Friday, January 30, 2009

The Future of the Printed Word

For hundreds of years people have documented their existence, passing on messages, history, and ideas through print form. Now the crumbling economy is threatening to make printed news a thing of the past...

Just recently the New York Times announced that they are facing dire circumstances and "that it is possible that The Times and other newspapers will have to move to digital-only distribution."(read story)

Closer to home the Tucson Citizen has announced they will close the Tucson Citizen on March 21 if it can’t find a buyer. (read story)

Other papers are taking desperate measures and have been forced to cut staff and popular sections.

The Washington Post is ending regular publication of its weekly Book World section, eliminating one of the few stand-alone book review sections left among daily newspapers. (read story)

"Whether or not print dies, its business model will", says Jeff Jarvis, "Physical wares—newspapers, books, magazines, discs—will no longer be the primary or most profitable means of delivering and interacting with media: news, fact, entertainment, or education."

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has now gone out on a limb and made some pretty bold predictions in a recent discussion with Washington Post editors, the biggest of which, by far, is his proclamation that he thinks there'll be "no media consumption left in 10 years that is not delivered over an IP network." So as not to leave any doubt about that, he also went to further clarify that means there "will be no newspapers, no magazines that are delivered in paper form. Everything gets delivered in an electronic form." (read story)

So what does this mean for the Book World?

We know publishers have been forced to cut cost by shortening tours, buying less manuscripts, and spending less on publicity. Which interprets to bookstores as fewer events, fewer posters, fewer books, and few sales. If bookstores all are to survive, they need customers who don't define themselves as customers simply by reading newsletters or attending programs, but by taking it a step further and buying books.

"The other day as a luncheon speaker I sat down by a man, a familiar face, who said he was a Poisoned Pen customer. And he said, I've just read a good book. In fact, I've read 100 books lately. Wonderful I said. And he said, Yes, all on my kindle.

And I said, Then you will be okay when we close the store. And he said, Why would you do that? Close the store? How will I know what to read?

Retail businesses need to sell product, not just services. We are not public institutions or free information providers. No bail out is likely to come our way. It's important to make this decision now when it counts and to stick to it.

You may love your Kindles and e-readers, but we hope you love us, too." said Barbara Peters owner of The Poisoned Pen.

Stuart Evers of the, said it best in his moving story titled "Murder One closing: did we commit this crime? The loss of one of Charing Cross Road's best bookshops is as much down to customer neglect as the economic climate. (read story)

Some are fighting for what they hold dear. More than 100 writers have banded together asking The Washington Post not to shut down its stand-alone Sunday Book World section. (read story)

Are we entering an era in which magazines and books will be reduced to flickering video displays? Will this be a brave new world or a step back into the dark ages? I for one do not want to give up the comfort of curling up with a good book. Yes, for the moment I am safely surrounded a surplus of "to read" books and I take comfort in having a choice at the ready.

I do not want to be forced to do my recreational reading in a digital format. I take no comfort from a glowing screen, reaping only headaches and weak vision...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Are you going to Left Coast Crime? Then read up!

The Left Coast Crime 2009 Conference is in Hawaii this year with Special Guests Rhys Bowen and Barry Eisler and Toastmaster Lee Goldberg.

The LEFTCOAST CRIME AWARDS nominees have just been announced. They will be presented March 11 in Kona, Hawaii

Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery Award (
A historical mystery, covering events before 1950)
Nox Dormienda, A Long Night for Sleeping by Kelli Stanley (Five Star) ($28 Signed)
Touchstone by Laurie King (Bantam) ($12)
Tell Me Pretty Maiden by Rhys Bowen (St. Martin Press) ($24 Signed)
Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen (Berkeley Prime Crime) ($24)
Fatal Waltz by Tasha Alexander (Harper Collins) ($24)

Hawaii Five-O (Law enforcement, police procedural)
Angel Falls by Baron Birtcher (Iota) ($24)
Fractured by Karin Slaughter (Delacorte Press) ($25)
Black Path by Asa Larsson (Delta) ($12)
Angel of Knowlton Park by Kate Flora (Five Star)($26)
Mahu Fire by Neil S. Plakcy (Alyson Books)($15)
Death of a Cozy Writer by G.M. Malliet (Midnight Ink)($14)

Lefty (
Best humorous mystery)
Thugs and Kisses by Sue Ann Jaffarian ( Midnight Ink)($14)
Six Geese a Slaying by Donna Andrews (St. Martins)($23)
Murder at the Bad Girl's Bar and Grill by N.M. Kelby (Shaye Areheart Books) ($23)
Greasing the Pinata by Tim Maleeny (Poisoned Pen Press)($25)
Getting Old is to Die For by Rita Lakin (Dell/Bantam)($7)
It Happened One Knife by Jeffrey Cohen (Berkeley Prime Crime)($8)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Neil Gaiman winns the Newbery Medal

Neil Gaiman - 2009 Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book (HarperCollins).

Nobody Leaves.

Hear this tragic tale: a sleeping family, a talented murderer, and an adventurous toddler — orphaned, but not assassinated. Small and alone, by accident and luck he escapes the scene of the crime and climbs a grassy hill to safety. At the top of the hill the boy finds a fence, and on the other side, a dark, quiet place.

