Please note: This Event will take place upstairs in the Poisoned Pen Annex space. It will not be streamed.
Maddy Day. Murder Uncorked (Kensington, $27.00). CLICK TO ORDER
Raise a glass to Cece Barton, a widowed single mom and recent L.A.-to-California-wine-country transplant who suddenly finds herself at the center of a murder investigation in this sparkling new mystery series from Agatha Award-winning author Maddie Day.
As the manager of Vino y Vida Wine Bar in Colinas, Cecelia “Cece” Barton’s first Alexander Valley harvest is a whirlwind of activity. Her twin sister, Allie Halstead, who owns a nearby Victorian bed & breakfast, is accustomed to the hustle and bustle of peak tourist season. But Cece barely has a moment to enjoy her new home in between worrying about her estranged college-age daughter, juggling her responsibilities at the bar, and navigating the sticky politics of the local wine association. Just when it seems things can’t grow any more intense, Colinas is rocked by a murder within the wine community . . . and Cece is identified as a possible suspect!
With her reputation and her livelihood on the line—and the Sonoma County deputy sheriff breathing down her neck—Cece has no choice but to open up her own murder investigation. Tensions are already high in the valley, as a massive wildfire creeps toward Colinas, threatening homes, vineyards, and the vital tourist trade. And now, with a murderer on the loose, and Cece’s sleuthing exposing the valley’s bitterest old rivalries and secret new alliances, Colinas feels ready to pop! But with Allie’s help, Cece is determined to catch the killer and clear her name before everything she’s worked so hard for goes up in flames . . .
Dianne Freeman. A Newlywed's Guide to Fortune and Murder (Kensington, $27.00). CLICK TO ORDER
Perfect for fans of Rhys Bowen, Deanna Raybourn, and Tasha Alexander, a witty romp through the high society of Victorian England with a touch of romance, an independent female lead, and rich historical detail from the acclaimed and Agatha Award-winning author.
With her new husband George busy on a special mission for the British Museum, Frances has taken on an assignment of her own. The dowager Viscountess Winstead needs someone to sponsor her niece, Kate, for presentation to Queen Victoria. Frances—who understands society’s quirks and constraints as only an outsider can—is the perfect candidate.
Kate is charming and intelligent, though perhaps not quite as sheltered as she might first appear. More worrying to Frances is the viscountess’s sudden deterioration. The usually formidable dowager has become shockingly frail, and Frances suspects someone may be drugging her. The spotlight falls on Kate, who stands to inherit if her aunt passes, yet there are plenty of other likely candidates within the dowager’s household, both above and belowstairs.
Joining forces with her beloved George, Frances comes to believe that the late viscount, too, was targeted. And with the dowager seeming to be in greater danger every day, they must flush out the villain before she follows in her husband’s footsteps, directly to the grave . . .
Carlene O'Connor. Some of Us Are Looking (Kensington, $27.00). CLICK TO ORDER
In late summer, the Dingle peninsula is thronged with tourists drawn to County Kerry’s dark mountains and deep, lush valleys. For Irish vet Dimpna Wilde, who has returned to run her family’s practice after years away, home is a beautiful but complicated place—especially when it becomes the setting for a brutal murder . . .
In Dimpna Wilde’s veterinary practice, an imminent meteor shower has elevated the usual gossip to include talk of shooting stars and the watch parties that are planned all over Dingle. But there are also matters nearer at hand to discuss—including the ragtag caravan of young people selling wares by the roadside, and the shocking death of Chris Henderson, an elderly local, in a hit-and-run.
Just hours before his death, Henderson had stormed into the Garda Station, complaining loudly about the caravan’s occupants causing noise and disruption. One of their members is a beautiful young woman named Brigid Sweeney, and Dimpna is shocked when Brigid later turns up at her practice, her clothing splattered in blood and an injured hare tucked into her shirt.
Brigid claims that a mysterious stranger has been trying to obtain a lucky rabbit’s foot. Dimpna is incensed at the thought of anyone mutilating animals, but there is far worse in store. On the night of the meteor shower, Dimpna finds Brigid’s body tied to a tree, her left hand severed. She has bled to death. Wrapped around her wrist is a rabbit’s foot.
Brigid had amassed plenty of admirers, and there were tangled relationships within the group. But perhaps there is something more complex than jealousy at play. The rabbit’s foot, the severed hand, the coinciding meteor shower—the deeper Dimpna and Detective Sargeant Cormac O’Brien investigate, the more ominous the signs seem to be, laced with a warning that Dimpna fears it will prove fatal to overlook.
Rosemary Simpson. Murder Wears a Hidden Face (Kensington, $27.00). CLICK TO ORDER
A diplomat’s murder draws heiress-turned-lawyer Prudence MacKenzie and former Pinkerton Geoffrey Hunter away from the opulent mansions of Gilded Age New York’s high society and into the dark heart of Chinatown . . .
February 1891: New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting an exhibition of Chinese art objects, timed to coincide with the arrival of a new Chinese cultural attaché, Lord Peng. Prudence and Geoffrey are invited to attend the opening ceremonies. But among the throng of dignitaries making their way through the galleries is one decidedly unwelcome and unexpected visitor—an assassin who stabs the attaché to death, then flees through Central Park.
As witnesses, Prudence and Geoffrey quickly become immersed in the case and join former New York detective Warren Lowry in investigating the murder. But there are complications. The Peng family will no longer enjoy diplomatic standing and is threatened by deportation and possible disgrace or execution in their homeland. Desperate to remain in the West, they flee into the labyrinth of Chinatown, enlisting the protection of a long-lost uncle, now the leader of one of the city’s most feared Tongs. But that alliance comes with a price; Peng’s son must become his uncle’s apprentice in crime, while his eldest daughter will be forced to marry a Tong leader she has never met.
With a killer still at large, bent on revenge for a long-ago injustice and determined to eliminate every member of the Peng family, Prudence and Geoffrey are plunged into the heart of a culture about which they know very little. Each foray into the narrow streets and alleyways of Chinatown could be their last.
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