Thursday, August 28, 2008

A quicky

Well I have to say the music may have been loud last night, but there sure weren't a lot of people on my street. I'm hoping it stays like that but we'll see.
And your panels are here!!

Read away, comment, as I mentioned it is our intent to update the list as needed in the month between now and the convention so I've set it up so that each day has it's own post and will let you all know, here on the main blog when/if there are any changes. I expect there will be a few.

Many thanks to my panel chairs the fabulous Judy B. and my own other half Jon J. You guys rock my world.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008


That's the sound outside of my window right now. There's also a whole lot of biker music blazing. Tonight I get to explore my parking lot which has been transformed into a music and beer venue for the official five days of the 105th Harley Davidson Anniversary. And the exploring will be done with very good company. Michael Koryta is here in town today, talking books with fans at Mystery One and we get to play for a bit after the signing.
Bouchercon is now all consuming and I will be laboring over Labor Day, available even during Barack's speech tomorrow night. If you need me, I'm here.

One of our favorite people and one of the genre's greatest scribes was on just about everybody's wish list to attend Bouchercon. It cannot come to pass and I know I'll miss him but he's going to be plenty busy here in the States and the folks at Little,Brown have been kind enough to share his itinerary with us. Ian Rankin is my favorite writer. And this October marks the end of one chapter of his writing career and the beginning of the next. EXIT MUSIC is the final book in his series featuring everyone's favorite police John Rebus. A bestseller across the globe, The American release is set for the last week in September. Although he's going to miss this Bouchercon he's been very supportive of it since the very beginning and is a true friend of every Bouchercon. So visit him along his travels if you can, buy the book,
and raise a glass in fond farewell to John Rebus, Siobhan, and the many characters he's created within this series.

Here's that list, contact the bookstores for more information

10/01: Washington, DC
07:30 PM
BORDERS BAILEYS CROSSROADS (#45) -- Reading / signing
5871 Crossroad Center Way, Baileys Crossroads, VA

10/02: Raleigh-Durham, NC
7:30 PM
QUAIL RIDGE BOOKS -- Formal Reading/Signing
3522 Wade Avenue Raleigh, NC 27607

10/03: Chicago, IL
07:00 PM
BORDERS #495 - LAGRANGE -- Reading / signing
1 N. La Grange Rd LaGrange, IL 60525

10/06: Seattle-Tacoma, WA
12:00 PM
117 Cherry Street Seattle, WA 98104

10/07: Portland, OR
7:00 PM
POWELL'S BOOKSTORE -- Formal reading/Signing
Cedar Hills Crossing 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd Beaverton, OR 97209

10/08: Houston, TX
06:30 PM
MURDER BY THE BOOK -- Reading / signing
2342 Bassinet Houston, TX 77005

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Whole Lotta Love

the pageantry. the glamor. the Summer Olympics everyone. And Baltimore's favorite 21st century son played a huge role in the success of these Olympics. As I watched the passing of the torch, from Beijing to London it hit home again. B-Con is 44 days away. Charmed to Death will soon make way for Indy just as Alaska made way for us. The memories of Bouchercon are an evolving entity, one that our membership propagates on a rotating schedule, both cities and populace. I'm Charmed that Dana, Dee and Bearly Alive came before us, and thrilled that Jim, Mike and Indy are coming next. I'm glad I've been a part of this history. Thrilled that you're coming, lets make the magic happen.
Off the blog for a couple of days while I attend to business,

From the Desk

I promised everyone pix and Jon's put up a few at Central Crime Zone .

And always the Helpful Héloise : Swifter Dusters over fingerprint dust are very effective, Simply use the swifter cloth first and finish up with one swipe with your favorite all purpose spray cleaner. New knowledge gained today,

Lunchtime Follies

From Ray Charles Everyone!!

Prithee, One, Two, Three, Four, Five,
Six, Seven,
Eight, Nine, Ten, Gadzooks, and
Prithee, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta,
Bend thy back, and pull in thy belta.
And by gums, by gees, by gollys,
Work ye out in ye Lunchtime Follies.

Instead of lunch-we get ye Lunchtime Follies.

This is station B-O-S-S
Teaching you to-

Yes! Yes! Yes!

I give you lunchtime relaxation
So you won't need a summer vacation.

