. The one good thing in Bosch's life, the person he holds most dear, is taken from him and Bosch travels to Hong Kong in an all-or-nothing bid to regain what he's lost. In a place known as Nine Dragons, as the city's Hungry Ghosts festival burns around him, Bosch puts aside everything he knows and risks everything he has in a desperate bid to outmatch the triad's ferocity.

Cornwell, Patricia. Scarpetta Factor ($28 Signed)

It is the week before Christmas. A tanking economy has prompted Dr. Kay Scarpetta—despite her busy schedule and her continuing work as the senior forensic analyst for CNN—to offer her services pro bono to New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. In no time at all, her increased v isibility seems to precipitate a string of unexpected and unsettling events. She is asked live on the air about the sensational case of Hannah Starr, who has vanished and is presumed dead. Moments later during the same telecast she receives a startling call—in from a former psychiatrist patient of Benton Wesley's. When she returns after the show to the apartment where she and Benton live, she finds an ominous package—possibly a bomb—waiting for her at the front desk. Soon the apparent threat on Scarpetta's life finds her embroiled in a surreal plot that includes a famous actor accused of an unthinkable sex crime and the disappearance of a beautiful millionaires with whom Lucy seems to have shared a secret past.

Cussler, Clive. The Wrecker ($28 Signed)

In The Chase, Clive Cussler introduced an electrifying new hero, the tall, lean, no-nonsense detective Isaac Bell, who, driven by his sense of justice, travels early-twentieth-century America pursuing thieves and killers . . . and sometimes criminals much worse.

It is 1907, a year of financial panic and labor unrest. Train wrecks, fires, and explosions sabotage the Southern Pacific Railroad's Cascades express line and, desperate, the railroad hires the fabled Van Dorn Detective Agency. Van Dorn sends in his best man, and Bell quickly discovers that a mysterious saboteur haunts the hobo jungles of the West, a man known as the Wrecker, who recruits accomplices from the down-and-out to attack the railroad, and then kills them afterward. The Wrecker traverses the vast spaces of the American West as if he had wings, striking wherever he pleases, causing untold damage and loss of human life. Who is he? What does he want ? Is he a striker? An anarchist? A revolutionary determined to displace the "privileged few"? A criminal mastermind engineering some as yet unexplained scheme?

Whoever he is, whatever his motives, the Wrecker knows how to create maximum havoc, and Bell senses that he is far from done-that, in fact, the Wrecker is building up to a grand act unlike anything he has committed before. If Bell doesn't stop him in time, more than a railroad could be at risk-it could be the future of the entire country.

Filled with intricate plotting and dazzling set pieces, The Wrecker is one of the most entertaining thrillers in years.

Gabaldon, Diana. An Echo in the Bone ($30 Signed)

Diana Gabaldon’s brilliant storytelling has captivated millions of readers in her bestselling and award-winning Outlander saga. Now, in An Echo in the Bone, the enormously anticipated seventh volume, Gabaldon continues the extraordinary story of the eighteenth-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his twentieth-century time-traveling wife, Claire Randall.

Jamie Fraser, former Jacobite and reluctant rebel, is already certain of three things about the American rebellion: The Americans will win, fighting on the side of victory is no guarantee of survival, and he’d rather die than have to face his illegitimate son–a young lieutenant in the British army–across the barrel of a gun.

Claire Randall knows that the Americans will win, too, but not what the ultimate price may be. That price won’t include Jamie’s life or his happiness, though–not if she has anything to say about it.

Meanwhile, in the relative safety of the twentieth century, Jamie and Claire’s daughter, Brianna, and her husband, Roger MacKenzie, have resettled in a historic Scottish home where, across a chasm of two centuries, the unfolding drama of Brianna’s parents’ story comes to life through Claire’s letters. The fragile pages reveal Claire’s love for battle-scarred Jamie Fraser and their flight from North Carolina to the high seas, where they encounter privateers and ocean battles–as Brianna and Roger search for clues not only to Claire’s fate but to their own. Because the future of the MacKenzie family in the Highlands is mysteriously, irrevocably, and intimately entwined with life and death in war-torn colonial America.

With stunning cameos of historical characters from Benedict Arnold to Benjamin Franklin, An Echo in the Bone is a soaring masterpiece of imagination, insight, character, and adventure–a novel that ec hoes in the mind long after the last page is turned.

Grafton, Sue. U is for Undertow ($28 Signed)

Calling T is for Trespass "taut, terrifying, transfixing and terrific," USA Today went on to ask, "What does it take to write twenty novels about the same character and manage to create a fresh, genre-bending novel every time?" It's a question worth pondering. Through twenty excursions into the dark side of the human soul, Sue Grafton has never written the same book twice. And so it is with this, her twenty-first. Once again, she breaks genre formulas, giving us a twisting, complex, surprise-filled, and totally satisfying thriller.

