This weekend’s Malice Domestic in Bethesda, Maryland marks one of my favorite times of the year, both a chance to revisit and reconnect with old friends in the mystery community and to make many new ones, and in the process to celebrate some of world’s best crime fiction—and nonfiction too!
As mentioned here before (many time!), I’m particularly honored that one of my own stories—“Parallel Play” from Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning—is among the finalists for this year’s Agatha Award for Best Short Story, and I’m thrilled to have been part of another cornerstone of the weekend, serving as part of the editorial selection committee for this year’s Malice Domestic anthology, Mystery Most Historical. My own spots on the schedule all stem from those two opportunities:
- Opening Ceremonies • Friday, April 28, 5 p.m.
- Welcome Reception & Anthology Signing for Malice Domestic 12: Mystery Most Historical (as part of editorial selection committee) • Friday, April 28, 9 p.m.
- Panel: “Make It Snappy: Agatha Best Short Story Nominees,” with Gretchen Archer, Barb Goffman, Edith Maxwell, and B.K. Stevens, moderated by Linda Landrigan • Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m.
- Agatha Awards Banquet • Saturday, April 29, 7 p.m.
But beyond official roles, I’m looking forward to so much more: the annual Malice-Go-Round, with writers sharing news about recent publications; a happy hour with members of the Short Mystery Fiction Society; breakfast with Sisters in Crime and an informal lunch with members of SinC’s Guppies Chapter; and the New Author Breakfast on Sunday morning, celebrating authors who’ve made their debut over the last year. Plus, of course, Dame Agatha’s Tea—always a brilliant finish to the weekend!
Oh, and speaking of tea, the picture at the top of this post features the goodie bags for the table I’m heading at Saturday’s Agatha Awards banquet! The selection is from David’s Teas, my wife’s favorite, and here’s the small tie-in to “Parallel Play”—quoted on the the bit of blue paper inserted in the back of the bags:
Special this year: I’m also taking part in the Guppies match-up program spear-headed by Hank Phillippi Ryan, helping to serve as a mentor of sorts to a writer coming to Malice for the first time. I’m grateful to have been paired up with Micki Browning, author of Adrift. Not sure what words of wisdom I’ll be able to share with her, but glad to do what I can—and to pick up a copy of her debut novel too!
And one final bonus at this year’s Malice: Because my wife Tara is appearing just around the corner at the Washington Independent Review of Books‘ Books Alive conference, she’ll be in town too—along with our son Dash, who’s been promised a special VIP registration at Malice. Can’t wait to see him with his name badge and to introduce him to friends in the mystery world who’ve heard so much about him over the years.
See you all on Friday!