And what is to become of him?

Nobody Stays.

The boy is welcomed on the hill where the dead do not sleep, and the graveyard residents rally to protect him. For outside the fence that separates a city from its ghosts, a dastardly killer is patient and persistent. The danger is real, and it is alive. It is hunting, and wise, and evil. A little child must not be left to the merciless knife of a professional fiend.

But who will watch over him?

Nobody’s Home.

The chattering dead make a pact. A decision is made, and shelter is granted to the tiny fellow, who has no inkling of his peril. He has no parents, no place, and no name. But the kind-hearted spirits will not let him freeze, or starve, or meet his end by a murderer’s blade. They wrap the breathing boy in a shroud. They call him Nobody, for he looks like nobody but himself.

Mr. and Mrs. Owens, a Partnership. Married for 250 years yet childless all this time, they adopt the yellow-haired boy as their own and love him accordingly. They bring him into their lovely little tomb by the daffodil patch, and there they raise him to be clever and careful. They raise him to be wary of the living.

Silas, a Caretaker. The graveyard’s caretaker serves as Nobody’s guardian until he might guard himself, for the insubstantial dead must stay with their bones — and they have no means to nourish a living child. Teacher, counselor, and vigilant champion, Silas is not alive, but he is not dead. And unlike the ghosts, he may move among the living in order to acquire food, medicine, and other necessities.

Miss Lupescu, a Teacher. Foreign and strange, and a terrible cook, Miss Lupescu serves as substitute guardian and general tutor when Silas is called away. She may seem cold and somewhat uncaring, but she is a formidable woman and she has vowed to watch over Nobody, whether he wants her to or not.

Liza Hempstock, a Witch. She might be dead, but she still has her magic. Buried in the potter’s field outside the confines of the blessed graveyard property, she wishes for a headstone to mark her resting place and she wishes for a friend. One part trickster and one part helping hand, Liza is fickle but mostly fair … and honestly fond of the living boy from the next patch over.

Scarlett Amber Perkins, a Girl. The cemetery’s dead children make good playmates, but sometimes a living boy might wish for a bit of living company. Scarlett Amber Perkins roams the park beside the cemetery; her mother thinks that her daughter has found an imaginary friend. But as the little girl grows up, Nobody becomes harder and harder to explain away.

Nobody’s Safe, Not Living or Dead

The graveyard is a sacred place and well tended by its various attendants. It is quiet and homey, and there are worse places by far where a boy might grow up. But that is not to say that Nobody’s life is altogether simple or secure. Here and there lurk dangers unexpected and perils uncharted by the living. Though Nobody’s teachers instruct him in the ways of magic and caution, there are some threats a boy must face alone — and some lessons he must learn for himself.

The Ghouls. With their silly titles and preposterous claims to fame, the ghouls are violent, strong, and perfectly daft. Their gate is a dangerous, tempting place; and Nobody knows how to find it. He even knows how to open it.

The Sleer. At the bottom of a very dark barrow, beneath a hill, in a pit lost to history and myth, an ancient creature called the Sleer waits for its master to return. It hunkers deep below the earth with three objects of uncertain value and power—which it guards with threats and malice.

Every Man Jack. The less that is said of Jack, the better. His nature is an elaborate puzzle — a series of painful questions with answers that slit throats and break bones. What fiend would murder a family while it slept? What monstrous brute would seek to slaughter a toddling child in its crib? This Jack has his reasons, and those reasons reek of evil and rot. He’ll spare no trouble and show no mercy in his quest to end the boy called Nobody Owens.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hark the IndieBound January Mystery/Suspense list.

What Is IndieBound, you ask?
Remember BookSense? It is now IndieBound an organization dedicated to help the independent businesses "celebrate the powers that make us unique and declare the causes which compel us to remain independent".

IndieBound Next list is comprised of titles recommended from independent stores across America. Here is the new list:

January Mystery/Suspense

Chasing Smoke by Bill Cameron (Bleak House Books)

The Face of a Killer by Robin Burcell (Poisoned Pen Press)

Bad Traffic: An Inspector Jian Novel by Simon Lewis (Scribner)

A Beautiful Place to Die: A Novel by Malla Nunn (Atria)

The Kiss Murder by Mehmet Murat Somer (Penguin)

Why shop Indie? When you shop at an independently owned business, your entire community benefits:
The Economy
  • Spend $100 at a local and $68 of that stays in your community. Spend the same $100 at a national chain, and your community only sees $43.
  • Local businesses create higher-paying jobs for our neighbors.
  • More of your taxes are reinvested in your community--where they belong.
The Environment
  • Buying local means less packaging, less transportation, and a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Shopping in a local business district means less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money to beautify your community.
The Community
  • Local retailers are your friends and neighbors—support them and they’ll support you.
  • Local businesses donate to charities at more than twice the rate of national chains.
  • More independents means more choice, more diversity, and a truly unique community.

Now is the time to stand up and join your fellow individuals in the IndieBound mission supporting local businesses and celebrating independents.

IndieBound supports Independent Business Alliances around the country. To find an alliance near you, visit AMIBA or BALLE.

Learn more about IndieBound.