It's April, 1988, a month before Kinsey Millhone's thirty-eighth birthday, and she's alone in her office do ing paperwork when a young man arrives unannounced. He has a preppy air about him and looks as if he'd be carded if he tried to buy booze, but Michael Sutton is twenty-seven, an unemployed college dropout. Twenty-one years earlier, a four-year-old girl disappeared. A recent reference to her kidnapping has triggered a flood of memories. Sutton now believes he stumbled on her lonely burial when he was six years old. He wants Kinsey's help in locating the child's remains and finding the men who killed her. It's a long shot but he's willing to pay cash up front, and Kinsey agrees to give him one day. As her investigation unfolds, she discovers Michael Sutton has an uneasy relationship with the truth. In essence, he's the boy who cried wolf. Is his current story true or simply one more in a long line of fabrications?

Grafton moves the narrative between the eighties and the sixties, changing points of view, building mul tiple subplots, and creating memorable characters. Gradually, we see how they all connect. But at the beating center of the novel is Kinsey Millhone, sharp-tongued, observant, a loner-"a heroine," said The New York Times Book Review, "with foibles you can laugh at and faults you can forgive."

Jance, J.A. Trial by Fire ($26 Signed)

In the heat of the Arizona desert, a raging fire pushes temperatures to a deadly degree, and one woman is left to burn. Pulled naked and barely breathing from the fire, the victim has no idea who she is, let alone who would do this to her -- or why. In her hospital bed she drifts in and out of consciousness, her only means of communicating a blink of the eye. And then an angel appears. Misguidedly known around town as the "Angel of Death," Sister Anselm has devoted her life to working as an advocate for unidentified patients. To her burn patient, she is a savior. But to this Jane Doe's would-be killer, Sister Anselm's efforts pose a serious threat. Ali Reynolds is on the scene as the new media relations consultant for the Yavapai County Police Department, keeping reporters at bay and circumventing questions about arson and a link to a domestic terrorist group called Earth Liberation Front. But her job quickly becomes much more. As Ali struggles to help Sister Anselm uncover the helpless woman's identity, they realize that by locating the missing relatives they may be exposing the victim once more to a remorseless killer determined to finish the job. Faced with the possibility of putting all three of their lives in jeopardy, Ali fearlessly pursues justice -- and what she discovers is a secret even darker and more twisted than she ever could have imagined.

With unerring skill, Jance delivers relentless suspense in what is surely her finest novel yet in this riveting and addictive series.

Kingsolver, B arbara. The Lacuna ($40)

Starred Review From PW, "Kingsolver's ambitious new novel, her first in nine years (after the The Poisonwood Bible), focuses on Harrison William Shepherd, the product of a divorced American father and a Mexican mother. After getting kicked out of his American military academy, Harrison spends his formative years in Mexico in the 1930s in the household of Diego Rivera; his wife, Frida Kahlo; and their houseguest, Leon Trotsky, who is hiding from Soviet assassins. After Trotsky is assassinated, Harrison returns to the U.S., settling down in Asheville, N.C., where he becomes an author of historical potboilers (e.g., Vassals of Majesty) and is later investigated as a possible subversive. Narrated in the form of letters, diary entries and newspaper clippings, the novel takes a while to get going, but once it does, it achieves a rare dramatic power that reaches its emotional peak when Harrison wittily and eloquently defends himself before the House Un-American Activities Committee (on the panel is a young Dick Nixon). Employed by the American imagination, is how one character describes Harrison, a term that could apply equally to Kingsolver as she masterfully resurrects a dark period in American history with the assured hand of a true literary artist. "

Jordan, Robert and Brandon Sanderson. The Gathering Storm ($30 Signed)

Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle, looms. And mankind is not ready.

The final volume of the Wheel of Time, A Memory of Light, was partially written by Robert Jordan before his untimely passing in 2007. Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling author of the Mistborn books, was chosen by Jordan’s editor---his wife, Harriet McDougal---to complete the final book. The scope and size of the volume was such that it could not be contained in a single book, and so Tor pro udly presents The Gathering Storm as the first of three novels that will make up A Memory of Light. This short sequence will complete the struggle against the Shadow, bringing to a close a journey begun almost twenty years ago and marking the conclusion of the Wheel of Time, the preeminent fantasy epic of our era.

In this epic novel, Robert Jordan’s international bestselling series begins its dramatic conclusion. Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, struggles to unite a fractured network of kingdoms and alliances in preparation for the Last Battle. As he attempts to halt the Seanchan encroachment northward---wishing he could form at least a temporary truce with the invaders---his allies watch in terror the shadow that seems to be growing within the heart of the Dragon Reborn himself.

Egwene al ’Vere, the Amyrlin Seat of the rebel Aes Sedai, is a captive of the White Tower and subject to the whims of their tyrannical leader. As days tick toward the Seanchan attack she knows is imminent, Egwene works to hold together the disparate factions of Aes Sedai while providing leadership in the face of increasing uncertainty and despair. Her fight will prove the mettle of the Aes Sedai, and her conflict will decide the future of the White Tower---and possibly the world itself.

