Friday, May 4, 2012


There are mystery conferences in the air!

Just back from Malice Domestic in Bethesda, MD. It’s been about ten years since I last attended and while it’s changed in many ways – programming being the most obvious – it’s still the same for what counts. It’s a terrific way to network with other authors, mostly those writing lighter mysteries or cosies, and of course, a great place to meet readers!

The enthusiasm is at a very high level throughout, which explains why I’m dragging around since coming back. It’s a challenge to maintain that ‘conference high’ and keep going at full throttle for the entire weekend. But Malice Domestic is a well-oiled machine. It should be. The folks running it have been in training with previous conference committees, or may even be those doers and shakers, and that’s been going on since the late 1980’s.

We then, on our road trip of four Canadian authors, made our way to Oakmont, PA for the Festival of Mystery. About 50 invited authors got to schmooze at a tea at the library and meet those who love recommending books to readers. After that, we all trucked on over to a huge church hall. I’d been told there’d be a line-up stretching around the block of eager readers. And there it was. In the 27C weather. These keen fans paid to get in and buy books and have them signed by the authors who were all seated at signing tables.

What a thrill it was. And eager they were. This is organized every year by Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont and booksellers everywhere should be in awe.

So, that was our ten-hour-plus road trip. At the end of this month, we’re all heading to Toronto for the Arthur Ellis Awards Banquet on May 31st followed by Bloody Words, our own, Canadian mystery conference.

If you’re a mystery author and haven’t yet attended, I’m wondering why not? And if you’re a mystery reader and planning on attending, you’re in for a treat. Check out the website at if you dare!

Hope to see you there!

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase

Berkley Prime Crime, now available
READ & BURIED, coming Dec., 2012

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