From the Booking Desk:

Yesterday, I posted my recap of the first few days of Bouchercon.  Now, let’s take a look at the weekend itself.

Saturday –

The morning started with another time-keeping session for me. This time it was the Teen Angst panel. Joelle Charbonneau guided several YA authors through a discussion covering everything from age appropriateness to genre distinctions. Cara Brookins talked about bridging between Middle Grade, YA , and adult writing. Janie Chodosh and Margaux Froley talked about their YA female protagonists and their life situations. And Owen Laukkanen talked about how he thinks his YA debut, How to Win at High School pushes more boundries than his adult work. Having read Owen’s new book (coming out next year under the pen name Owen Matthews), I tend to agree.

Bloody Murder

This panel was followed by what was probably my most favorite event at not only this year’s Bouchercon, but in my history of Bouchercons. The title of the panel was Bloody Murder (Voices from the Margins). Born out of necessity from a last minute scheduling change, Sara Paretsky and Charlaine Harris gathered together a huge group of writers (male/female, gay/straight, black/white, native/foreign) who sat before the audience in single row of chairs. One by one, they stood to name the title and author of one or two books they felt was unjustly underappreciated. Even this panoramic picture (above) can not to justice to the epic nature of this moment. The love and celebration of diverse literature was strongly felt in that room and I would be lying if I said I didn’t find myself emotional several times during the announcement of participants and the works they wished to champion.

It would have been difficult for any panel to compete with the previous one, but I ended up attending In the Wars. This panel was about crime fiction set in and around the various wars. David Magayna did the best he could with the moderating assignment.  I will say that he had a tough job, as keeping those authors on track was not an easy thing to do. As always, I enjoyed hearing what Charles Todd had to contribute and I discovered Carola Dunn, an author I have not yet read, but hope to in the future. The other panelists were Aileen Baron, J. Robert Janes and John Sandrolini.


Going to the Jungle Red Writers panel has become a bit of a tradition with me. I was happy to end the day with this delightful group of authors. Less represented this year than others, the Jungle Reds on the panel were Rhys Bowen, Deborah Crombie, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Julia Spencer-Fleming. Thes played a version of Balderdash with the audience. While I was impressed with what we in the audience knew, I have to agree with Hank when she said it was a bit unfair, given the volume of people in the room. They were never going to stump “most” of the audience. That, however, was not the point. We laughed, we laughed some more, and many folks went home with books written by these genre celebrities.

Saturday evening the Anthony Awards were presented. Congratulations to all the winners. Some of my favorites won, some of them did not. All of the nominees were worthy choices, so it was hard to go wrong. In the end, what mattered was the everyone had a good time at the ceremony and we were able to celebrate the success of crime writing


Sunday –

Not everyone is up to attending panels by the time we reach Sunday. But I wasn’t about to miss the Sleuths at Every Age panel. Janet Dawson is a skilled moderator and Becky Masterman’s Rage Against the Dying was one of my favorite books of last year (*see above where I said not all my favorites won Anthony Awards), so I wanted to hear what insight I could gain from listening to this group of authors speak. It was a true delight and I now want to read the geezer-lit of Mike Befeler, the debut novel from Allen Eskens, and some of the classic works of Thomas Perry – not to mention the second novel by Becky Masterman, Fear The Darkness – an ARC of which was waiting at home for me.

I wrapped up my panel going for Bouchercon 2014 with another Ali Karim moderated panel. This time it was Mind Games and his panelists were: Patricia Gussin, Andrew Kaufman, Dennis Palumbo, Wendy Webb, and Mary Vensel White. Lots of talking about psychopaths, great movies, classic novels and reading like a roller coaster commenced. It was a perfect panel on which to end the weekend.

From the Booking Desk:

That wraps up my recounting of my time at Bouchercon 2014 – Murder at the Beach.  I can’t stress enough how incredible this conference is and I encourage all those who are interested to register for a future Bouchercon.  The organization has some great locations coming up in the next few years: Raleigh, New Orleans, Toronto, and St. Petersburg.  Hope to see you there!