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Parker, Robert B. The Professional ($27 Signed)

A knock on Spenser's office door can only mean one thing: a new case. This time the vis itor is a local lawyer with an interesting story. Elizabeth Shaw specializes in wills and trusts at the Boston law firm of Shaw & Cartwright, and over the years she's developed a friendship with wives of very wealthy men. However, these rich wives have a mutual secret: they've all had an affair with a man named Gary Eisenhower- and now he's blackmailing them for money. Shaw hires Spenser to make Eisenhower "cease and desist," so to speak, but when women start turning up dead, Spenser's assignment goes from blackmail to murder.

As matters become more complicated, Spenser's longtime love, Susan, begins offering some input by analyzing Eisenhower's behavior patterns in hopes of opening up a new avenue of investigation. It se ems that not all of Gary's women are rich. So if he's not using them for blackmail, then what is his purpose? Spenser switches tactics to focus on the husbands, only to find that innocence and guilt may be two sides of the same coin.

Reichs, Kathy. 206 Bones ($27 Signed)

The #1 New York Times bestselling author and producer of the Fox television hit, Bones, returns with a spectacular new Tempe Brennan novel.

There are 206 bones in the human body. Forensic anthropologists know them intimately, can read in them stories of brief or long lives and use them to reconstruct every kind of violent end. 206 Bones opens with Tempe regaining conscio

usness and discovering that she is in some kind of very small, very dark, very cold enclosed space. She is bound, hands to feet. Who wants Tempe dead, or at least out of the way, and why? Tempe begins slowly to reconstruct...

Tempe and Lieutenant Ryan had accompanied the recently discovered remains of a missing heiress from Montreal to the Chicago morgue. Suddenly, Tempe was accused of mishandling the autopsy -- and the case. Someone made an incriminating phone call. Within hours, the one man with information about the call was dead. Back in Montreal, the corpse of a second elderly woman was found in the woods, and then a third.

Seamlessly weaving between Tempe's present-tense terror as she's held captive and her memory of the cases of these murdered women, Reichs conveys the incredible devastation that would occur if a forensic colleague sabotaged work in the lab. The chemistry between Tempe and Ryan intensifies as this complex, riveting tale unfolds. Reichs is writing at the top of her game.

Sandford, John. Rough Country ($27 Signed)

It's a joy to announce that John Sandford is still doing everything right," wrote the Cleveland Plain Dealer about the second adventure of Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers. "Virgil acts like the best series protagonists-becoming someone we just enjoy spending time with."

Virgil's always been known for having a somewhat active, er, social life, but he's probably not going to be getting too many opportunities for that during his new case. While competing in a fishing tournament in a remote area of northern Minnesota, he gets a call from Lucas Davenport to investigate a murder at a nearby resort, where a woman has been shot while kayaking. The resort is for women only, a place to relax, get fit, recover from plastic surgery, commune with nature, and while it didn't start out to be a place mostly for those with Sapphic inclinations, that's pretty much what it is today.

Which makes things a ll the more complicated for Virgil, because as he begins investigating, he finds a web of connections between the people at the resort, the victim, and some local women, notably a talented country singer. The more he digs, the more he discovers the arrows of suspicion that point in many directions, encompassing a multitude of motivations: jealousy, blackmail, greed, anger, fear. Then he finds that this is not the first murder, that there was a second, seemingly unrelated one, the year before. And that there's about to be a third, definitely related one, any time now. And as for the fourth . . . well, Virgil better hope he can catch the killer before that happens. Because it could be his own.

Rich with the brilliant plotting and compulsively readable prose that are his hallmarks, Rough Country is another immensely satisfying tale by one of our very best suspense writers.

Wambaugh, Joseph. Hollywood Moon ($27 Signed)

There' s a saying at Hollywood station that the full moon brings out the beast--rather than the best--in the precinct's citizens. One moonlit night, LAPD veteran Dana Vaughn and "Hollywood" Nate Weiss, a struggling-actor-turned cop, get a call about a young man who's been attacking women. Meanwhile, two surfer cops known as Flotsam and Jetsam keep bumping into an odd, suspicious duo--a smooth-t alking player in dreads and a crazy-eyed, tattooed biker. No one suspects that all three dubious characters might be involved in something bigger, more high-tech, and much more illegal. After a dizzying series of twists, turns, and chases, the cops will find they've stumbled upon a complex web of crime where even the criminals can't be sure who's conning whom.

Wambaugh once again masterfully gets inside the hearts and minds of the cops whose jobs have them constantly on the brink of danger. By turns heart-wrenching, exhilarating, and laugh-out-loud funny, Hollywood Moon is his most thrilling and deeply affecting ride yet through the singular streets of LA.