Author Archive: John Charles

The Romance Writers of America 2002 Librarian of the Year, Charles has been reviewing romances for Booklist since 1999 and is the author of Romance Today: An A to Z Guide to Contemporary American Romance. After working for the Scottsdale Public Library System for 30 years, Charles retired and went to work for Scottsdale's independent bookstore the Poisoned Pen, where he still gets to push books but has to deal with far fewer computer questions.

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10 Questions for Jenn McKinlay
By September 15, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

10 Questions for Jenn McKinlay

New York Times-bestselling author Jenn McKinlay made her name writing cozy mysteries, including A Library Lover’s Mystery Series. Recently, she turned her attention back to romance. This spring, she published About a Dog, the first book in her Bluff Point Romance series, with Barking Up the Wrong Tree following quickly on its heels. We talked […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
The Ten Best Mystery and Suspense Films of All Time (According to One Critic, Anyway)

The Ten Best Mystery and Suspense Films of All Time (According to One Critic, Anyway)

Everybody loves a good top ten list—just ask David Letterman. But selecting only 10 of the best mystery and suspense films ever produced is quite a challenge. After all, I could easily have put at least five movies—if not more—by Alfred Hitchcock on the list, not to mention all those superb BBC and PBS mystery […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Meet Hard-Boiled Rule-Breaker, Bertha Cool

Meet Hard-Boiled Rule-Breaker, Bertha Cool

In the world of hard-boiled detective fiction, Bertha Cool was a revelation. Up until Bertha burst onto the literary scene, women in the mean-streets school of detective novels were given one of two roles to play in a story: Either they were some variation of the secretary with a heart of gold, or some version […]

Posted in: Books and Authors
Happily Ever After: Fairy-Tale Romance
By February 14, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

Happily Ever After: Fairy-Tale Romance

Fairy tales and myths have always been a popular source of inspiration. From television shows like Once Upon a Time and Grimm to movies like Enchanted, Tangled, and the latest adaptation of Cinderella, there’s something about the core elements of these stories that allows them to be easily updated or transformed. Romance novels in particular share […]

Forgotten Master of Romance: Joan Aiken Returns to Print
By September 13, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

Forgotten Master of Romance: Joan Aiken Returns to Print

Joan Aiken, who died in 2004, wrote more than 100 books over the course of her career. Today, she is best known and loved for her children’s novels, including the classic The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, which launched a series of popular and award-winning alternate history books set in nineteenth century England, in which the Stuarts […]

You Had Me at Historical: 19 Titles for Romance Fans

You Had Me at Historical: 19 Titles for Romance Fans

Those of us of a certain age might remember a series of commercials for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Here’s how they go: two people, one carrying an unwrapped bar of chocolate and the other person an open jar of peanut butter, bump into each other. The first person says, “You’ve got peanut butter in my […]

Posted in: Book Lists
My Love Affair with Reference Books
By September 10, 2015 0 Comments Read More →

My Love Affair with Reference Books

I Heart Reference Books. I have been working in public libraries for years, and I love helping connect readers with their next great book. Unfortunately, I have a condition that makes readers’ advisory a real challenge: book amnesia. Whenever someone asks for helping finding something good to read, the first thing that happens to me […]