HALLIE EPHRON: The Reds panel at this year's Bouchercon last weekend -- another game show -- packed the house and laughter rang to the rafters. My only regret was that I wasn't there to enjoy the hilarity and watch my fellow Reds nimbly come up with definitions to fool the audience.
Over to you, ladies! Please, tell us the highlights...
RHYS BOWEN: The first thing I can tell you is that the audience was super smart and really knew their mysteries. They didn't blink at the real name of John Le Carre or that Harriet Welch was really Harriet the spy. And this in spite of the fact that our Red team were really convincing liars.
Well, actually they didn't believe Hank's definition of the word ABSQUATULATE. And the more she tried to explain it, the more than audience howled with laughter.
I think the only time we really fooled them was with the definition of the word CALLIPYGION...which really does mean having great buns, a shapely rear end.
The only disappointing part of the weekend was that Julia and Hank didn't win the Anthony, but I don't think they were unduly surprised. Kent Kruger's book was truly spectacular.
I thought it was a terrific Bouchercon and was pleased to see so many old friends there. Especially mega stars like Lee Child who don't have to come to these things but still choose to connect to the mystery community.
And I've come away super-fit as my hotel was half a mile from the convention site. I forgot the books I needed one day and had to put in an extra mile's walk.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Yes, it's hard to feel bad about losing out to a book like ORDINARY GRACE. However, at the Anthony Awards reception, I did manage to flip the bird to the two writers who have swept their respective categories this year: Kent Krueger and Daniel Stashower.
The best part of Bcon is always seeing old friends: Cara Black, Terri Bischoff, John Maddox Roberts and his wife Beth, Jessie Chandler and her partner Becky, Tim O'Mara -- and meeting new ones: Julia Dahl, Mette Ivie Harrison, Ellen Byron, Lauren-whose-last-name-I-forgot... way too many to recount.
The best for me? Reconnecting with my dear friend Denise Hamilton, whom I hadn't seen in person in many years.
I didn't talk with as many folks as I usually do because Ross and I brought Youngest on this trip, and we stayed at the amazing Queen Mary Hotel. It was perfect for a trio of history buffs. Ross and Youngest roamed all over the ship, she and I took the Princess Diana tour (which was as much about the royal family from King George V on as it was about Diana) we ate at the Promenade Cafe and had cocktails in the Art Deco Bar with Vicki Doudera and her husband Ed. And while our stateroom walls were thin, and the lighting was either period-authentic-dim or fluorescent, the view could not be beat.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Yeah, and there's a certain calm to the certain knowledge that it's fabulous to be nominated but know that there is no way that anyone but Kent Krueger is going to win. It makes attending the awards ceremony less stressful--in a "looking at the bright side" kind of way.
Bouchercon is so overwhelming--and there's no way to see everyone. My highlights were hanging out with Meg Gardiner, and Linwood Barclay, and Sue Grafton, and Kim Fay and Michael Sears and Clare O'Donohue. And so many more.
I was the Bouchercon auctioneer with the always-droll Simon Wood and raised a total of $10,000 for charity. I was part of the Women Kill at Mystery Panel, an array of 60 authors (men and women) each of whom got to recommend a book by an unknown or unsung author. I moderated Kick Ass Women which included Meg and my fellow SinC pres Laura DiSilverio. (And Sue Grafton was in the audience of our panel!).
Les Blatt moderated a really good panel on journalists as authors--and that was a fun one to participate in. The Sisters in Crime breakfast allowed me to chat with Sara Paretsky! And the SinC Forensics day (with the amazing Jan Burke) taught me about Locard's Principle and serial-killing nurses.
And of course, the amazing Jungle Reds Balderdash event, where people believed my story that David More Cornwell was the real name of Linwood Barclay. And I really fooled them with my definition of deuteragonist. Yay, Reds.
All in all, an amazing and EXHAUSTING event.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Last chiming in here--still recovering! But it was a fab Bouchercon. Well organized, relaxed, and oh, did I mention it was WARM in Long Beach????
I always have fun at Bouchercon but this one was truly super. One of the many highlights was meeting so many wonderful debut authors: my buddy Karin Salvalaggio (that does exactly count as meeting, but it was HER first B'con...), M.P. (Martha) Cooley, Julia Dahl, Glen Erik Hamilton, and Leslie Budewitz. The future is bright, I guarantee.
And of course, our brilliant (if we say so ourselves!) Jungle Red version of Balderdash! Next time we will have to try harder to fool the audience--but then I think the audience really liked winning. I only wish Lucy, Hallie, and Susan had been there to share the fun. Next year???
HALLIE: Here's peek at what we missed. What's the right definition for...
Deuteragonist?Debs: Someone who reads the Bible intensely
Hank: The second most important person in a book
Julia: From the same root as Deuteronomy, meaning someone who focuses on numbers
Julia: Another word for flashback
Hank: The medical term for the body's reaction to arsenic poisoning
Debs: The use of two of ellipses in one sentence
BUT BUT BUT... Hank, dying to know, what was your definition of ABSQUATULATE?