Prithee, One, Two, Three, Four, Five,
Six, Seven,
Eight, Nine, Ten, Gadzooks, and Eleven.

Today the boogie-woogie has become a bugaboo.
We swing from swing to saccharine,

From saccharine to goo-
To the sentimental singer with a sentimental song.
Our monarch is a crooner and our king can do no wrong.

Eating part 2.....

So there are a lot of places close to the hotel but if em you'd like to get away from the convention for a bit......

Here are 2 for You:

The Lexington Market is located 4 blocks from the hotel. There's something for everyone in this chaotic and centralized market place including the Famous Faidley CrabCakes , consistently ranked "the best of" . one long time Baltimore Resident mentioned to me the other evening "Other's threaten to take the top spot but Faidley's prevails." If you're in a mixed group gather up everyone else's lunch first, finish up at Faidleys and when you all are done leave by the Faidley's exit. There are tables aplenty outside the Market on both sides of the street. when done head back to Fayette but not the hotel. Take a right and two blocks up you'll be at Westminster, where Mr. Poe is buried. The grave yard here celebrates it's most famous corpse but if you take the time to explore you'll find a myriad of American History. John Calhoun's grandfather is here and so is a family that tried for years to have a child..... I'll let you find the rest of the story..... I believe it will take more than the hour we've set aside for lunch but I can guarantee it's worth the time.

When I did breakfy the other day, someone inquired about the Hollywood Diner and it's only a short walk, but the Media Place for me has got to be Jimmy's Diner in Fell's Point. Where the cops on both Homicide and The Wire went to eat or grab coffee while talking Life on the Streets. I suggest the Jim Dandy. And here's your day planner at work. Take the walk to the Inner Harbour and grab the Water Taxi over to Fell's Point. For nine dollars a day you can get anyplace on the water by these boats (not suggested in bad weather). Stop at Jimmy's, drift up the two blocks to Mystery Loves Company. Kathy Harig is offering a discount to everyone who shops her store during the convention, just have your badge. Peruse the shelves and pet the cats and head on back. Maybe coffee at the Daily Grind, maybe a drink in the bar owned by Meldrick, Bayliss and Munch, a pic in front of the "Police Station" and back to Charmed to Death.

so again two from me to you,


Private Eyes, They're Watching You

The Location of the Annual Shamus Awards is always one of my favorite surprises and this year Marthayn has outdone herself. Westminster Hall . How cool to celebrate the PI just above where the man himself rest in purpituity. Of course if Randisi has his way old Edgar A might just put in an appearance.

The best part?

PWA Shamus Award Banquet open to the public (hurry, space is limited)

PWA SHAMUS AWARDS BANQUET will be held on Oct. 10th. 6:30 pm cocktails, 7 pm dinner, 8:15 awards ceremony. Tickets are $60 each. No entry without ticket, no tickets sold after Oct. 1 or at the door. Location: Westminster Hall in Baltimore, MD--final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, who we will try to raise from the dead for a reading. There will be a complimentary tour of the catacombs beneath the church as well as the burying ground after the ceremony.

For tickets send check or money order made out to PWA, Christine Matthews, P.O. Box 202, Clarksville, Mo 63336.

For more info or questions email

And in case you've been under a rock the nominees for this year's awards:

Best Hardcover

Head Games by Thomas B. Cavanagh (St. Martins Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books), featuring Mike Garrity.

Soul Patch by Reed Farrel Coleman (Bleak House Books), featuring Moe Prager.

The Color of Blood by Declan Hughes (William Morrow), featuring Ed Loy.

A Welcome Grave by Michael Koryta (St. Martins Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books), featuring Lincoln Perry.

A Killer’s Kiss by William Lashner (William Morrow), featuring Victor Carl.

Best Paperback Original

Songs of Innocence by Richard Aleas (Hard Case) featuring John Blake.

Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong (Bantam) featuring Nadia Stafford.

Stone Rain by Linwood Barclay (Bantam) featuring Zack Walker.

Deadly Beloved by Max Allan Collins (Hard Case) featuring Ms. Michael Tree.

Blood of Paradise by David Corbett (Mortalis/Ballantine) featuring Jude McManus.

Best First Novel

The Cleaner by Brett Battles (Delacorte), featuring Jonathan Quinn.

Keep It Real by Bill Bryan (Bleak House Books), featuring Ted Collins.

