Calendar

Jan
29
Wed
Hardboiled Discussion Group @ Poisoned Pen Bookstore
Jan 29 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Hardboiled Crime Discussion Club

Join us as we discuss Leigh Brackett’s Stranger At Home (Stark House, $9.99)

The beach house party is in full swing, and the alcohol is flowing freely. Suddenly, a dead man appears. Michael Vickers had disappeared during a Mexican fishing trip with his three best friends four years ago, and no one has seen him since. But this evening, he is looking very much alive. Which is more than can be said of Harry Bryce. Harry’s floating in the ocean shallows with a hole in his head, and the verdict is murder. Could Job Crandall have clubbed Harry down on the beach? Or Bill Saul? They were all there that night, all of Vicker’s old “pals.” Or could it have been Vicker’s wife, Angie, whom Harry was in love with? Or housekeeper/secretary Joan Merrill, trying to protect Angie’s interests? Or did Vickers return from the grave to exact revenge on the friend who left him for dead? Detective-Lieutenant Joe Trehearne has got a lot of suspects, but only one of them had motive enough to kill.

 

Feb
8
Sat
Coffee & Crime Book Club @ Poisoned Pen Bookstore
Feb 8 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am

The Coffee and Crime Book Club

Please join us as we discuss James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity ($14.00). James M. Cain, virtuoso of the roman noir, gives us a tautly narrated and excruciatingly suspenseful story in Double Indemnity, an X-ray view of guilt, of duplicity, and of the kind of obsessive, loveless love that devastates everything it touches.

Walter Huff was an insurance salesman with an unfailing instinct for clients who might be in trouble, and his instinct led him to Phyllis Nirdlinger. Phyllis wanted to buy an accident policy on her husband. Then she wanted her husband to have an accident. Walter wanted Phyllis. To get her, he would arrange the perfect murder and betray everything he had ever lived for.

Feb
15
Sat
Croak & Dagger Book Club @ The Poisoned Pen Bookstore
Feb 15 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Croak & Dagger Discussion Club

Croak & Dagger book club discusses Arturo Perez-Reverte’s The Flanders Panel ($15.95). A fifteenth-century painting by a Flemish master is about to be auctioned when Julia, a young art restorer, discovers a peculiar inscription hidden in a corner: Who killed the knight? In the painting, the Duke of Flanders and his knight are locked in a game of chess, and a dark lady lurks mysteriously in the background. Julia is determined to solve the five-hundred-year-old murder, but as she begins to look for clues, several of her friends in the art world are brutally murdered in quick succession. Messages left with the bodies suggest a crucial connection between the chess game in the painting, the knight’s murder, the sordid underside of the contemporary art world, and the latest deaths. Just when all of the players in the mystery seem to be pawns themselves, events race toward a shocking conclusion. A thriller like no other, The Flanders Panel presents a tantalizing puzzle for any connoisseur of mystery, chess, art, and history.

Feb
20
Thu
Hardboiled Discussion Group @ Poisoned Pen Bookstore
Feb 20 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Hardboiled Crime Discussion Club

Join us as we discuss Steph Post’s Lightwood (Polis , $15.99)

Judah Cannon is the middle son of the notorious Cannon clan led by Sherwood, its unflinching and uncompromising patriarch. When Judah returns to his rural hometown of Silas, Florida after a stint in prison, he is determined to move forward and live it clean with his childhood best friend and newly discovered love, Ramey Barrow. Everything soon spirals out of control, though, when a phone call from Sherwood ensnares Judah and Ramey in a complicated web of thievery, brutality and betrayal.

Pressured by the unrelenting bonds of blood ties, Judah takes part in robbing the Scorpions, a group of small-time, meth-cooking bikers who are flying down the highway with the score of their lives. Unbeknownst to the Cannons, however, half of the stolen cash in the Harley saddlebags belongs to Sister Tulah, a megalomaniacal Pentecostal preacher who encourages her followers to drink poison and relinquish their bank accounts. When Sister Tulah learns of the robbery, she swears to make both the Cannons and the Scorpions pay, thus bringing all parties into mortal conflict rife with deception and unpredictable power shifts. When Judah’s younger brother Benji becomes the unwitting victim in the melee, Judah takes it upon himself to exact revenge, no matter the damage inflicted upon himself and those around him. Judah becomes a driven man, blinded by his need for vengeance and questioning everything he thought he believed in. With Ramey at his side, Judah is forced to take on both the Scorpions and Sister Tulah as he struggles to do the right thing in a world full of wrongs.

