Memories of Malice 2018

Five of the Wickeds and two of our accomplices attended the 30th Malice Domestic conference last weekend. Malice celebrates the traditional mystery, and we celebrate alongside hundreds of mystery fans and authors (although we sorely missed Liz and Jane joining us). Here are some of our highlights.

Sheila:  Ann Cleeves and Brenda Blethyn. Need I say more? Delightful and talented women who were gracious to the adoring throngs of fans. I asked and was told that “pet” is a term that applies to both men and women and is regularly used by Geordies (those who live in Northumberland, I understand).

Apart from the miles of walking from one end of the convention hotel to the other, everything went smoothly, and I saw many happy faces, and talked to more people than I can count.

Edith: So many highlights!  The core Wickeds started off with dinner together, minus Liz, alas.

WickedsDinner

Jessie and I found our Agatha-nominated books on the special table in the bookstore!

EdithJessieAgathaBooks

The Sisters in Crime breakfast is always a wonderful gathering. Those of us present from the Sprint Club – which Ramona DeFelice Long runs every morning – got a group shot in, too.  The sprints get me writing every morning at seven and I am grateful.

SprintClub

Sprint Leader Ramona DeFelice Long at far right.

The Kensington signing and book giveaway on Saturday was very popular, with an entire box of my books going in under an hour. I had a delightful crew at my banquet table that night, including the Wickeds’ agent, John Talbot, and a bunch of avid fans, plus Map Your Mystery blogger Christine Gentes (standing at far left).

Mybanquettable

Sunday was topped off by a fabulous interview between Catriona McPherson, Toastmaster, and Lori Rader-Day (who could do stand-up comedy if she wished), then the Agatha Tea. But I don’t want to monopolize the blog! Next?

Sherry: One of the highlights for me was introducing Dorothy Cannell and Marcia Adair at the Sisters in Crime Breakfast on Saturday morning. Every year a scholarship is given in Dorothy Cannell’s name to a member of the Guppy chapter of Sisters in Crime so that member can attend Malice Domestic. This year the winner was Marcia. I had a great time getting to know her during the conference. And as I said in my post yesterday it’s just about getting to hang out with members of the crime fiction community be they readers or writers.

Jessie: On Thursday I started out the weekend by spending the day with most of the Sleuths in Time for a plotting and chatting session. They are a fun group of women! Friday evening I had a great time at dinner with the Wickeds own Kim Gray and a host of other friends both old and new.  On Saturday I really loved signing books for some new readers at the Kensington book giveaway! I also had a wonderful time meeting some of the lovely ladies who have already read some of my work at the table I hosted for the Agatha banquet. They were a lively and fun group!

Barb: In the photo below I’m with two members of the Maine Crime Writers, Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett and Lea Wait/Cornelia Kidd. Bruce Robert Coffin and Maureen Milliken were also there, though I only saw Maureen once, passing in the long hallways.

Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett, Lea Wait/Cornelia Kidd, Barbara Ross. No, we did not coordinate our outfits!

I had loads of fun on my panel Murder at the Improv, making up a mystery on the fly from audience suggestions with Sheila Connolly, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Parnell Hall.

Murder at the Improv with Barbara Ross, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Sheila Connolly and Parnell Hall.

Julie: I am still exhausted from Malice! Favorite parts? Seeing folks, even in passing.  My panel with Sherry, Shari, and Leslie that Sherry talked about yesterday.  Barb and I hosting a really fun table of folks we didn’t know at the banquet. Seeing Catriona McPherson shine as the toastmaster. Edith and Jessie’s excellent panel (with Rhys Bowen, moderated by Harriet Sackler). Breakfast with Jacki York, who we first met when we carried her on a stick a few Malices back. Seeing Annette and Ramona, the sisters de Felice. Meeting people, as always. But the best part? Laughing. What a great group of folks at Malice. SO much laughing!

Malice going friends, what was your favorite part of the weekend?

Crime Bake On a Stick 2015

We have so much fun with our “Stick With The Wickeds” contests. This year’s winner was Mark Baker. Mark is an avid reader and reviewer of cozy mysteries and has a wonderful blog Carstairs Considers! So here are some pictures of Mark’s adventures.

