I didn’t win a chance to do Malice-Go-Round on Friday morning—when pairs of authors go from table to table, to speak very briefly about their latest book or books. But Saturday morning I was on a panel with Erika Chase, Kate Carlisle, and Kylie Logan, which was wonderfully moderated by Becky Hutchison. Out subject was “Murder By the Book: Book-Themed Mysteries.” I got to talk about my latest mystery, Murder a la Christie, the discussions my book club characters have about Agatha Christie novels, and the parallels between my novel and some Christie novels.
The best part of the weekend for me was catching up with friends, writers I’m in constant touch with via email, listservs, and Facebook. In some cases, I was finally able to meet them in the flesh for the first time, people I’ve known “electronically” for years and years.
Going out Friday night for dinner with ten friends, old and new, was a highlight for me. Every year I’ve been to Malice I’ve gone out with Th
eresa Inge and her pals. This year I brought along a slew of my own. The hotel recommended a restaurant a few blocks away, and it was a winner. The food with great, the conversation nonstop.
There’s no way I can speak about Malice without mentioning the Guppies. This group of supposedly unpublished mystery writers has grown. I believe we’re over 500 strong. The thing about the Guppies is that even after members are published, they rarely leave the group. And so it was that two Guppies won an Agatha, as announced at Saturday night’s banquet: Leslie Budewitz for Best First Novel and Hank Phillippi Ryan for Best Novel.
I’m honored to be part of my mystery writers’ world. My fellow mystery writers are from all over the country and have held all sorts of jobs and positions. Some still work at their "day jobs," as they write their books. Among my friends are a rabbi, a retired judge, a retired member of the navy. And Saturday afternoon I had a long chat with a former nun. All wonderful, vibrant people who share my passion for writing mysteries.