Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Malice Domestic 2011
I just got back from Malice Domestic. It's a big conference in the Washington DC area for readers and writers of the traditional mystery, á la Agatha Christie. I caught up with friends, met Louise Penny and told her about my connection with Quebec (where her series is set), listened to wisdom from the gracious and funny Sue Grafton (A is for Alibi, T is for Tresspass, and so on), and got turned on to lots of new books.
The Agatha awards were bestowed on several excellent writers, including Louise Penny for Best Novel and fellow Guppie Avery Aames for Best First Novel. Other Guppies and brilliant writers lost out, however, including my friends Hank Phillippi Ryan and Sheila Connolly. It was a little odd to realize it's really a popularity contest - the conference attendees vote on a slate of 5 for each award. Mind you, this does NOT mean the winner is not deserving. Just that it's not an impartially juried award. Each winner, besides being able to add "Agatha Winner" to her resume, receives a wonderful black Agatha teapot. Here's Hank with her teapot for Best Short Story 2009.
It was fun to attend the closing ceremony, which was a full afternoon tea, complete with finger sandwiches, scones, and clotted cream. But I'm not sure I'll go back until I, too, have a book to promote.