Big City, Bad Blood by Sean Chercover (William Morrow), featuring Ray Dudgeon.

When One Man Dies by Dave White (Three Rivers Press), featuring Jackson Donne.

The Last Striptease by Michael Wiley (St. Martins/Thomas Dunne Books), featuring Joe Kozmarski.

Best Short Story

"Kill the Cat" by Loren D. Estleman, DETROIT NOIR (Akashic), featuring Amos Walker.

"Trust Me" by Loren D. Estleman, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, June 2007, featuring Amos Walker.

"Open Mike" by James Nolan, NEW ORLEANS NOIR (Akashic), featuring Vincent Panarello.

“Hungry Enough" by Cornelia Read, A Hell of a Woman (Busted Flush Press), featuring Philip.

"Room for Improvement" by Marilyn Todd, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Dec. 2007, featuring Lois Hepburn.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Homer's Food Song

"i like pizza
i like bagels
i like hotdogs with mustard and beer
i'll eat eggplant
i could even eat a baby deer
who's that baby deer on the lawn there?!"

This is the Yumm blog and will be split into 3 parts.

I mentioned pizza earlier in the week, and while It was quite tasty, this week was our week to eat like kings and queens. I'm going to start with breakfast since for many of us it needs to be quick and filling, for some it can be leisurely and a time to plan the days events.

Breakfast in America

The food at Shula II is good but not exceptional except, I'm told for the fans of eggs benedict. Their Breakfast menu also features a dish that is hollandaise with crab, for the more adventurous amongst us. Breakfast opens at 6:30 Thursday and Friday and at 7:00 Saturday and Sunday. Room Service is also available. Full breakfast runs about 15.00 per and a liter bite 8.00 to 10.00.
At the sister hotel,The Radisson Lord Baltimore they have the irreplaceable breakfast buffet, located on the lowest level at 14.95. It's filling , quite good and blissfully fast or slow as you need it to be. Opened at 6:00 a.m daily.For those of you staying on the concierge level of either hotel there is of course the ever present continental breakfast

For people willing to shop, visit Lexington Market and stock up on fresh fruit and Berger's bakery (five block walk). Caribou Coffee (two blocks down) and Starbucks (in the Radisson) are both accessible as well. Sadly, I've yet to find a decent cup of tea nearby. Suggestions, locals?
Newly installed just around the corner from the hotel is the Parthenon Diner. We didn't make it into this tempting venue on this trip but the prices are great and Baltimore's City Paper gives it high marks. Open 24 hours. That's the ticket.

There are several other restaurants not too far away including dunkin donuts and mickey ds ( I refuse to give them capital letters). David and Dad's on Charles gets my vote every time for breakfast and lunch, it's a half mile up hill, a bracing early morning walk, food and a full day of panels. What could be better?

Since You Ask........

Jon Jordan recommends Gina's Cafe. Located on the corner of Calvert and Fayette, just turn right at the door until you get there for breakfast by the pound or a la carte. Only available Thursday and Friday, Jon says if you sign up here he'll join you on Friday at 7:00 a.m. Watching my husband eat by the pound is an experience not to be missed and this may allow him one decent meal over the convention's four days. And there truly is everything on the menu!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Friday Street

Paul Weller everyone

Minds alive! On Friday Street
Summerflys around my feet
And wee still stars
Are in my eyes
And mine's alive on Friday Street
A pulse goes on, on Friday Street
Time seems longer against its beat
And it's easy to remember
And it's hard to forget
That mine's alive on Friday Street
Yeh! Mine's still alive on Friday Street
We're home!! I love Baltimore.

I'm really getting excited now. That Thursday morning is getting so close I feel it in my bones. I really hope that this year's Bouchercon is for everyone attending exactly like grabbing a rainbow. We all know that the company will be great, so come expecting to touch at least one.

So a week of meetings, glimpses of Baltimore. It's all coming together. The space has been charted, there are so many folks looking forward to this just in the two hotels. Sales people are sales people first, but both the team at the Sheraton and Radisson have made this easy. The man who runs the gift shop asked if it would be okay for him to bring books from home to have signed. Evyette in the dining room wants to meet Laura Lippman and Agatha Christie. The bellmen want to suggest their favorite restaurants.

