I was very pleased to have seen Elizabeth Peters at the 2012 Malice Domestic convention.  I’d read her books for decades, so it was a thrill to see her and enjoy her humor.

Thank you to her for all the hours of adventure and laughter.

Mystery writer Barbara Mertz dies at 85

Barbara Mertz, a best-selling mystery writer who wrote dozens of novels under two pen names, has died. She was 85.

Mertz died Thursday morning at her home, in Frederick, Md., her daughter Elizabeth told her publisher HarperCollins.

One of her books is also my nominee for Best Title:  Naked Once More. If you haven’t yet met Jacqueline Kirby, you’re missing something.

While looking for something about which I’ve completely forgotten, I clicked over to the Malice Domestic website and saw that the featured guests have already been added for next year’s convention.

[please insert squeal]   [and insert the erasure from my mind whatever I was looking for when I clicked]

Peter Robinson!!

Elizabeth Peters this year and Peter Robinson next year?  I may just lie down and be happy ’til then.

I often moan about no longer living in Europe, which was home for 20 of my adult years, but being able to attend Malice without flying in a plane almost makes up for the homesickness.

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.