Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Your Bouchercon Concierge

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Hi, ya'll, I'm Debs, and although Bouchercon 19 in Dallas doesn't officially begin until Thursday, I thought, it being my city, that I would give you a head start.

First, we've had what we call a Blue Norther, so if you haven't already packed, add some sweaters. It's cold, and will be raining through Thursday.

Second, the Hyatt Regency has great views and a huge bar, but it is offset from the rest of downtown so restaurants and other attractions outside the hotel are not easily walkable. Uber or Lyft are the best options, are very reasonable, and very available.

Now, for food! Here are some restaurant suggestions.

The Henry 
Near the Perot Museum, casual American eclectic, nice atmosphere.

Flora Street Cafe
Near the Dallas Museum of Art. Chef Stephen Pyles is a big name in Texas dining.

  This is a gorgeous restaurant! (I would not call it a gastropub!) In Klyde Warren Park, across from the DMA and the Arts District, it's one of the highlights of eating downtown.

North Italia Near The Henry, casual Italian, gets good reviews, and not quite as expensive as some of the other options. 

Homewood For the foodies among us. New restaurant from our biggest star Dallas chef. Absolutely amazing food, but comfortable atmosphere. Just a bit north of downtown, should be just a few minutes Uber ride.

Wolfgang Puck Five-Sixty
Wolfgang Puck restaurant in Reunion Tower, next to the hotel. I haven't eaten here, but my daughter has and says it's very good. She also says if you want to see the view from the tower, you're better off having a drink in the bar than paying for the observation deck. (And it's cold. Did I mention that?)

Mesomaya Downtown Mexican food. I haven't eaten here but it's really well-reviewed.

Fun bar and restaurant in the old Woolworth building. Good food, fabulous smoking tequila drink!

Here are More good suggestions from Eater.
  Also, anything in Bishop Arts (lots of suggestions in the Bon Appetit issue), West Village, Uptown, or Deep Ellum will be very doable by Uber from downtown.

Now, if you want to catch up with the REDS at the conference, here are our schedules, all in one convenient spot!



9:30 GOH interview by Lucy Burdette

2:30 Jungle Reds game panel

7:00 Harper Limited Book Giveaway and signing,


9:30 MWA Table signing, 9:30


9:30 Show Me the Evidence panel

1:00Three Goddesses panel, with Rhys Bowen and Caroline Todd

2:00-4:00 Librarian’s Tea (introducing the Royal Chef)



SinC into Great Writing workshop


2:30 Thursday, Jungle Reds panel


11:00 Moderator History panel

1:00 Goddesses chat  

Librarians Tea 2-4 Saturday

Presenter at Anthony Awards Saturday evening.



2:30  Jungle Reds Panel



11:00 Moderate WAYS TO KILL panel (Tori Eldridge, Tracey S. Phillips, Ingrid Thoft, Carl Vondereau, and SG Wong)

2:30 Jungle Reds game show panel

7:00 Book signing/limited givewaway for HarperCollins in Landmark D


9:30 Signing with Jungle Reds at the MWA table in the bookroom


7:00 Speed dating

1:00 Interview Elizabeth George



 8:00 Guest of Honor introductions, receiving GOH award

11:00 am  Interviewing James Patterson

2:30 Jungle Reds panel

3:30 signing

6:00 pm Opening Ceremonies

7:30 SINC breakfast

REDS signing? Is this when it is?

11:00 Emcee of the The Bill Crider Awards

2:00  Signing for Forge Books 


 9:30 AM .  Hank's GOH interview-- Interviewed by Lisa Unger

10:30 signing

2:00 Librarians Tea  Opening speaker 

4:30 signing after the Tea

PM Anthony Awards


930: Interview Deb!

230: jungle red game show panel followed by signing

7:30 sisters in crime breakfast

930: signing at the MWA booth in the book room


2:30 Jungle Reds panel

9:30 MWA Table signing

And as a bonus, we thought it was a nice touch that the Hyatt has named their special conference cocktail


-Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
-House-made Simple Syrup
-Blanc de Blanc
-Luxardo Cherry Garnish

We hope to see all of you who are attending, and we'll do our best to share the fun with those who can't be here this year! 

Welcome to Dallas!!


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  2. Dallas sounds like a wonderful city, Debs. Thanks for the quick tour . . . .
    My goodness, what busy schedules you ladies have! I hope the conference is wonderful and that you enjoy every single minute of it. [And have at least one of those delicious-sounding Drop Dead Red drinks!]

  3. I'm so jealous. Wish I could be there. Have enough fun for me, too.

  4. This will be a heck of an event I'm sure. Hell, you could just do all the stuff associated with the JRW authors and still have a full slate of activities for the weekend. I'm sorry I won't be there!