I have a couple of notes meant to be informative to the folks attending, so this blog may run a little long and not be all that entertaining, but I promise to follow up with something a little more fun.
And being that I'm on the road I cannot connect to our large community through e-mail means also if you're a member of Dorothy L, 4MA, any of those wonderful blogs out there or our own facebook page & bulletin boards and you can pass along the link to this page I'd really appreciate it.

If you are somebody who's planning on attending but have yet to book a room the room block at both hotels' is full and our room rate is no longer available at the Sheraton, but as luck would have it, there are vacations going on at the Radisson so, if you hurry you may squeeze in before they shut their convention rate down. I imagine they'll cut it off no later than Monday (possibly before) so dial quickly.

I have also been asked by attendees to guarantee the quality of other hotels in the vicinity. I'm sorry, but there are only three I've been fortunate enough to enter in my various stays over the past four years. The Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace is right on the water, a seven block walk or a four dollar cab fare. Years ago it was the Renaissance who although they could not accommodate our meeting space needs worked with me to make sure I had what I needed to present a viable bid. Their roomrate is steep, 359 for 2 adults on today. Four blocks from the Sheraton is the Day's Inn Inner Harbor. The building is nice and the walk is short and for Baltimore, level. Their rate today on is 146. There's also a Holiday Inn that's a quick walk with current rates of 198 to 230 a night. I know some of you will book other rooms, farther out, and while my experiences with light rail, buses and the train have all been good (I love the rail from BWI, it's fast and you're let off a block from either of our hotels) I cannot guarantee that the transport of your choice will run on time. I've found it kind of amusing that some folks have asked for that guarantee, if only I had the power. There are links on the blog for many of the transports schedules and you can google everything, beyond that my powers fail.

Authors and others planning on contributing to the silent auction, our team would love to hear from you so they can begin to finalize the plans for both the silent and live auction. I cannot wait for everyone to see the Calvert Ballroom. It is a glorious space.

Most Potential Panelists should be hearing from the panel chairs by end of weekend.



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Up Up and Away

Did you know Baltimore was the site of the first hot air balloon ride?

the first wave arrived in Baltimore last night. As we made our way to the hotel the Orioles-Red Sox game was just getting out. I mentioned to my cab mates that this was the first trip where the team was at home and I was disappointed not to be able to go. So we're going tonight!! My treat. This is too cool, an unexpected bonus. Buying tickets for this series on game day means nose bleed territory but that's okay, I think it's the same section where Munch caught the Yankee Fan dead body so long ago on Homicide.

Highly recommended for late night munchies while you're here. Michelangelo's Pizza. We fed and watered all four of us (Pizza Supreme 16" and Spicy Wings {10 piece} + six pack of soda for $30.00). The pizza was Chicago/New York quality, very garlicy, and had just the right amount of grease, the wings spicy and cooked through. And the wait? 25 minutes. Yummm

Off to work now, for you, our people

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fresh off the Press

When World's Collide

For the full story go here

This is an excerpt from Newsarama's exclusive interview with Karen Berger, head of the new Vertigo Crime Line. Strangely, Baltimore is known for Berger Cookies.

KB: Vertigo has a lot of great writers and great stories, and Brian's association with the work he's done for Vertigo is very much in urban crime fiction. So when Vertigo Crime was coming together, we thought "why not go out with our most popular comics writer?"

NRAMA: Hey, you get my seal of approval. Let's take out our binoculars and look to the horizon – what's on the horizon for future Vertigo Crime books? You've mentioned that you've already got several in the pipeline.

KB: We've bought a bunch of material and we'll be announcing a pretty full slate at BoucherCon in Baltimore this October. As I mentioned earlier, there's an array of comics writers and fiction writers in the mix. Some people who're well known and some people who aren't. There's a good mixture of different talent. A majority of material is set in the present time, but there may be one or two period pieces representing.

Wonder who we'll be hearing from next........

On The Road Again

So this afternoon we're on a plane to Baltimore,
The final pre Bouchercon walk through. I'm feeling a bit sad, realizing that there's only one more visit after this week's and knowing that it will probably be years before I visit again. Still, I'm glad you all will be sharing Baltimore with me. It's a wonderful city with many distinctive neighborhoods , diverse culture still available, and all the comforts of yuppiedom to be found. So I'm bringing my camera with and will try and take pictures for everyone. It's summer in Baltimore and the weathermen say sunny for all four days. So I hope we'll all get some great shots of Charm City to share with you..

