Last night I enjoyed a literary salon at the home of fellow historical novelist Judith Starkson. She hosted me and two other mystery authors, my friends Elizabeth Gunn and Susan Cummins Miller, both from Tucson. Judith lives up in the hills above Ahwatukee in a gorgeous house, and the both the setting and the company could not be beaten. We had a good crowd, very engaged readers. On top of which Judith laid out a spread for us that was worthy of a top rated caterer–which she made with her own two hands. I hope Judith has started a tradition.
Next up on the agenda is Malice Domestic this coming weekend, May 3-5. Malice is a very large mystery writer and mystery fan conference that takes place every year in Bethesda, MD.
Established in 1989, Malice Domestic® is an annual “fun fan” convention in metropolitan Washington, D.C., saluting the traditional mystery—books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie.
The genre is loosely defined as mysteries which contain no explicit sex or excessive gore or violence.
It is sponsored by Sisters in Crime, an international organization of women crime writers. This year the guest of honor is novelist Laurie King, the international guest of honor is Peter Robinson, and the toastmaster is Laura Lippman. I’ve never been to Malice before, since: a) it’s always in Bethesda, which is quite a schlepp for me; and, b) my better half keeps getting ill and messing up my travel plans (not to mention his own). But this year Don has apparently scheduled his various health crisis to occur around my events, because it looks like he’ll be able to live without me for the four days I’ll be gone. I really want to be there this year, because my dear friend Carolyn Hart is being honored with the Amelia Award for a lifetime of contributions to the mystery community. And I don’t want to miss that, because believe me, I am definitely one member of the mystery community to whom she has greatly contributed.
I’ll be leaving out at a gawdawful hour on Friday morning and arriving in DC late in the afternoon. Traveling east is not for the fainthearted. I do get to attend the Agatha Awards banquet on Saturday night and the Sisters in Crime breakfast on Saturday morning, then I’ll be doing a panel on Sunday about mysteries which deal with social issues. Then Sunday night I get to go to dinner with my lovely friends Carolyn, Eve Sandstrom (JoAnna Carl), and Hannah Dennison. Delightful.
I’ll be back Monday afternoon, and after seeing how well Don got along without me, I’ll probably sleep for a week. Then nose back to the grindstone, because I’ve got 100 pages of the next Alafair due to my editor by the first of June.