Mark takes in the view from his hotel room. IMG_6071He spots Wickeds Liz Mugavero, Kim Gray, and Julie Hennrikus and stops to pose for a picture. IMG_6073Donna Andrews jokes around with Mark. IMG_6075Whoa, is that Dorothy Cannell? Mark rushes over for a photo op. IMG_6077Shawn Reilly Simmons, one of the new Level Best editors, stops to pose with Mark. IMG_6080Mark heads to a panel. IMG_6104After the panel Mark runs into Jungle Red Writers, Hallie Ephron, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Lucy Burdette.IMG_6108IMG_6103IMG_6120

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Authors Marni Graff and Leslie Budewitz greet Mark.IMG_6092

Mark meets debut authors Sherry Harris, Cheryl Hollon, and Michelle Dorsey.IMG_6141IMG_6137IMG_6101

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark takes a quick water break before heading back out to meet more people. IMG_6099Mark is happy to run into Wickeds Barbara Ross and Sheila Connolly.IMG_6096IMG_6087

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark rushes over to meet author Kate Flora. IMG_6131Then he spots author Peter Abrahams aka Spencer Quinn. (Let us say Peter was a bit startled by the fan on the stick but gamely posed for a picture, followed by a lovely conversation!) IMG_6109

Mark takes in another panel.

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After the panel Mark finds lots of people hanging out — first he runs into Wickeds Jessie Crockett and Liz Mugavero. IMG_6127Jessie and Liz are joined by G.M. Malliett, Edith Maxwell, and Ruth McCarty.

IMG_6139Soon Mark finds himself in a large group of writers and readers. IMG_6154

Mark goes to the new author panel.IMG_6133

It’s time for the banquet. Mark spots Toni L.P. Kelner with her husband Stephan Kelner and, of course, Sid.IMG_6156Next he finds Phryne Fisher (Edith Maxwell) and Hercule Poirot (Cheryl Hollon).IMG_6169After the banquet Mark poses for a picture with the Wickeds.IMG_6204After a wonderful time at Crime Bake, Mark needs a bit of rest. IMG_6221The next morning before heading back to Southern California Mark goes to Starbucks and meets Lily. IMG_6234IMG_6238

 

Readers: Do you have a favorite author fan (pun intended) moment? Is there an author you hope to meet some day?

Wickeds on a Stick at Bouchercon!

As we said on Wednesday, Jessie, Liz, and Barb couldn’t make it to Bouchercon this year, so the other Wickeds oh-so-graciously, took them on a stick.

Wickeds, what did Jessie, Liz, and Barb get up to at Bouchercon?

Answer: A lot! 

The Wickeds set off from Northern Virginia with Barb Goffman behind the wheel, Donna Andrews riding shotgun, and Shari Randall and Sherry Harris as backseat drivers.

Check out the rearview mirror!

Check out the rear view mirror!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shari Randall is happy the Wickeds are on our road trip.

Shari Randall is happy the Wickeds are on our road trip.

Art Taylor who is also from Northern Virginia is the first person the Wickeds run into after check in!

Art Taylor who is also from Northern Virginia is the first person the Wickeds run into after check in!

 

Dinner with reviewer and author Patti Phillips!

Dinner with reviewer and author Patti Phillips!

 

Walking the mean (okay really nice) streets of Raleigh and meet fan Karen Palmer.

Walking the mean (okay really nice) streets of Raleigh and meet fan Karen Palmer.

A beer and barbecue nachos hit the spot.

A beer and barbecue nachos hit the spot.

Lunch time for the Wickeds.

Lunch time for the Wickeds.

 

The Wickeds go to a panel moderated by Catronia McPherson and panelists Kaitlyn Dunnett and Leslie Budewitz.

The Wickeds go to a panel moderated by Catronia McPherson and panelists Kaitlyn Dunnett and Leslie Budewitz.

 

Authors Matthew Clemens and Catriona McPherson.

Authors Matthew Clemens and Catriona McPherson.