The picture in today's blog is a shot of Baltimore after the 1904 fire which crippled the city .For a dab further of the City's history start here
I'm off to do the 101 things you do before taking a trip. Soon the cats see the suitcases and all hell will break out at our house.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Moment

On Murderati today:

My two cents. At the D.C. Bouchercon I was a shiny eyed fan and newlywed. Despite the truly bizarre feelings we all experienced during that convention because of the events of 9/11 the solidarity amazed me. Even more so, when on Saturday morning I received a phone call from Richmond VA. My Grandfather had died and my Grandmother needed me. to say I was a mess doesn't begin to cover it. And when things like this happen and you're muddling through, the last thing you want is everybody knowing what's going on. I'm not a person who can take heart felt condolences from well meaning acquaintances without bursting into tears. So by the end of the day there were some who knew what was going on but by no means was it common knowledge.
I soldiered on through the Anthony Awards, tried to be my happy self, but heaven help the people who met me that day. They've no idea of my own true self. Those who did know and who helped me out, making travel arrangements (thanks Charles), spiriting me off for a quiet cigarette, keeping Jon company while I bubbled in the bath, or made sure I had a view of the Yankee/Diamondback game that night. They are special people. And the thing is, within the Bouchercon community, I believe any individual would be a caregiver and probably has been if they've been to more than one Bouchercon. It's why we keep coming back and welcome new people into our fold every year. It's why we covet these four days every year. It's why many of you who I see only once every year are extended family to me. And it's why that old chestnut "Judge no people....." always applies.
In the Naked Bouchercon there are 2000 stories. Mine is just one of them.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

way down in the hole.

First things first. Thursday's panel assignments are being e-mailed to the prospective panelists. Judy and Jon will be finalizing each day before sending out assignments for the next. The plan is that by doing it this way if someone has forgotten to mention availability problems they will then be able replace the individual and hopefully find another time slot for the person who is unavailable. This is Bouchercon and the pool of potential panelists is mind boggling to me. I'm glad I delegated this job. With 90 time slots and 450 people asking to be on a panel there's a lot of integers before they can get to the final equation. So if you hear that somebody has received a panel assignment and are wondering where yours is do not fret. Also note that certain folks will be asked to be on more than one. So you may not be done yet even if you have received a request. These two people are doing a great job. They can also be harsh when need be....... I was the first person to sign up for Bouchercon, I'm available all four days, actually had fiction published last year as well as helping with Crimespree and writing a couple of non Crimespree pieces and for the first time in five years the panel chairs informed me that I don't get a panel. I had no say at all, I was simply struck off of the list. Of course I did put them in charge of panels. They may have me on their s*#t list.

That said and leading into my final paragraph some folks have been very good to us. For the past several years, beginning in Austin, Mark Billingham, John Connolly, Laura Lippman and Karin Slaughter have delighted everyone on what has become one of the membership's favorite panels. In Toronto, Ian Rankin was with them. This year the wonderful Chris Mooney is participating. When you ask? 8:30 on Friday morning. That's right a panel featuring two of our guests of honor and five of our favorite people will be held first thing in the morning. When asked, all of the panelists just said, "whatever you need!". Bless you, everyone. "Would I Lie To You" Friday morning at 8:30 am.

Last Sunday, I spent the afternoon on the phone with one of my favorite people. Mark Billingham and I were plotting out opening ceremonies and the Anthony Awards. The great thing about doing this over the phone rather than through e-mail was feeding off of his enthusiasm. When you don't see people for awhile you forget why you love them. So Sunday was a refresher course for me in Billingham 101. Mark is in the middle of a killer tour for the new book, IN THE DARK. The book is out now in the U.K. and will come out here in the U.S. the week before B-Con. IN THE DARK is Mark's first Stand Alone Novel. While many of you will certainly miss your yearly fix of Tom Thorne do not miss this book. The plot is full of the twists and turns that thriller readers love while the characterizations within the novel encapsulate the realism of the noirest of books. That one of the most real and charming people I know can go to places this bleak and horrifying is a conundrum of our community. The fact that all of you, like myself, equate evil and murder with entertainment is another story, one we can mull over together in Baltimore.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Robert Rosenwald & Barbara Peters are being honored for their foray into publishing this year. In 2004 Poisoned Pen Press was strong and their formula seemingly obvious (publish books you want to read). In the intervening years many small presses have gone and some have arrived. All have made contributions to the genre. None, more so then this team from Scotsdale. That they do it while also having their finger in every other pie continues to amaze me. Yesterday I was thinking to myself, "Wow, what made you so certain PPP would still be in existence, with the turnover in small presses?" I then laughed at myself, it's the people running the press. While Robert handles most of the business, Barbara works with the authors. It's a winning combination.
So today, if you're of a mind visit the pair and the body of work they've managed to put together for we, the readers at Poisoned Pen Press.
And may I suggest you also visit Barbara's interview with "Continuing Contribution to the Genre" recipient, Lawrence Block. Amongst other talents, lady gives great interview.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

