Quality young adult mystery novels

The Poisoned Pencil is a young adult mystery publisher committed to publishing original, high-quality mystery books for teens and adults. Founded in 2012, the Pencil is an imprint of Poisoned Pen Press – one of the largest publishers of mysteries in the country. We hope to be known as one of the top young adult mystery publishers.

Robert Rosenwald, publisher of the Poisoned Pencil, says the following about how the Pencil (which he refers to as his pipe dream) came into existence:

“When I mentioned my pipe dream to Ellen Larson, with whom I had become online friends in a group of independent mystery publishers that I helped found years before, she immediately pleaded that if I ever pursued it she wanted to be involved. That was about seven years ago, when I met Ellen for the first time at a dinner in Boston.

“In 2011 I decided it was time. After contacting Ellen to see if she would be interested in being editor-in-chief and help launch our young adult imprint, The Poisoned Pencil, to which she readily agreed, she and our then-publisher at Poisoned Pen Press, Jessica Tribble, began the search for our first titles.”

The Poisoned Pencil is particularly interested in works with off-beat approaches young adults can really feel connected to and narrative choices that reflect the complexity and ambiguity of today’s world. Read More >


Robert Rosenwald is the publisher of The Poisoned Pencil as well as its parent company, Poisoned Pen Press. Indeed, he formed the Poisoned Pencil with wife Barbara G. Peters in 1998. Read More >

Ellen Larson has been editing full time for over 25 years. For much of that time she has been a freelance substantive editor for a long list of clients. During her 15 years living in Cairo, Egypt, she worked as a publications specialist for three major USAID projects, the World Bank, FAO, and the CGIAR consortium. Read More >