And Join here

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Vulcan's Fire Signed

We have signed first of Vulcan's Fire
In this explosive series from New York Times bestseller Harold Coyle and noted military author Barrett Tillman, a new type of war is being fought by private paramilitary companies at the beck and call of the highest bidder. With its military and intelligence agencies spread thin, the United States constantly calls upon the services of these organizations--and Strategic Solutions, Inc. is among the best. After a few bloody and unprofitable contracts, SSI is faced with a financial crisis. Forced to take contracts from less than reputable clients, the upper management and field agents find themselves in a labor dispute. When the Israeli government offers SSI an opportunity to help Druze militias in southern Lebanon fend off encroachment by Hezbollah, they know it's a fragile situation. If the truth were known, the international outcry against Israel would be deafening. Forced to work with a government whose ultimate motives are unclear, SSI takes the job and descends into a shadowy no-man’s-land of tangled alliances and hostilities. Meanwhile, Hezbollah elements are planning their most audacious strike yet, assembling teams to detonate suitcase nukes in contested areas of Lebanon, hoping to destabilize the entire country. Caught between two elements of an age-old conflict, the battles the SSI fights may be a diversion...
You can meet Barrett Tillman as he hosts and author's workshop on Saturday, January 31 at 10 am. He will spend one hour will be on collaborative authorship, a fascinating topic. Then we'll have a coffee break and do an hour on Queries, Pitching your work, Proposals. Fee: $10. No advance registration required.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Death on the Ice

British Author Bob Ryan has signed his new book for us. Death on the Ice (Headline $45).
The story of one of the greatest epic journeys of all time.

January 18, 1912: Captain Robert Falcon Scott's expedition reaches the South Pole. Just a few weeks later, trapped in one of the worst blizzards Antarctica has ever known, Scott and his four companions perish in subzero temperatures. How did the icy conditions overwhelm Scott, Captain Oates and their party on the fateful return journey? Both experienced explorers, neither Scott or Oates were prepared for the disappointment of losing their polar race against Norwegian Roald Amundsen. Nor could they have known that the accretion of a few small mistakes would ultimately cost them their lives. The story of Scott and Oates, their incredible journey and their tragic final days, combines ambition, national pride and the kind of bravery and dignity most men can only dream of. It is one of the most captivating and endlessly fascinating tales from the Golden Age of Exploration.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Signed Books

Leopard's Prey by Suzanne Arruda
I'm a sucker for plucky adventuresses so Jade del Cameron's physical, emotional, and detecting tests in the post-WWI Africa Arruda portrays so colorfully are right up my alley. The photojournalist, animal wrangler (for zoos and safaris), and neophyte pilot (Africa was thick with them in this era) is back in East Africa here where a local coffee merchant's body turns up dead in one of his own drums. Jade's interest is urgent for her main squeeze, an American filmmaker and her flying mentor, is the hot suspect....

Face at the Window by Sarah Graves
Can it be that one of our all-time bestselling paperbacks, Dead Cat Bounce ($6.99), has proven to the first of (now) 12 cases for former New York finance whiz Jacobia Tiptree? Wow. Jake fell for a Federal style home in tiny, coastal Eastport, Maine and ditched Manhattan in a New York minute to lose her life to home repair and her heart to the town's pilot. And here she is looking into the murder of her mother, after finding her father in an earlier case. Less a puzzle than a man-hunt, Jake shows no signs of slacking as she continues to rebuild the house and a new life.


The Edgar Awards will be presented to the winners on April 30, 2009 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City. They are for works first produced in 2008 and celebrate Poe's 200th birthday.

Missing by Karin Alvtegen (Felony Signed Mayhem Press) $24; paperback in a couple weeks, $14.95
Blue Heaven by C.J. Box (St. Martin's Minotaur) new in paperback $7.99
Sins of the Assassin by Robert Ferrigno (Simon Signed Schuster - Scribner) $7.99
The Price of Blood by Declan Hughes (HarperCollins - William Morrow) $24.99
The Night Following by Morag Joss (Random House - Delacorte Press) $7.99
Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz (Simon Signed Schuster) hardback, $25; in paperback in 2 weeks, $14

The Kind One by Tom Epperson (Five Star) in paperback in April, $14
Sweetsmoke by David Fuller (Hyperion) $24.95
The Foreigner by Francie Lin (Picador) paperback original, $14
Calumet City by Charlie Newton (Touchstone) paperback original, $14A
Cure for Night by Justin Peacock (Doubleday) 24.95

The Prince of Bagram by Alex Carr (Random House Trade) $14
Money Shot by Christa Faust (Hard Case Crime) $6.99
Enemy Combatant by Ed Gaffney (Dell) $6.99
China Lake by Meg Gardiner (Obsidian Mysteries) $7.99
The Cold Spot by Tom Piccirilli (Bantam) $6.99

Friday, January 16, 2009

Charlie Huston’s Blistering New Title

A book Patrick has been praising just arrived:
We have signed copies of Charlie Huston's The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death

Webster Filmore Goodhue has found temporary work as one of the mop-up crew for the L.A. county crime division. In other words, he cleans up grisly crime scenes for the cops. But when the daughter of a recent Malibu suicide asks for his help to clean up after her brother got in a little trouble, every cell in Webs brain is telling him to turn it down.
Praise for Charlie Huston

“Anyone not acquainted with Charlie Huston’s blistering, unputdownable novels will want to tie their sneakers nice and tight, or they are apt to be blasted clean out of them.”
–Stephen King

“Among the new voices in twenty-first-century crime fiction, Charlie Huston . . . is where it’s at.”
–The Washington Post

“Huston writes dialogue so combustible it could fuel a bus and characters crazy enough to take it on the road.”
–The New York Times Book Review

“Huston’s strengths are the brutal efficiency with which he sets a scene, and the breakneck pace he maintains throughout.”
–San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Chilling Tale

Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts by Laura Benedict, (Ballantine $27).

