April 2012


Although the mystery convention, Malice Domestic, has been around for 24 years, this is the first time I’ve attended.  Despite being a life-long mystery reader (I count my early reading of Rupert the Bear stories because Rupert always had some kind of mysterious problem to solve in each story), our family had left Maryland by the time the convention was founded and were in Europe.  After we moved back to America, kids and caring for my (late) mom took up our time.  I must say that although I’ve missed all Malices up ’til now, my experience hasn’t been ruined by waiting.

Today, for instance, I not only saw Elizabeth Peters (!!!) roasted (in the most honorable way), but she kindly signed books and I briefly spoke with her.

Watching a local friend, Linda Rodriguez, moderate the panel “Have gun, will travel:  Mysteries set out West,” with authors  Greg LillyCasey DanielsAnne Hillerman and Robert Kresge, added a cherry to the banana-split-thrill of seeing Ms. Peters.

On an everyday level, I’m tickled that Dodie R., a former coworker of my husband from our years in Germany, is a devoted Malice attendee.  She and her friend Mary A. have kept me company during more than one meal.

To say I’m happy to be here may not be on the level of “I enjoy breathing oxygen,” but it’s the most fun, barring grandkids, I’ve had in a long time — I voted for the Agatha awards!   I’m tickled.

Rhys Bowen, author of the books about Lady Georgiana Rannoch and Molly Murphy, poses a question about the entitlement felt by readers because of authors who give away full-length books online.

Giving it away, Rhys’s Pieces

A secondary concern is the amount of “rubbish” available, but the main concern is the expectation from readers that writers will work for free.