 

Mar
14
Sat
Coffee & Crime Book Club @ Poisoned Pen Bookstore
Mar 14 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am

The Coffee and Crime Book Club

Please join us as we discuss Sara E Johnson’s Molten Mud Murder ($15.99). Is the past better left undisturbed, or unearthed? When a body is found half-submerged in a molten mud pot in one of Rotorua’s famous geothermal wonderlands, forensics expert Alexa Glock spots a way to prolong her stay in New Zealand, which she has been visiting for work. Teeth are her expertise, and the investigation needs her help, as other ways of identifying the body may have… melted away.

Joining Detective Inspector Bruce Horne and his team, Alexa discovers that the murder victim, a city councilman, had trespassed on an island sacred to the Maori. The ancient punishment for such a transgression is disaster, demonic possession, or death… and when she visits the island to investigate, the same outcome is promised for her. Alexa doesn’t believe in ancient spirits returning to exact revenge, and when another victim turns up dead she begins to wonder whether the real threat is something—or someone—much closer to home.

Mar
25
Wed
Hardboiled Discussion Group @ Poisoned Pen Bookstore
Mar 25 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Hardboiled Crime Discussion Club

Join us as we discuss John D MacDonald’s The Brass Cupcake ( $16.00)

One of the most beloved American thriller writers of the twentieth century kicks off a rip-roaring career with his exhilarating first novel, a hard-boiled classic full of twists and turns, good intentions and bad coincidences, the stench of corruption and the pursuit of justice at any cost.

Introduction by Dean Koontz

Ex-cop Cliff Bartells might be the last honest man in Florence City, Florida. After quitting the force over a crisis of conscience, he takes a job at an insurance company buying back stolen jewelry. Cliff is focused on keeping the bottom line down and staying out of the spotlight.

But when an affluent tourist from Boston is murdered over a hefty collection of jewelry, Cliff finds himself wrapped up in a case that’s making national headlines. With the victim’s beautiful niece, Melody Chance, determined to help retrieve the goods, suddenly Cliff has the partner he never knew he wanted. Now all they need is a suspect: someone capable of cold-blooded murder in the name of profit. And that could mean anyone in this crooked town.

Praise for John D. MacDonald

“As a young writer, all I ever wanted was to touch readers as powerfully as John D. MacDonald touched me.”—Dean Koontz

“To diggers a thousand years from now, the works of John D. MacDonald would be a treasure on the order of the tomb of Tutankhamen.”—Kurt Vonnegut

“John D. MacDonald was a writer way ahead of his time.”—John Saul

Apr
30
Thu
Hardboiled Discussion Group @ Poisoned Pen Bookstore
Apr 30 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Hardboiled Crime Discussion Club

Join us as we discuss Richard Stark’s The Outfit ( $14.00)

You probably haven’t ever noticed them. But they’ve noticed you. They notice everything. That’s their job. Sitting quietly in a nondescript car outside a bank making note of the tellers’ work habits, the positions of the security guards. Lagging a few car lengths behind the Brinks truck on its daily rounds. Surreptitiously jiggling the handle of an unmarked service door at the racetrack.
They’re thieves. Heisters, to be precise. They’re pros, and Parker is far and away the best of them. If you’re planning a job, you want him in. Tough, smart, hardworking, and relentlessly focused on his trade, he is the heister’s heister, the robber’s robber, the heavy’s heavy. You don’t want to cross him, and you don’t want to get in his way, because he’ll stop at nothing to get what he’s after.
Parker, the ruthless antihero of Richard Stark’s eponymous mystery novels, is one of the most unforgettable characters in hardboiled noir.  Lauded by critics for his taut realism, unapologetic amorality, and razor-sharp prose-style—and adored by fans who turn each intoxicating page with increasing urgency—Stark is a master of crime writing, his books as influential as any in the genre. The University of Chicago Press has embarked on a project to return the early volumes of this series to print for a new generation of readers to discover—and become addicted to.
In The Outfit, Parker goes toe-to-toe with the mob—hitting them with heist after heist after heist—and the entire underworld learns an unforgettable lesson: whatever Parker does, he does deadly.

“Westlake knows precisely how to grab a reader, draw him or her into the story, and then slowly tighten his grip until escape is impossible.”—Washington Post Book World
 
“Elmore Leonard wouldn’t write what he does if Stark hadn’t been there before. And Quentin Tarantino wouldn’t write what he does without Leonard. . . . Old master that he is, Stark does all of them one better.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“Donald Westlake’s Parker novels are among the small number of books I read over and over. Forget all that crap you’ve been telling yourself about War and Peace and Proust—these are the books you’ll want on that desert island.”—Lawrence Block