A new book from First Mystery Pick Isabella Moon ($14) author Benedict.

"After summoning a lover through a ritual part witchcraft, part Santeria, at the start of Benedict's spellbinding second novel, three 13-year-old Lolitas-Roxanne, Del and Alice-believe that their new teacher at Cincinnati's Our Lady of the Hills school, is the angel sent to deflower them. Roxanne successfully schemes to seduce Cuban-born Father Romero, who suffers terrible guilt as a result. When Alice and Del each falsely accuse Romero of acting inappropriately toward them, Romero is defrocked and loses his job. Seventeen years later, Romero returns to town with Varick, a demon disguised as a man, to punish the now adult schoolgirls. All become entangled in an unholy web of destruction that threatens innocent lives."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

More New Signed First From The Poisoned Pen

A few more signed first edition for your collection:

Lost River by David Fulmer
The next heart-pounding chapter in Fulmer's Storyville series featuring New Orleans detective Valentin St. Cyr Autumn 1913. Valentin St. Cyr has been absent from his Storyville stomping grounds for some months, trying to make it in the straight detective world and make a go of it with his longtime love, Justine. But then a man is found dead in a Storyville brothel.The madam immediately turns to the creole detective for help.He resists, but when several more bodies turn up in Storyville, Valentin can't help but come to the aid of the place—and the people—he tried to leave behind.
Just when he has the case wrapped around his finger, it turns out Valentin has been played.The police captain thinks he's meddling and may be guilty of murder.He's on the run, and Justine has turned her back on him, retaliating with a handsome young fellow in a very sporty car. But is she being lured into a trap too?
Taking us back to his acclaimed and much-loved Storyville series, in Lost River award-winning author David Fulmer marks a heart-pounding return to the streets of early-1900s New Orleans.

Face at the Window by Sarah Graves
Back in the day, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree turned profits managing the fortunes of Manhattan’s most fortunate. Then she fled the rat race for a stately old fixer-upper in easygoing Eastport, Maine. But now a rat from an even darker corner of Jake’s past has turned up…a killer with a blueprint for demolishing her new life.

As a home repair enthusiast, Jake knows that nothing lasts forever—not windows or doors, not plaster or plumbing. And not good fortune.

After more than three decades eluding justice, the man who murdered her mother is finally about to stand trial—until he vanishes into thin air. Jake has a terrible foreboding of where Ozzie Campbell will turn up next. And while the local police chief is sure she’s overreacting, the truth is far worse than even Jake’s worst fears.

With her normally full house empty for at least another week, Jake has been looking forward to the unaccustomed peace and quiet. Now her cozy, well-loved home feels more like a big empty death trap ready to snap shut. First a pair of out-of-towners clearly not in Eastport for vacation turn up asking questions about her. And if she has any doubt they’re connected to Campbell, those doubts are erased when he calls her with a grim warning.

But exactly what Campbell wants from her isn’t clear, only that he’ll stop at nothing to hurt those closest to Jake. And his first victims are the most defenseless of all. Suddenly Jake can’t help but feel that her house—and her life—has far too many windows. And in any one of them she might see the face of her killer.

Dead Man's Footsteps by Peter James
Abby stepped in the lift and the doors closed with a sound like a shovel smoothing gravel. She breathed in the smell of someone else's perfum, and lemon-scented cleaning fluid. The lift jerked upwards a few inches. And now, too late to change her mind and get out, with the metal walls pressing in around her, they lunged sharply downwards. Abby was about to realize she had just made the worst mistake of her life ...Amid the tragic unfolding mayhem of the morning of 9/11, failed Brighton businessman and ne'er-do-well Ronnie Wilson sees the chance of a lifetime, to shed his debts, disappear and reinvent himself in another country.Six years later, the discovery of the skeletal remains of a woman's body in a storm drain in Brighton, leads Detective Superintendent Roy Grace on an enquiry spanning the globe, and into a desperate race against time to save the life of a woman being hunted down like an animal in the streets and alleys of Brighton. 'One of the most fiendishly clever crime fiction plotters' - "Daily Mail"

Fidel's Last Days by Roland Merullo
Roland Merullo has consistently wowed critics with his brilliant storytelling and his refusal to be pigeonholed, hopscotching from the coming-of-age tale (In Revere, In Those Days) to the novel-as-fable (Golfing with God) to the road trip genre (Breakfast with Buddha). Now Merullo delivers a dazzling and finely nuanced political thriller about a clandestine plot to assassinate Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Former CIA agent Carolina Perez has spent five years working deep undercover with a singular goal: to take down Castro and free Cuba from his troubled presence. Recruited by a powerful shadow organization known as the White Orchid, steely and sexy Carolina has passed test after test to prove herself ready for the ultimate assignment. Convinced of the rightness of her cause, she will do anything to complete her mission. That includes duping her uncle Roberto Anzar, a wealthy and influential player in Miami’s Cuban American community. But when suspicious details raise questions about her mysterious employer, not even Carolina is prepared for the elaborate web of deceit that surrounds her.

