Tea Tonic and Toxin: Mystery and Thriller Podcast and Book Club

Psychological Thriller - The Father She Went to Find by Carter Wilson

Carter Wilson is the USA Today bestselling author of nine standalone psychological thrillers, including The Father She Went to Find. He is an ITV Thriller Award finalist, and a five-time winner of the Colorado Book Award. 

His writing career began on a spring day in 2003, when an exercise to ward off boredom during a continuing-education class evolved into a 400-page manuscript. Since that day, Carter has been constantly writing.

Carter hosts his own podcast, Making It Up. He interviews authors like S.A. Cosby, Daniel Handler, Stuart Turton, Xio Axelrod, and Julie Clark to talk shop and riff an original story line. The result is a charming, authentic peek into the writing process.

Carter lives outside Boulder, Colorado, in a Victorian house that is spooky but isn’t haunted … yet.

Carter Wilson - The Father She Went to Find 2

About The Father She Went to Find

The Father She Went to Find - Carter Wilson

“Fasten your seat belt. This is one wild ride.” ―Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Penny has never met anyone smarter than her. That’s par for the course when you’re a savant—one of less than one hundred in the world. But despite her photographic memory and super-powered intellect, there’s one mystery Penny’s never been able to solve: why did her father leave when she was in a coma at age seven, and where is he now?

On Penny’s twenty-first birthday, she receives a card in the mail from him, just as she has every year since he left. But this birthday card is different. For the first time ever, there’s a return address. And a goodbye.

Penny doesn’t know the world beyond her mother’s house and the special school she’s attended since her unusual abilities revealed themselves, but the mystery of her father’s disappearance becomes her new obsession. For the first time ever she decides to leave home, to break free of everything that has kept her safe, and use her gifts to answer the questions that have always eluded her. What Penny doesn’t realize is she might not be able to outsmart a world far more complicated and dangerous than she’d ever imagined …

Praise for The Father She Went to Find

“Wilson punches up Penny’s anything-can-happen adventures with a deadpan first-person narrative that pares its cast of characters to the absolute minimum and relies on sentences and paragraphs and chapters as short, and about as reassuring, as hiccups.
Fasten your seat belt. This is one wild ride.”
—Kirkus (Starred Review)

“It would be easy to lose heart in this terrifying, violent world, but Penny’s determination, intelligence, and ingenuity help her survive and find
answers—even if they’re not the ones she expected. It’s hard not to root for this unusual heroine in Wilson’s wonderfully original, offbeat story.”

“The Father She Went to Find is a blast! I loved Penny Bly, the genius who can remember every line of every book she’s ever read and the details of each meal she’s ever had. Not to mention, she has an amazing talent for creating portraits that reveal the inner nature of the person being drawn. Her journey across the country to find her missing father kept me reading throughout the night. A thriller with heart, amazing characters, and plot twists I didn’t see coming. A true page-turner, this book is a winner from one of our best crime novelists. I can’t recommend this great book enough!”
—David Heska Wanbli Weiden, award-winning author of Winter Counts

“Penny is a fascinating character who’s full of extremes: off-the-charts intelligent but completely clueless when it comes to the real world; desperate for love but pushing everyone away; longing for safety but causing mayhem with her single-minded pursuit of a plan-less goal. Get ready for a wild ride and a WHOA ending.”
—Henrietta Verma, First Clue

“Buckle up. Watch out. And don’t try to predict anything! The supremely talented Carter Wilson has crafted a uniquely unpredictable and absolutely immersive story starring one of the most fascinating characters you’ll ever meet. A Beautiful Mind takes a life-and-death road trip in this battle of wits, maze of psychological suspense, and heartbreaking family drama. I was riveted to every page.”
—Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author of One Wrong Word

“In his latest page-turning and deeply psychological novel, Carter has deftly crafted one of the most compelling and unique characters you’ll read this year. I was glued to every word!”
—Wendy Walker, bestselling author of What Remains

Carter “has done it again. The Father She Went to Find is off like a shot from page one, and it doesn’t let up. A road trip story with dizzying twists and turns, featuring a unique protagonist you won’t soon forget, this book will keep you up until you reach the last page!”
—Andrew DeYoung, author of The Temps and The Day He Never Came Home


  • Five-time Winner of the Colorado Book Award for Thrillers
  • Two-time Winner of the International Book Award for Mystery & Suspense
  • Winner of Foreword Reviews Book of the Year for Thriller & Suspense
  • Winner of the RONE Award for Thriller & Suspense
  • Winner of the National Indie Excellence Award for Suspense
  • Finalist for the MPIBA Reading the West Award
  • Finalist for the High Plains Multi-State Book Award
  • Finalist for the ITW Thriller Award

Share Your Thoughts About The Father She Went to Find

Tell us what you think, and we may share your thoughts in our next episode and send you a fabulous sticker! (It really is a pretty awesome sticker.)

About Tea, Tonic & Toxin

Tea, Tonic, and Toxin is a book club and podcast for people who love mysteries, thrillers, introspection, and good conversation. Each month, your hosts, Sarah Harrison and Carolyn Daughters, will discuss a game-changing mystery or thriller from the 19th and 20th centuries. Together, we’ll see firsthand how the genre evolved.

Along the way, we’ll entertain ideas, prospects, theories, doubts, and grudges, along with the occasional guest. And we hope to entertain you, dear friend. We want you to experience the joys of reading some of the best mysteries and thrillers ever written.

Tea, Tonic, and Toxin Book Club and Podcast - Mysteries and Thrillers

Teasers & Tidbits