On the Lighter Side

So one of the chores on my to do list was going to the bank. Our neighborhood branch is is a beautiful building. If they ever decided to move out I think I'd try and talk Jon into buying it , I'm not sure if the standing safe would be the library or the bedroom but it has the advantage over our place of skylights and no steps. I digress. This missive is actually about the power of Mystery in our everyday lives.
I pulled into the parking lot and every space was full. I scooted into the ally with my Ford Ranger and alas, neighbors had parked that area up to. Everyone, it seems was banking. So I did something I rarely do and beelined for the business line. and then....... just ahead...... A young, very attractive man, in hot topic pants and a Hanes wife-beater. The gentleman had tats running up and down both arms (beautifully done, must have cost a fortune). There were three tellers helping him. My go mode is effectively stopped at this point and I settle in for a wait. I'm trying to respect his privacy so I concentrate on the tats. As I run to the top of his bicep I'm distracted(and no, not that). There's a scar right at the top of his spine. It looks like a healed over bullet wound.
For the next several minutes multiple scenarios run through my mind, the same ones that would run through all of yours. The best though was when the teller counted out several thousand dollars inn hundred dollar bills. Enough to make my eyes go blurry. He promptly put that money in the pocket of his oversized hot topic pants, thanked the tellers apologized to me for the wait and went on his merry way.
Mystery, it's not just a convention, or a book, sometimes it's what gets you through long lines and periods of waiting.
I know there was a story there but I'm thinking it isn't nearly as nefarious as any of the ones I came up with,

Monday, August 11, 2008

Of Volunteering

Hi All,

I sent out a mass e-mail just now to the folks who had expressed interest in volunteering for Charmed. Not many bounced but some did. So I thought I'd also put the note up on the blog, and share with the membership. Perhaps you wanted to volunteer and don't any longer, perhaps you weren't sure but would like to help now.... And if you're a member whose e-mail has changed since you regestered perhaps you might drop me a line.

For your consideration. As always if you'd like to be in touch email me at .

I loves the internets!!!

Hello Everyone,

Happy Monday ! Bouchercon is now two months away. So while Mike Phelps kicks butt in China Judy and I are working on Bouchercon.

You are getting this email because when you signed on for Bouchercon you generously agreed to Volunteer. Thankyou!

Question one for you, David and Cindy have asked me to reach out and find volunteers to help them with both the live and silent auction. If you are willing to help with either or both please get back to me. The live auction would entail setting up and whatever manner of running the auction chairs need to make all go smoothly. Your time commitment would be from about 6:30 Friday night to the end of auction. Our action chairs are very well organized and your help would be greatly appreciated. The silent auction needs a body of volunteers to man the tables in the dealer room, Running from 9:00 a.m. on Thursday the 9th until 12:00 noon on Sat the 11th. if you'd be willing to take a shift or two please let me know and I'll pass on your offer to the chairs

Question two. If you live near enough to Baltimore to make the trip downtown for a meeting the committee would love to meet up with you on Tuesday August 19th in a location to be determined. We will not meet in the hotel this time as they have a convention going on the first part of the week so we're thinking someplace fun. Perhaps in Fell's Point, an area I've fallen in love with over the last four years. If you could let me know by Wed the 13th I'll make arrangements.

Question three. While we are waiting for the panel blocks to be posted before we ask you to make a time commitment, if you are ready to make that commitment now please do e-mail with preferred jobs and times.

I've a list below. You'll note that the bag stuffing is not on here yet, Michael Dymmoch will be doing this for us.