Across the Straits of Florida, Carlos Gutierrez has been lured into playing a pivotal role in the plot to overthrow el Comandante. The minister of health and a member of Castro’s inner circle, Carlos has grown disenchanted with a political system that pays lip service to the Revolution’s egalitarian ideals while ruling the country with ruthlessness, corruption, and lies. As his involvement deepens at great risk to himself and those he loves, the doctor who has dedicated his career to saving lives must decide how much blood he is willing to have on his own hands in the name of freedom.

For both Carlos and Carolina, the threat of betrayal looms large. Who can be trusted in a byzantine network of spies, double agents, and informants? Is the plot real or is it an elaborate ruse to expose the underground dissidents in Cuba? From the sizzling opulence of Miami to the paranoid dreamscape of Havana, Fidel’s Last Days is a dizzying ride by a novelist whose genre-crossing talents know no bounds.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Signed Books From The Poisoned Pen

Three Weeks to Say Goodbye, a standalone thriller by CJ Box.
Jack and Meliss
a McGuane have spent years trying to have a baby. Finally their dream has come true with the adoption of their daughter, Angelina. But nine months after bringing her home, they receive a devastating phone call from the adoption agency: Angelina's birth father, a teenager, never signed away his parental rights, and he wants her back. Worse, his father, a powerful Denver judge, wants him to own up to this responsibility and will use every advantage his position of power affords him to make sure it happens. When Jack and Melissa attempt to handle the situation rationally by meeting face-to-face with the father and son, it is immediately apparent that there's something sinister about both of them and that love for Angelina is not the motivation for their actions. As Angelina's safety hangs in the balance, Jack and Melissa will stop at nothing to protect their child. A horrifying game of intimidation and double crosses begins that quickly becomes a death spiral where absolutely no one is safe.

On the Grind by bestselling author and Emmy-award winning writer/producer Stephen Cannell is the ninth Shane Scully crime thriller (after Three Shirt Deal).
On the heels of his New York Times bestseller Three Shirt Deal, legendary crime writer Stephen J.
Cannell delivers his most explosive Shane Scully novel yet. This time out, the rule-bending LAPD detective faces his most dangerous case as he finds himself mired in police department corruption. It is not long before Scully's life hangs in the balance, and the enemy may lurk within his own fraternal brotherhood of men in blue.

Plum Spooky
is the First Full Length Stephanie Plum Between-the-Numbers Novel from #1 Bestselling Author Janet Evanovich.

Turn on all the lights and check under your bed. Things are about to get spooky in Trenton, New Jersey. According to legend, the Jersey Devil prowls the Pine Barrens and soars above the treetops in the dark of night. As eerie as this might seem, there are things in the Barrens that are even more frightening and dangerous. And there are monkeys. Lots of monkeys. Wulf Grimoire is a world wanderer and an opportunist who can kill without remorse and disappear like smoke. He’s chosen Martin Munch, boy genius, as his new business partner, and he’s chosen the Barrens as his new playground. Munch received his doctorate degree in quantum physics when he was twenty-two. He’s now twenty-four, and while his brain is large, his body hasn’t made it out of the boys’ department at Macy’s. Anyone who says good things come in small packages hasn’t met Munch. Wulf Grimoire is looking for world domination. Martin Munch would be happy if he could just get a woman naked and tied to a tree. Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has Munch on her most-wanted list for failure to appear in court. Plum is the all-American girl stuck in an uncomfortable job, succeeding on luck and tenacity. Usually she gets her man. This time she gets a monkey. She also gets a big guy named Diesel. Diesel pops in and out of Plum’s life like birthday cake – delicious to look at and taste, not especially healthy as a steady diet, gone by the end of the week if not sooner. He’s an über bounty hunter with special skills when it comes to tracking men and pleasing women. He’s after Grimoire, and now he’s also after Munch. And if truth were told, he wouldn’t mind setting Stephanie Plum in his crosshairs. Diesel and Plum hunt down Munch and Grimoire, following them into the Barrens, surviving cranberry bogs, the Jersey Devil, a hair-raising experience, sand in their underwear, and, of course . . . monkeys.

Dead or Alive by Michael McGarrity
Living in London while his wife serves as a military attaché at the American Embassy, recently retired Santa Fe Police Chief Kevin Kerney gets an early morning phone call that changes everything and sends him hurrying home to his New Mexico ranch. Riley Burke, his partner in a horsetraining enterprise, has been mowed down on Kerney’s doorstep by an escaped prisoner cutting a murderous swath through New Mexico.

As the killings
mount, Kerney teams up with his half-Apache son, Lieutenant Clayton Istee of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, to hunt for a psychotic murderer with a growing appetite for blood, who has no intention to be taken alive."

