Megan Abbott To Call In to Murder In The Afternoon Book Club Discussion of QUEENPIN

The Murder In The Afternoon Book Club meets the third Tuesday of each month at 2 pm on BookPeople’s third floor. Join us Tuesday, February 17, for a discussion of Queenpin, by Megan Abbott, who will join us via phone call during the discussion. 


Our Murder In The Afternoon Book Club will be talking to Megan Abbott, herself The Queenpin of Noir, about her novel Queenpinon February 17th at 2 pm on BookPeople’s third floor.

In 2007, Abbott made a splash with two books. One was the historical crime novel The Song Is You, based on the real-life 1940s disappearance of Hollywood starlet Jean Spangler. The other was her Edgar Award-winning Queenpin, a gritty and glittery expose of the mobster golden era, and our book club pick for February.

Challenging herself to write a book as quickly as possible, she did a gender switch on the mentor-protege crime novel. The narrator is a young nameless girl who cooks the books for a rundown lounge in a nameless gambling town. She’s taken out of her dead end life when Gloria Denton, a stunning older woman, walks into the place. Gloria, who has a legendary history with the town and the underworld, takes a shine to the girl. She teaches her how to dress, use men, and work the system, making her an Eliza Doolitle of femme fatales. It’s a dark heaven, until a man comes between them, risking the partnership to be damned to hell.

Under 200 pages, Queenpin packs a wallop. It’s a tight and tough with an uncompromising story and characters. Abbott’s prose style is swift, brutal, and beautiful. By changing the gender of the usual crime story, it takes an interesting look at age, beauty, and female relationships.

We’re happy to have Megan Abbott calling in to our discussion of Queenpin. We will meet at 2PM, Thursday, February 17th, on the BookPeople third floor. The book is 10% off for those who attend. Not only is Megan a great writer, she also one of the smartest minds in crime fiction. Bring earplugs or your brain might leak out of your head.

All books for BookPeople Book Clubs are 10% off during the month the club has selected the book. Learn more about BookPeople’s many book club opportunities. 

If you like James Ellroy…

As we close out the year, it’s time to take some time to give the fans of some of our favorite authors a few ideas about what to read next. This year, we start with James Ellroy, who stunned us all with his latest release, Perfidia. If you love Ellroy, here are some other books that MysteryPeople guarantees you’ll love sinking your teeth into.

the empty glassThe Empty Glass by J.I. Baker

A look at Marilyn Monroe’s death from the perspective of a county coroner certain of murder. One of the best uses of character point of view. Baker gives us a Hollywood at a period when its classic glamour was beginning to crack. An atmospheric, stylish, and downward spiral.


song is youThe Song Is You by Megan Abbott

Abbott uses the unsolved mystery of missing starlet Jean Spangler for a look at the underside of Fifties Hollywood and the treatment of women. Dark, disturbing, and beautiful.



ratlinesRatlines by Stuart Neville

As his country prepares for a visit from President Kennedy, an Irish investigator is asked to clear up the murder of a German immigrant as quickly as possible. His inquiry takes him down a violent rabbit hole of war criminals, the Mossad, money, politics, and the ratlines that helped Nazis find asylum in Ireland.

Hard Word Book Club Calls In the Queenpin of Noir

song is you
On Wednesday, May 28th at 7PM The Hard Word Book Club takes a look at one of the early works from Megan Abbott, The Song Is You. Using the real missing persons case of Jean Spangler from 1949, Megan is able to take this material and create a great, atmospheric and character-driven piece of historical noir.

Our guide is Gil Hopkins, a studio PR and fixer in postwar LA. In efforts to save a comedy duo from bad press, it is Hopkins who may have obstructed the Spangler investigation, and perhaps prevented the case from being solved. Two years later, he has to confront this sin (and a few others) as he is forced to look for Spangler. The trail to the end involves movie star Kirk Douglas, gangster Mickey Cohen, and Hopkin’s own past in this superbly written tale.

We’re excited to have Megan calling in to our discussion. Join us at 7PM on our third floor, Wednesday May 28th. Copies of the book are 10% off to those who attend. You can find The Song Is You on our shelves at BookPeople or via

Video Interview with Megan Abbott & Jo Nesbø

Coming up this Wednesday, April 30th, our Hard Word Book Club will be discussing Jo Nesbø’s The Redbreast  here at BookPeople. We’re also already looking forward to next month, on May 28th, when we’ll be talking about Megan Abbott’s The Song Is You.

In our excitement for these books, we found this interview from the Adelaide Writer’s Week back in 2012. It’s a great way to bone up for either of our book club meetings or simply learn more about these great authors.

Check it out here.