    Deb, I'm not sure any of those highlighted restaurants would do the trick for me. If I was going to be in Texas, I've simply got to have some Texas BBQ. Beyond that, my limited food palate interests would be demanding to be pointed in the direction of the closest decent burger joint.

    And Hallie, I know you will have a lot of things on your plate at Bouchercon, but when you moderate that panel with Ingrid Thoft, can you tell her I said hi?

    I swear, if I ever win the lottery I am so going to make a tour of all the big book conventions to experience what I'm missing out on.

    1. Jay, just caught up on yesterday's post and really laughed at your "Bus Out of Town." It was like a scene from a Fellini film. Maybe you should write a play.
      Everyone, have a super, wonderful time at Boucher Con! I agree with Jay that just trying to follow the JRWs around would give you a pretty full schedule. Just have a blast. Coats, yeah, but pack those cowboy boots!!

    2. Judy, I'm glad you liked my post yesterday even if it did come as a result of even my subconscious hating me. LOL

      As for a play? I don't think that's going to happen. I have a hard enough time constructing my book reviews and I think actually attempting to write a book would be the limits of my endurance and abilities to say the least.

    3. Jay, if you ever come to McKinney, I will take you to a fantastic barbecue place!!

    4. Don't tease me Deb. I'd go a long way for some quality barbecue. I've had the standard stuff you can get a regular type restaurants and I've had some amazing BBQ from a legendary place in Alabama, but I'd love to expand my BBQ experience by adding Texas, Kansas City and North Carolina to my checklist of styles that I have tried.

  5. What a great conference line up, for sure! And Dallas is surprisingly easy to get around in, so y'all have fun!!!

  6. was not a blue norther. It was a strong cold front for this time of year, but no blue norther. Even the media television transplant readers understood that this year. They got schooled before and have finally stopped saying it on any strong front. Anyway, I will be at Bouchercon here as well and will be representing SMFS at the Awards deal Friday morning at 11. Numerous members of the SMFS are on various panels and they are all listed over on our SMFS blog. The rest of the time, I will be limping around on my cane here and there as I am not on any panels.

  7. Sounds absolutely wonderful. Now.. turn around and do it all again in Sacramento in 2020. See you then.

  8. I'm so spoiled, the local airport is still shut down due to Kincaid Fire so I'm sitting in SFO, EARLY. I wasn't able to get my coat so the sweaters and huge scarves will have to do. You think the hotel will ship books home? As an unseasoned traveler I've overpacked, of course. So excited (and a little apprehensive) but I'm really on my way.

    1. Deana, they will have a shipping room set up. Over packing is fine! I did, too, because I was in a tearing hurry and not flying, so I just stuffed in everything I could think of.

  9. Thanks for the rundown. I’ll have to make notes later! What does MWA stand for? Currently waiting for Frank to get out of the way so I can pack. We’ll probably take off close to noon. See you there!

    1. Mystery Writers of Amerca. I think all 7 of us will be signing at the MWA table at 9:30 on Friday. So excited to meet you!

  10. Here are a few more tips.

    Many of you may want to visit the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza.

    The Perot Museum of Science and Nature is wonderful.

    The Dallas Museum of Art

    The Nasher Sculpture Center

    The Meyerson Symphony Center

    The Winspear Opera House

    And right next to all these Arts District attractions is Klyde Warren Park, which is built over Woodall Rogers Freeway. It's quite something, and hopefully by Friday and Saturday the weather will have improved enough that you can enjoy a walk. There are food trucks every day, and Savor restaurant, mentioned above.

  11. Sounds like all your dining suggestions are pretty top-end. How about some simple Texas BBQ or a great sandwich joint? Wish I could be there!!!

  12. Good idea, Rick. Here's one for barbecue.

    And here's a link for sandwich shop suggestions:

  13. Deborah, it looks like sweater weather AND raincoat / umbrella weather in Dallas. I remember when it rained at my first Malice Domestic conference in MD.

    Thank you for the schedule for people who are going to Bouchercon. I look forward to seeing photos since I will not be there.


  14. Thank you Debs for the tips.
    Just arrived, hourray ! I thought I was coming Thursday but it was Wednesday, so I'll not miss a thing.

  15. Safe travels and big fun to everyone going to Bouchercon this year!

    I will be there, too, but in spirit only. Give one another a big group hug from me, okay?

  16. Oh you Goddesses! I know you'll kill! What a star group you are.

  17. Very thoughtful of you. I will look forward to photos and reports. I've never been in Texas for cold and rain . . . take raincoats. <3

  18. On my way to the bar to get a Drop Dead Red right now :)

  19. Have fun, y'all. Wish I could be there!