Fans of Cormac MaCarthy’s No Country for Old Men and Tony Hillerman’s Navajo County mysteries will find Michael McGarrity’s Dead or Alive a powerful story of the manhunt for a deranged killer in the American Southwest.

McGarrity's 12th Kevin Kerney novel (after Death Song) displays the author's usual fine sense of place along with an unusual amount of gore. When escaped convict Craig Larson goes on a rampage that includes the murder of Riley Burke, a neighbor and business partner of former Santa Fe police chief Kerney, that's enough to bring Kerney, at least temporarily, out of retirement—and back from London, where Kerney's wife is a U.S. embassy employee. Larson's crime spree becomes more deadly as he tacks back and forth as far south as Texas and north almost to Colorado. Kerney, acting as a special investigator with the New Mexico State Police, and his lawman son, Clayton Istee, partner up for the statewide manhunt. McGarrity is particularly adept at portraying multijurisdictional investigations. While this isn't a good starting place for newcomers, series fans will relish the deepening relationship of Kerney and Istee, who only recently learned they were father and son.

Bone by Bone by
Carol O'Connell
Is a stunning stand-alone novel from the national-bestselling author who, according to the Chicago Tribune, "has raised the standard for psychological thrillers"
In the northern California town of Coventry, two teenage brothers go into the woods one d
ay, but only one comes back. No one knows what happened to the younger brother, Josh, until twenty years later, when the older brother, Oren, now an ex-investigator for the Army CID, returns to Coventry for the first time in many years. His first morning back, he hears a thump on the front porch. Lying in front of the door is a human jawbone, the teeth still intact. And it is not the first such object, his father tells him. Other remains have been left there as well. Josh is coming home . . . bone by bone.

Monday, January 12, 2009

From Patricia

Blair, Annette. A Veiled Deception (Berkley, $7?), Jan, pbo. Answering her prof father's summons to salvage her sister's wedding in Mystic Falls, CT puts New York fashion designer Madeira Cutler back in FBI agent Nick's territory. Their binary relationship, now on, now off, stutters when her sister's rival dies, strangled by an antique wedding veil. Maddie discovers she has a gift for touching a fabric and seeing its former owners' history. She pursues the murderer while she opens a vintage clothing boutique to put her collection of antique clothes to good purpose. First in the Vintage Magic mystery series from the romance author of The Kitchen Witch, My Favorite Witch and the The Scot, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

Bonansinga, Jay. Perfect Victim (Pinnacle, $7), Dec, pbo. FBI profiler Ulysses Grove must leave the classroom in Quantico to stop the serial crimes of a predator who could have written the textbook he teaches. The trail leads Grove into an abandoned coal mine in Kentucky that requires all his talents to end the violence against women. Fourth in this flesh and blood profiler series: Twisted, Frozen Shattered ($ ).

Carlisle, Kate. Homicide in Hardcover (Obsidian, $7) Feb, pbo. Brooklyn Wainwright revives nearly dead books with her biblio restoration skills. Her irrascible, estranged mentor dies on the night he is to reveal a priceless copy of Goethe's Faust. A sexy British security op Derek finds her kneeling over the corpse. The museum hires her to complete the project which gives her access to clues to clear her name. And puts her under Derek's scrutiny. The humor and book lore in the first Bibliofile Mystery promise sophisticated page turners to come.

Halliday, Gemma. Mayhem in High Heels (Dorchester, $8) Jan, pbo. With her line of designer shoes gaining traction, Maddie Springer embarks on designing her small wedding to begin life with her dream come true guy, Jack Ramirez, LAPD. Her mother and the diva wedding planner don't do intimate. When the diva dies facedown in the buttercream, Maddie's friends pitch in for a do it yourself event with a side of murder solving. Ramirez ranks their skills on a par with Lucy and Ethel. Halliday populates the suspect list with the ex, a bridezilla client and the musician boyfriend. With a humorous slant on exertion and health food, this entry in the High Heels series uses a breezy delivery that pushes every fashion button. Spying in High Heels, Killer in High Heels, Undercover in High Heels ($7).

Kimberly, Alice (aka Cleo Coyle). The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion (Berkley, $7) Jan, pbo. Bookstore owner Penelope Thornton-McClure just wants to deliver an order to her faithful, reclusive customer. But she finds Miss Todd, victim of foul play, dead in her Victorian mansion. The prime suspect, their small Rhode Island town's mailman, will inherit the place in her new will. But when he moves in, supernatural manifestations cause him to hire ghosthunters who could exorcise Pen's partner in crime solving, the ghost of 1940's private eye, Jack Shepard. Terminating this team would deprive readers of a smart talking wise guy. And this time, a legal secretary can see Jack while Pen can only hear him. The same author writes the coffee house mysteries. The Ghost and the Femme Fatale ($7).

