Wednesday, April 6, 2011


It's no lie!

A few years ago, this crazy idea for a panel at mystery conferences was hatched. They called it The Liars' Panel and I laughed, and shelled out, through several renditions at Bloody Words and Left Coast Crime.

If you've never been in the audience, here's how it goes. The panel -- all mystery authors, known and respected (that's a key word), each take turns telling a short story involving themselves. At the end of it, those doubting Thomases in the audience shout out "Liar", thus challenging the author to 'fess up. If it is indeed the truth, the accuser must put some money in the pot. If it's a lie and the author is caught out, it's that author who pays up.

The money at the end of the session is donated to a worthy cause.

The Ladies' Killing Circle did a version of that at a fundraiser we were headlining last fall. We invited a few people, well-known in that community, to tell their tales. At the end of the evening, many laughs were shared and a nice donation was added to the fundraising event.

It just goes to show, it's often hard to spot a liar.

But the crime writers were onto a good thing. And now, others are following. CBC Radio 2, on Julie Nesrallah's Tempo program, is holding a Two Truths & A Lie contest. Noted conductor Yannik Nezet-Seguin reads out three statements about himself. The listener is invited to decide which is the false statement and send in their answers. It's a great promotion, both for Yannik and for the program. No one has to pay up though but there are prizes -- CD's, of course! This is their second go at this contest. The first featured violinist James Ehnes.

So, my point? How wonderful that the crime writing community has led the way! The idea could have been going around the entertainment scene for years, but let's take the credit, shall we? Now, wouldn't it be nice if one of these media types would acknowledge the crime writing community and our version of it?

So, told any good lies lately?

Linda Wiken
writing as Erika Chase
the Mystery Book Club series coming April, 2012
from Berkley Prime Crime


  1. A fib a day keeps the doctor away!
    What? Oh.


  2. As I recall those nice United Church people lied like a rug. And all in a good cause.

  3. 3 words for you, MJ - hot air balloon. ;-)