For decades in Germany, while reading Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, I would read about Bouchercon, a mystery convention first held in 1970.  Being able to attend such a convention was one reason I’d have preferred living in the U.S., but on Army pay with varying numbers of kids, I doubt that would have been in the cards at the time.

Finally, I’m here, and it is wonderful.  In the panel discussions, I know some of the in-jokes about older mysteries (for me, an in-joke consists of an established author saying the name of an older author/detective, the audience giving a small gasp of recognition, and then everyone giggling), and I know many, but not all, of the newer authors/detectives.  I’ll have to read more.

The hotel here in St. Louis is marvelous — I feel like Eloise in the Plaza when we order our room service breakfast — and the lobby is gorgeous.

The crowd is friendly, if a little distant because I don’t know anyone.  I have seen a few DorothyL listmembers with their pins, but usually only in passing because they’re on the up-escalator while I’m riding down.  I did stop to talk with a couple from Iowa, whose names I didn’t get because I was wearing the wrong bifocals and their name tags were just out of focus for either my upper lens or lower lens.  Still, we chatted like old friends.  I hope we pass each other again.

I know some members of the Border Crimes chapter of Sisters in Crime are here, but we don’t have pins, or shirts, or hats, so finding them will be a trick.

The crowd in the hallway — please forgive the less-than-wonderful pasted-panorama which I’m still figuring out the ‘background’ for.

Bookseller area — much more impressive, and busier-looking, than this paste-together image.

I’m so enjoying my first mystery convention, and I have my fingers crossed it isn’t my only one.  Thanks to the mystery community for putting on such a get-together.