 

 

The Wickeds are always happy to see Hank Phillippi Ryan.

The Wickeds are always happy to see Hank Phillippi Ryan.

 

Liz, Barb, Jessie, and Sherry go to see how the silent auction for the Wicked items is going!

Liz, Barb, Jessie, and Sherry go to see how the silent auction for the Wicked items is going!

 

Reader Risa Rispoli and the Wickeds.

Reader Risa Rispoli and the Wickeds.

 

Toasting Julie Hennrikus's debut book Just Killing Time.

Toasting Julie Hennrikus’s debut book Just Killing Time.

Liz, Barb, and Jessie are so happy to run into Dorothy Cannell.

Liz, Barb, and Jessie are so happy to run into Dorothy Cannell.

 

Happy to run into authors Julie Hennrikus, Leslie Budewitz, Kathryn O'Sullivan, and Nancy Herriman!

Happy to run into authors Julie Hennrikus, Leslie Budewitz, Kathryn O’Sullivan, and Nancy Herriman!

 

A panel with debut author C. Michelle Dorsey. She talks about her book No Virgin Island.

A panel with debut author C. Michelle Dorsey. She talks about her book No Virgin Island.

Dinner with one editor and two thriller writers.

Dinner with one editor and two thriller writers.

Look! It's author Alan Orloff and his wife Janet.

Look! It’s author Alan Orloff and his wife Janet.

The Wickeds wouldn't miss Hank Phillippi Ryan moderating a panel.

The Wickeds wouldn’t miss Hank Phillippi Ryan moderating a panel.

 

Lunch -- more Southern ood! Grits, barbecue, charred carrots, and sweet potatoes!

Lunch — more Southern food! Grits, barbecue, charred carrots, and sweet potatoes!

 

New England authors Kate Flora, Kathy Lee Emerson, and Edith.

New England authors Kate Flora, Kathy Lee Emerson, and Edith.

Leslie Budewitz and Cheryl Hollon love Liz, Barb, and Jessie.

Leslie Budewitz and Cheryl Hollon love Liz, Barb, and Jessie.

 

Attending the panel Julie Hennrikus was on. Debra Goldstein was the moderator.

Attending the panel Julie Hennrikus was on. Debra Goldstein was the moderator.

The Wickeds once again run into Karen Palmer who they met the very first night. She won their basket at the silent auction!

The Wickeds once again run into Karen Palmer who they met the very first night. She won our basket at the silent auction!

They are really excited to see Molly Weston who is on the board of Sisters in Crime and does the wicked awesome newsletter.

They are really excited to see Molly Weston who is on the board of Sisters in Crime and does the wicked awesome newsletter.

 

And last but definitely not least they run into Sarah Glass the amazing webmaster for Sisters in Crime.

And last but definitely not least they run into Sarah Glass the amazing webmaster for Sisters in Crime.

 

 

 

 

All in all there was lots of food, friends and fun but Liz, Barb, and Jessie are wicked tired!

Readers: Do you have a favorite moment from a conference you attended?

Contest winner Jacki Goes to Malice

We have so much fun running our “Stick With The Wickeds” contests and then taking our winner with us to conferences. This time we took Jacki York to Malice where we all had a blast!

Dinner with the Wickeds and author Laura Bradford.

Dinner with the Wickeds and author Laura Bradford.

 

Jacki helps stuff the goody bags for Malice Go Round!

Jacki helps stuff the goody bags for Malice Go Round!

Jacki meets attendee Elaine Naiman.

Jacki meets attendee Elaine Naiman.

Jacki with blogger Dru Ann Love, Aimee Hix, and friends.

Jacki with blogger Dru Ann Love, Aimee Hix, and friends.

Jacki with Agatha nominee Lea Wait!

Jacki with Agatha nominee Lea Wait!

Jacki takes a break with Jessie Crockett. All that talking makes a girl thirsty.

Jacki takes a break with Jessie Crockett. All that talking makes a girl thirsty.

Jacki has a fan girl moment with Rhys Bowen and Dorthy Cannell!

Jacki has a fan girl moment with Rhys Bowen and Dorthy Cannell!

