Friday, August 31, 2018

The Poisoned Pen Bookstore

Bookstore: The Poisoned Pen Bookstore

Location: Scottsdale, Arizona

The Official Patter: "The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, founded in 1989 by Barbara G. Peters, is an independent bookstore specializing in fiction. Discover with us current and classic works of mystery, thrillers, historical and literary fiction, and literature of the American Southwest, much of it offered in Autographed First Editions and imports. Located in Old Town Scottsdale’s Art District, The Pen is celebrated for its schedule of author and literary events and its global outreach through webcasts and worldwide shipping. The Poisoned Pen hosted the Left Coast Crime Conference in 1995 and most years hosts a themed mystery conference of its own in Scottsdale."

Why I Love Them: I actually first learned about The Poisoned Pen, not for their bookstore, but for their publishing imprint, Poisoned Pen Press. They are literally "one of the largest publishers of hardcover mysteries in the world." All my Phryne Fisher books have that memorable pen nib logo on the spine. They are also champions of re-publishing long-lost mystery classics with gorgeous covers worthy of old British Tube and Train advertising. And as for learning about their bookstore? Well, if you follow historical fiction authors or mystery authors it won't be long until you hear about The Poisoned Pen. It literally seems that on each book tour this store, more than anywhere else, is the must stop spot. 

Best Buy: With so many historical fiction authors swinging through their doors it should be no surprise that many of my Lauren Willig signed first editions came from them. Thus it was a little hard to choose a favorite, because how can you choose your favorite child? But I did try, and at the moment my best buy is the sixth Pink Carnation book, The Betrayal of the Blood Lily. Maybe I chose it because the heat of India reminds me of the heat of Arizona? Who knows, I'm a fickle creature. But I have to warn you that if you plan to order from them I have found them not to be the most organized of stores. I think because they host so many events with so many authors and guests in attendance their customer service with regards to those orders placed online aren't given the priority they deserve. Yes, I do think that the customer who shows up in the store deserves the most service, because there is nothing ruder than bothering to show up and having the staff give priority to phone calls... it's just that they need to find some kind of happy medium. I just have this feeling whenever I have dealt with them that they have too much on their plate and I'll be lucky if I get what I ordered. Though interestingly enough the one major problem I had with a book I got from them wasn't their fault at all. I had ordered a copy of Lauren's eleventh Pink Carnation book, The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, and thought when it arrived it looked shorter than her other books. Well, that was because it was somehow missing a hundred pages! I almost wish I had kept this oddity... but even if I had it still wouldn't have been my best buy...


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