introducing readers to writers since 1995

April 28, 2005

Sorta Like Watching the Detectives

by Ron Hogan

When I got to the 60th anniversary celebration for the Mystery Writers of America, held at the quite fab New York Yacht Club, I kept an eye out for Laura Lippmann, as she's one of the handful of mystery writers I knew reasonably well. (If fellow bookblogger Sarah Weinman had been on hand, she could have guided me through the crowd, but she's unavoidably absent--but she's still got the best roundup of the week's events.) So Laura made sure to introduce me to Dave Walker, then I spotted Alafair Burke and waved her over to say hi, because I've been trying to line up a coffee date with her and Michele Martinez, because I figure you get two former prosecuting attorneys turned crime writers around a table and they're bound to say something entertaining, right? So look for that in mid-May...

The MWA folks (hi, Margery! hi, Carla! thanks for letting me in!) had set up some musical entertainment for the evening: a recital of songs from the murder-themed musicals Something's Afoot and City of Angels (no Nick and Nora, alas). They also auctioned off an autographed print of Gahan Wilson's illustration for this year's program cover, though I missed how much it went for. Ace publicist Shannon Byrne of Little, Brown caught my arm and made sure that I said hello to Michael Connelly, another writer I'd only spoken to over the phone, and filled me in on the novel he's got coming out this fall. I chatted briefly with Chris Freeburn, who told me about some of the great school programs her regional chapter of MWA takes part in, and then at the end of the evening, Michele made sure I met up with Twist Phelan and C.J. Carpenter...who's still looking for a publisher for her first novel, but the word on the street is that she's going to be "the female John Sanford," so if any of you editors reading this are ready to get in on the ground floor...

Mind you, I may be a bit biased in that endorsement, since C.J. invited me and Con Lehane to meet up with Jason Starr and Reed Coleman for drinks as soon as the party was over. (Jason and Reed were coming from the Nevermores party at Partners & Crime, and said it was a blast, the anniversary bash had cut into the usual standing-room-only crowd for the bookstore's mock awards show.) Being a literary crowd, we ended up at the Algonquin, which meant we got to see Karen Akers signing autographs in the lobby after her cabaret show ended. I stuuck around for a martini and some of Reed's stories of horrible mystery conference panels he has known, and then decided I'd better call it a night.

If you enjoy this blog,
your PayPal donation
can contribute towards its ongoing publication.