Donna Andrews is happy to meet fan Jacki!

Donna Andrews is happy to meet fan Jacki!

Hank, Edith and Susannah hang with Jacki at the New Author's Breakfast cheering Sherry on!

Hank, Edith and Susannah hang with Jacki at the New Author’s Breakfast cheering Sherry on!

Jackie enjoys breakfast!

Jackie enjoys breakfast!

Kate Flora, Liz and Jessie take Jacki to the banquet!

Kate Flora, Liz and Jessie take Jacki to the banquet!

The lovely Dorothy Cannell gets to meet Jacki!

The lovely Dorothy Cannell gets to meet Jacki!

Hallie Ephron and Lucy Burdette had a great time meeting Jacki.

Hallie Ephron and Lucy Burdette had a great time meeting Jacki.

Jacki at the Opening Ceremonies with Edith and Sherry.

Jacki at the Opening Ceremonies with Edith and Sherry.

Kiki the Lemur and Laura Morrigan do Malice Go Round with Jacki.

Kiki the Lemur and Laura Morrigan do Malice Go Round with Jacki.

Sherry, Julie and Jacki enjoy a quiet moment together.

Sherry, Julie and Jacki enjoy a quiet moment together.

Jacki was honored to meet Cynthia Kuhn, Malice grant winner. Julie introduced them.

Jacki was honored to meet Cynthia Kuhn, Malice grant winner. Julie introduced them.

Jacki meets reader Jan Kurtz.

Jacki meets reader Jan Kurtz.

Jackie hangs with Guppies Debra Goldstein and Marilyn Levinson.

Jackie hangs with Guppies Debra Goldstein and Marilyn Levinson.

 

 

 

 

 

"What a great night's sleep I had! Who do I get to meet next?"

“I’m beat! I loved going to Malice, but tomorrow is the last day, right?”

Favorite Malice Moments

Malice27We are very excited that Malice Domestic 2015 is just one week away, and it’s in its twenty-seventh year! So today we will share some of our favorite Malice moments — take it away, Wickeds.

Edith: Wow. So many favorite moments. I roomed with Sherry my first Malice, and stayed at her home the night before and the night after (watching the royal wedding on TIVO, I might add). I didn’t have a book out yet, but I loved being immersed in all those authors and all those fans! In 2013, I was a debut author with Speaking of Murder, and hosted a table at the New Authors’ Breakfast. What a treat to have Catriona McPherson at my table – Catriona wguppiesboasho had just won an Agatha award the night before. Afterwards she pulled me aside and said she also held a PhD in linguistics. Man, this debut author was SO delighted. Then last year at the Sisters in Crime breakfast, the number of Guppies present, most wearing boas, took two photographs to capture us all. But this year, being an Agatha nominee for Best Short Story? I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle the excitement! At least I’ll have my lifeboat with me – the other five core Wickeds and all three of our Accomplices, too.

Barb: My favorite Malice moment involves a core group of the Wickeds and accomplices. My first book, The Death of an Ambitious Woman, was published in hardcover by a small press. Of course, I was thrilled to be on a panel at Malice and to have a signing. HOWEVER, at the signing, I was seated next to Maggie Sefton, who had a line that trailed off the signing platform, down the stairs and out into the lobby. Some of the Wickeds–Sherry, Kim & Edith–loyally went through my signing line–even though they already had my book. Then, they took one look at me sitting all alone while Maggie Sefton signed and signed–and they went through my line again! And again!  Such loyalty. Such sisterhood.

Edith: Aw, total no brainer, Barb! And what goes around, comes around.

IMG_4737Julie: At the risk of being a sap, my favorite Malice moment was that I met Sherry Harris. I was at the banquet, and was the table host. Sherry was seated at my table. If you have had the pleasure of meeting Sherry, you know that she is one of the loveliest people around. She mentioned that she was moving to Massachusetts, I told her to join Sisters in Crime, and the rest is history. I have many wonderful Malice moments (it is a great conference), but I suspect that sitting at the banquet with Sherry this year will be another one–so happy for my friend, and her well deserved Agatha nomination for Best First.