Registration Desk- We will have the desk open from Wed through to the Anthony Award Banquet. Heavy Staffing is necessary on both Thursday and Friday due to the High holidays,

Room monitors- two hour time blocks with responsibility for one room, making sure water on the Dias, temperature and audio working properly and placards are positioned. also timekeeper for the moderator. making sure the panelists get to the signing area quickly and without fuss.

"Red Shirts" - we'll need folks for this one who'll be there from Wed on as you'll have to do a walk-through of the hotel. This position was suggested by Beth Tindall, you will be the folks who between panels are in the hallways and can answer questions for members about where things are, which room what panel is in, where's the dealer room, is the sky blue. And if you don't have the answer you'll have both Judy's and my number and we'll find an answer for that person. We will probably not go with red shirts but will have something to make you stand out in the crowd.

For the techies:

We will be blogging at the con and While I'm donating my laptop (since I've been doing the blog and have the simplest access) I need a group of people who blog and can help the folks who don't. So if you're willing to put in some time in the hospitality room please let me know.

Please let me know if you prefer not to receive further e-mails and I'll take you off of this list.

This e-mail comes to you from me due to an Indiana Tornado. Please note that my co-chair Judy fully intends to co-ordinate all volunteer schedules but because of time constraints re the auction and Baltimore meeting I am sending this e-mail. Of course both of us are available to and thank you for everything you’re doing and will do to make this convention a success.


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Getting Ready For the Show!!

Hi Everyone...

We're getting ready to bring you panel information in the most effective way possible. So I created another blog. We hope that this blog will allow everyone a first look at panels as the times and participants are determined and that in the event of changes you will have timely updates.

The first post is the official announcement of a project close to our heart. I am a Milwaukee Girl, Gal, Lady..... whatever your moniker of choice may be, but the Pratt Library system has been special to me for many years. Not only is the wonderful Kathy of Mystery Loves Company is a former employee but many years ago I was able to meet her partner in crime(books), Paige Rose. Paige was a beautiful, kind and passionate apostle for our favorite genre. She inspired writers, impassioned readers and with wicked wit had every argument about the viability of the Crime Novel covered in just a few sentences. She's gone to us but never forgotten. I do not step into Baltimore without thinking of her immediately. If this year's convention had a Ghost of Honor it would certainly be Paige. I'm quite certain she would quietly correct me and declare Spirit to be a much better title.

So Click on the title link... create a new book mark or read below

The Pratt Library has been an asset to Baltimore since the 1800s. One of the most respected Library Systems in the U.S. it continues in it's quest to make books, film, and glorious slices of American History available to every citizen in its community. This made the Pratt an obvious choice as Bouchercon 2008's main Charity.

Bouchercon and the Pratt got together for another project as well. On Saturday, October 11th there will be a series of authors' panels at several of the Pratt's branches to introduce the community of Baltimore to the membership of Bouchercon. Author Ann Cleeves will be visiting the Pratt as well on Wed. October 8th. Details to come.

We thank our members who are participating and we welcome the people of Baltimore to a little slice of Bouchercon- Charmed to Death

Roland Park Branch
5108 Roland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21210

11:00 a.m. Saturday Oct. 11th

Discuss Femme Noir with four of Mystery’s finest Dames. McKenna Jordan of Murder By The Book in Houston will moderate authors Val McDermid, Lauren Henderson, Vicki Hendricks and Megan Abbott in a talk about mystery with a female point of view.

Southeast Anchor Library
3601 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21224

11:00 a.m Saturday Oct. 11th

In Conversation: Join authors Heather Graham and Alexandra Sokoloff in a discussion on life, books and mystery. These two ladies have a lot to talk about and you are invited to listen in.