O'Brien, Kevin. Final Breath (Pinnacle, $7) Jan, pbo. TV reporter Sydney Jordan features one intriguing character a week in her segment. When her past guests start dying, she realizes her movers and shakers are targets for a serial killer. She must end the spree before she becomes the next to die. The speed of the plot builds the suspense O'Brien employs in every book. Among them are One Last Scream, The Last Victim, Make Them Cry and Watch Them Die.
If you'd like to meet this New York Times-bestselling author, Kevin O'Brien will be signing this title February 4 at 7 pm at The Poisoned Pen!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Books in to Film 2009

Although book lovers often loath the movie adaption of their favorite story, I enjoyed many of the books-to-film movies I saw this year including The blockbuster Twilight and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

From the Examiner:
01/09 The Reader: Starring Ralph Fiennes and Kate Winslet, this adaptation of Bernhard Schlink's emotional book about post-Holocaust guilt and the power of the written word -- and the ability to read it -- received mixed reviews in its limited release in December. Critics generally praised the performances of Fiennes and Winslet but said the film "simply doesn't capture the chilling intensity of its source material."

01/09 Not Easily Broken: Based on T.D.Jakes' book of the same name about a marriage that goes through trials and comes out all the stronger for it, this movie promises to appeal to both Christian and mainstream movie-goers.

01/16 Defiance: Starring Daniel Craig (the hottest man in the history of the world), Liev Schreiber (not so bad looking himself), Jamie Bell, and George Mackay as Jewish brothers who join the Nazi resistance movement in their native Poland during World War II, Defiance is based on Nechama Tec's Defiance: The Bielski Partisans. I'll be sitting in line on opening night for this one, definitely.

01/23 Hotel for Dogs: Adapted from the Lois Duncan novel of the same name, this Dreamworks/Nickelodeon collaboration stars Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin as orphans who care for stray dogs. Also features Lisa Kudrow, Kyla Pratt, and Don Cheadle. Animal lovers will go nuts over this one.

01/23 Inkheart: A promising looking adaptation of Cornelia Funke's paeon to books and booklovers everywhere. Stars Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany (the second hottest man in the history of the world, though frankly he looks a bit weird with that hair), Helen Mirren, and Andy Serkis (my precious).

02/06 Coraline: Based on Neil Gaiman's horror novella of the dangers of getting what you think you want, this delightfully surrealistic film adaptation (that irresistibly reminds me of The Nightmare Before Christmas) features the vocal talents of Teri Hatcher and the ubiquitous Dakota Fanning.

02/06 He's Just Not That Into You: Who knew that a self-help book could spawn a major feature film starring the likes of Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Scarlett Johansson, and Drew Barrymore? Originally written by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, the film version of He's Just Not That Into You focuses on several twenty and thirty-somethings involved in relationships where one person is more "into" the relationship than the other.

02/13 Confessions of a Shopaholic: Based on Sophie Kinsella's frothy pink chick-lit novel, the movie stars Isla Fisher as the very-in-debt financial journalist Becky Bloomwood.

02/20 Youth in Revolt: C.D.Payne wrote the delightfully black humored six-part novel of the trials and tribulations of the adolescent Nick Twisp that this movie is based on. This movie adaptation, like the book, promises to become a cult classic.

This was taken from the examiner To see trailers click here

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Breaking News! Beat the Reaper to be movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio

Well, Barbara has once again picked a winner in Beat the Reaper: a debut by Josh Bazell

Not only is this First Mystery Club Pick getting rave reviews
"I didn't want to like it. I mean, a doctor writing a novel is kind of obnoxious. What, you don't have enough to do already? But maybe that's me. Anyway, I didn't want to like BEAT THE REAPER, but I did; I loved it. It is completely original, an utter page-turner, bold, shocking, hilarious, complex and even educational. It's that book you wish you had with you when you were trapped in an airport for a three-hour flight delay. My only complaint is that I've already read it." (Lisa Lutz, author of THE SPELLMAN FILES )

"BEAT THE REAPER is terrific-fresh, original, funny, and a dynamite read. Dr. Peter Brown-aka Pietro Brnwa, aka 'the Bearclaw'-is my new favorite character." (Robert Crais, author of CHASING DARKNESS )

"BEAT THE REAPER is a blast. Josh Bazell blew me away with this story that is as relentless as a bullet." (Michael Connelly, author of THE BRASS VERDICT )

"Fast, fun, furious, fierce... or better yet, stop reading the accolades for BEAT THE REAPER, open up to page one, and start reading. See you at the cash register." (Harlan Coben, auhtor of HOLD TIGHT )

"BEAT THE REAPER is way cool and ice-cold. A ferocious read." (Don Winslow, author of THE DAWN PATROL )

It is about to be a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio! (Read story) The protagonist in the novel penned by Josh Bazell is a Manhattan emergency room doctor, whose life becomes complicated when a mobster recognizes the doc from his former life as a hitman who went into the witness protection program. Read more here.

You can meet author Josh Bazell at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore on Tuesday, January 27 at 7pm

Update _ False Memoir May Find New Life as Fiction

Days after Berkley Books announced that it was canceling the publication of the memoir “Angel at the Fence,” after its author, Herman Rosenblat, acknowledged that he had falsified parts of his story, an independent publisher said it was negotiating to release the book as a work of fiction. (story Here)
Yeah! A good story should be told, true or not.

Unfortunately The Times also announced that they are facing dire circumstances and "that it is possible that The Times and other newspapers will have to move to digital-only distribution."(read story)
For the past five hundred years, humans have used print to archive ideas. So what’s next in the life and future of books and just what would a post-book world be like? Will we be doomed to a electronic future?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More Disturbing News From the Book World

The bad economy has hurt us all and unfortunately another bookseller has been forced to close...