IMG_2063Liz: Last year was my very first Malice (unless you count the prior year when I went on a stick) and all I remember is what a whirlwind it was! Kneading to Die was a best first Agatha nominee, so it was like induction by fire. All the Wickeds being there together was awesome and so much fun. Meeting some readers who are regulars on my Facebook page was very cool too. I can’t wait for this year!

IMG_4579Jessie: My favorite moment occurred last year when I was able to thank Dorothy Cannell for being so kind to me when I met her years earlier at an author event in Maine. I stepped up to the front of her book signing line to ask her to autograph her latest mystery and then managed to gather all my courage in two hands and choke out the news that I had written some books of my own. She was, of course, gracious, and  generously asked me to autograph one of my books for her. I was so touched! I think one of the very best things about the mystery community is how supportive and kind everyone is to each other.

IMG_4701Sherry: I went to my first Malice in 2003 so I have a lot of favorite moments! In 2004 I was checking in at the same time as an agent and she told me to send her my manuscript. I did and it was rejected but still… And who can forget the year Louis Farrakhan was staying at the same hotel! As Julie said our meeting was momentous and life changing for me in so many ways. I blogged about it when I talked about the importance of networking. I’ve met so many wonderful people at Malice and that is really the best part about going.  Last year I moderated my first panel — that was so much fun — thank you Barb Goffman for trusting me with the Here Comes the Corpse panel! It will seem as if my Malice life has come full circle having Julie next to me at the banquet this year. Being nominated for an Agatha Award is like the icing on the Malice cake for me.

Readers: Any favorite Malice moments of your own? How about questions on the order of, “What the heck is Malice? And what do you do there?”

Wicked Good Holiday Reads

The Wickeds are sharing what we’re reading this holiday season, whether holiday themed or an author or work we’ve been yearning to read. It’s not too late to grab one of these to give as a gift!

Edith: I just finished Catriona McPherson’s The Day She Died, and it’s still resonating. Nothing to do with holidays, but I’m looking at my own work in progress and trying to figurThe-Past-Came-Hunting_300e out how I can can deepen my characters and storytelling like she does. Then comes along Lucy Burdette’s new Death with All the Trimmings, which is actually holiday themed. And then I hope to catch up with the rest of the pile, which includes Donnell Bell’s The Past Came Hunting; the last chapter of Michael Pollan’s Cooked, which I never finished last year; and Sheila Connolly’s Under the Hill. And more!

OnceJulie: I am really looking forward to Cleo Coyle’s latest book, Once Upon A Grind. Reading her latest has become a holiday tradition for me. I also have a stack of cozy mysteries on my Kindle, waiting for quiet time over the holidays. Binge reading is one of my favorite holiday traditions.

IMG_2106HomicidalHolidaysSherry: I just finished reading Supreme Justice by Max Allan Collins and loved it! I’m almost done with the SinC Chesapeake Chapters Homicidal Holidays too. So I’ll be in that lovely ‘what to read next” place soon.

Jessie: I just finished reading The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. Wow! That was a great read! It was atmospheric, creepy and heart-tugging too. Next on my list is Murder at Mullings by Dorothy Cannell. I’ve been telling myself I can’t read it until I finish my shopping and wrapping. What a great incentive! And as soon as the holiday season is over I will treat myself to my annual reading of the Lucia books by E.F. Benson.

skeletoncrewjuliaglassBarb: I just finished Deborah Halber’s The Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America’s Coldest Cases, a non-fiction book about the dedicated volunteers who spend hours combing the internet to match John and Jane Doe remains with missing persons reports. They have had a remarkable degree of success, though it’s a sisyphean task given the millions of anonymous remains in coroner’s and medical examiner’s offices all over the country. As soon as a finished that, I started Julia Glass’ And the Dark and Sacred Night, a novel about a middle-aged man’s quest to discover who his father is. So far I am loving it.

Liz: Chiming in late, but I’m looking forward to finally reading The Drop by Dennis Lehane over these holidays. I’m a huge fan of anything he writes, and anticipate this one to be fabulous as well!

Readers: What are you reading in between wrapping and sipping eggnog?