Govans Branch
5714 Bellona Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21212

2:00 pm Saturday Oct. 11th

Authors Ken Bruen, Alafair Burke, Sean Chercover and Lee Child will be interrogated on all things mysterious by their peer Marcus Sakey

Orleans Street Branch
1303 Orleans Street
Baltimore, MD 21231

2:00 p.m. Saturday Oct. 11th

Author Laurie King moderates a panel on Mystery with fellow scribes Frankie Bailey, Charlaine Harris, Gary Phillips and Cara Black.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

When the Weather Gods Step In

Hi All,
Well the good news is that Judy, her husband, and all the cats are fine. The bad news is they are now going into day three with no power. Storms ripped through Indiana the other night and as Judy sat on her computer finalizing the panel grids she heard a sprinkle and then a true downpour. There was a sharp noise (the transformer behind her house), and then there was blackness. A noise on the roof. Sometimes things come up. In this case trees fell down. On the roof. blocking the driveway and the front door.
Wednesday brought the sound of chainsaws to the Munster community, and cleanup continues. Judy and her neighbors have all been pitching in together. No electricity until tomorrow p.m earliest, which means panel placement is on hold until the power comes up. We hope the delay will prove to be a short one once we're up and running. Judy promises photos of home when possible, for now you can see a bit of the storm here

If you've tried to e-mail either Judy or in the last few days and have a situation that needs to be immediately addressed please feel free to e-mail me at ruth at We'll get you sorted asap.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Monday Clean Up

I've a few memos I'd like to share with the membership. Just odds and ends.

*** author's and distinguished guests: about those author bios and photos. We've mailed, blogged and posted. We've e-mailed. The deadline is long past. If your bio and or photo has not been received by jon at crimespreemag dot com. tomorrow 12:00 p.m. central daylight time, you will not be included in the bio section of the program book.

If you're still on the fence about coming, I really hope you do. Every day I get registrations, fans who've never been before and are looking forward to it. Friends who I'd given up on but really should have known better (Hi Barry, I love you too, Chris). And the folks I've always wanted to but have never had the chance to meet. It's pretty cool getting my mail these days.

About those registration updates:
They're coming about twice a week now. Please don't panic if you register on Tuesday and aren't on the list Thursday. It may take up to a week.

As we move closer to the convention people are running into conflicting commitments. We totally understand, I even threatened to cancel a few weeks back when I found out one of my favorite entertainers will be coming to Milwaukee on Oct. 11th . We will honor all requests for refund until Sept. 1st. If you find after that date that you need to withdraw, let us know

For the two hundred + people who've offered to volunteer for this year's convention. Thanks for staying in touch if you have. And do not think you're off the hook if you haven't. We will be in touch as soon as the preliminary panel list is up on the web. We don't want you missing your favorites on their panels and already have a very nice grid set up so that once we've gotten started you should be able to pack your itinerary around shifts that work for you.

The music in my player right now is the Foo Fighters but I think it may be a Coltrane Evening. (too much information?)

Finally, I have to give a cyber hug to all of my guests of honor. It's your party and you've all been there for us; suggestions, encouragement & good will to spare. You've given me memories to last a lifetime already and we haven't even gathered in Baltimore yet.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Spirits to Consider on the Weekend


Where: The Renaissance St. Louis Grand Room Rate: $ 161 for a single

When: Thursday,September 15th through Sunday, September 18th

Your Hosts:

McKenna Jordan from Murder By The Book
David Thompson of Busted Flush Press
Jon Jordan of Crimespree Magazine

Pictured to the left with the beginnings of the committee during our site visit to St Louis.
This was taken at the site of the World's Fair and on of the largest City parks in the country.


American: Robert Crais & Charlaine Harris
International: Colin Cotterill & Val McDermid
Life Time Achievement : Sara Paretsky
Fan Guest of Honor: Kate Stine and Brian Skupin
all brought together by Toastmaster Ridley Pearson

In the last ten years downtown St. Louis has gone through a rebirth: the mixture of nightlife, museums, history and right now will make St. Louis a remembered convention. With eclectic neighborhoods within cab distance and the arch just five blocks away we're excited to be proposing this venue. The hotel will accommodate all of the conventions needs, from a generously proportioned Dealer's room to the personalized bedding in your rooms.

Cool Cooler Coolest

Kitchen K
Wasabi Sushi Bar

Morgan Street Brewery
The Dubliner
Flamingo Bowl

Local Bookstores

Double Down
Casino Queen
President Casino
Lumiere Place

We thank our partner The St. Louis Area Convention and Visitor's Commission and hope you'll explore the many options St. Louis has to offer.

Registration Rates and more will be announced during the official bid proposal 12:30 p.m. at the Bouchercon General Business Meeting on Oct. 10th 2008 in Baltimore Md.

Jon and David and McKenna would like to thank Ruth for putting this post together.