No matter what author or celebrity you're interested in, chances are really good that he or she will visit the valley at some point within a year. Since we're interested in books and authors, we enjoy going to book readings from time to time.
This past Thursday we headed for Scottsdale's Poisoned Pen Bookstore (http://www.poisonedpen.com/) to hear Kathy Reichs talk about her books, including the latest - Bones to Ashes. Since this is her tenth book, store owner Barbara Peters turned this visit into a celebration, complete with rum cake for everyone! Dr. Reichs discussed each of her previous books and talked about how each plot was suggested by something she encountered in her work as a forensic anthropologist. She also shared some insights into the television series Bones, which is inspired by Dr. Reichs.
Poisoned Pen Bookstore is the largest mystery bookstore in North America, and hosts several authors each month. When we arrived in the valley three years ago, one of the first things we did was attend a reading by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, who talked about their new children's book, Peter and the Starcatchers. I got to see one of my favorite humorists and stand dumbstruck before him in the booksigning line (I could barely tell him my name). We also were introduced to a mystery writer we had not ever read. Now my husband, my younger daughter, and I count Ridley Pearson among our favorite mystery writers.
Poisoned Pen also runs its own publishing company, Poisoned Pen Press (http://www.poisonedpenpress.com/), which I discovered while wandering the shelves of a local library. I picked up a copy of Desert Wives by Betty Webb and was hooked. I learned a lot about the polygamist sects living on the Arizona strip between Arizona and Utah, and was thoroughly entertained. At the Kathy Reichs reading, Barbara Peters mentioned that there'll be a new Betty Webb book coming out soon, on yet another controversial topic. I can hardly wait!