Stacey's Bookstore, the iconic San Francisco shop
that called Market Street home for all of its 85 years and had carved out a niche for technical publications, announced Tuesday evening that it would close in March.
And Murder One, One of the most famous bookshops on London's Charing Cross Road will close within weeks following declining sales brought on by the credit crisis. (story here)

So on that note,
thank you for your patronage! The whole point of our being here, and writing this blog, the eNews and our newsletter every month, is YOU.

As you know we are trying to cut costs and have now made our Booknews available for free download on The Poisoned Pen website. Click this link to download the 2009 January Booknews (The file is named 08 but honestly it is the 09 version. we are working to correct this). After you download a copy of this pdf you can print as many copies as you like.

To order simply call 888-560 9919 or email
Add to your library today!

What we read is important and the Booknews will help to keep you up to date with a list of reviews and news. It covers monthly new releases and backlist.

An amusing BBC survey suggests that nearly half of all men and one-third of women have lied about what they have read to try to impress friends or potential partners. Click here to read this story

Well It's Time To Vote For the 2009 Dilys Award

The Dilys Award has been given annually since 1993 by the IMBA to the mystery titles of the year which the member booksellers have most enjoyed selling. The Dilys Award is named in honor of Dilys Winn, the founder of the first specialty bookseller of mystery books in the United States.

Last years winner was William Kent Kruger with Thunder Bay. The nominees were: Rhys Bowen, HER ROYAL SPYNESSLisa Lutz, THE SPELLMAN FILES (Simon & Schuster), Deanna Raybourn, SILENT IN THE GRAVE (Mira), and Marcus Sakey, THE BLADE ITSELF (St. Martin’s Minotaur).

There were some great mysteries last year. it will be hard to pick just who will win. I know here at the Poisoned Pen we had a great time selling our favorites. Here are a few:

The Pig Did It by Joseph Caldwell. A charming Irish country comedy about a pig who digs up a human skeleton buried in the backyard. (More here)

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. A story written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, that won the hearts of reader across the country. (Article Here)

Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. A book Ron Charles of the Washington Post calls "Grand and unforgettable." (Article Here)

and The Little Book by Selden Edward A delightful mental escape full of surprises. (Article Here) (Berkley),

However there were a great many more. For a list of staff picks click here

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Holocaust memoir canceled as author confesses

There has been some interesting buzz on the net about Herman Rosenblat's memoir, Angel at the Fence, being canceled(Click here to read story) after receiving information that the story was made up. Oprah had Rosenblat and his wife, Roma Radzicki Rosenblat on her show. Oprah said their romance was “the single greatest love story” she’d ever heard. Oops...Remind you of Million Little Pieces? and the event where Oprah Winfrey rebuked James Frey and kicked him out of her book club...(click to read story)

I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. Real life it pretty boring. I sure don't want to read many true bios. If Rosenblat's book is entertaining then why not label it as a fictionalized memoir and be done with it? Books are supposed to be entertaining. Isn't there some merit of it being “the single greatest love story”? Oprah has the power to create bestsellers. Her book club is one of the greatest force in publishing today "Having an Oprah Book Club selection is pretty much like the pinnacle for the industry," says Michael McKenzie, publicity director for Ecco, the small HarperCollins imprint that published The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.And indeed Oprah has picked some great books:


The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle


Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier


Night by Elie Wiesel

Monday, January 5, 2009

Library Journal Top THRILLERS of 2008

Berry, Steve. The Charlemagne Pursuit.

Cotton Malone's efforts to learn the truth behind his father's death lead him to Antarctica and elsewhere on a quest inspired by clues from Charlemagne's tomb. Berry's most personal and intense thriller to date. (LJ 9/15/08)

Connelly, Michael. The Brass Verdict.
Mickey Haller, introduced in The Lincoln Lawyer, becomes a target after he takes on the cases of a murdered attorney. His only hope lies in LAPD detective Harry Bosch. The exciting pairing of Connelly's two main protagonists makes for one of his best novels in years. (LJ 9/1/08)
Jacobson, Alan. The 7th Victim. Vanguard: Perseus. ISBN 978-1-59315-494-3. $25.95.
FBI profiler Karen Vail investigates the strange serial offender known as th
e Dead Eyes Killer. Jacobson's years of research into the FBI profiling unit propels this novel above the standard serial killer schlock, and his protagonist is also one of the strongest characters to come out of a thriller in a long time. (LJ 9/15/08)

Land, Jon. The Seven Sins: The Tyrant Ascending.
Michael Tiranno, owner of Las Vegas's Seven Sins Casino, tries to stop a personal vendetta against him and everything he loves. Readers addicted to high-adrenaline action will enjoy the thrill ride. (LJ 5/1/08)

Rollins, James.
The Last Oracle.
The Sigma Force face their most challenging adventure involving the Oracle of Delphi, autistic savant children, and a frightening bioengineering experiment that could change the world forever. Rollins outdoes himself with this rousing blend of history, science, and action adventure. (LJ 5/15/08)

For a full list visit :