Malice is a conference for traditional mystery writers and their fans. Think Agatha Christie and cozies, but it’s a big tent. We had Laura Lippman and Harlan Coban, so many styles are represented.
The big fun the first day was “Malice Go Round”—speed dating with authors. We sat at about 20 round tables and every five minutes two authors moved to the next table and had two minutes each to “pitch” their books. What an experience; what a strange world. There were the “Orchard mysteries” (One Bad Apple, Rotten to the Core), Museum mysteries, Irish mysteries, “Book Club” mysteries—every month some member of the book club finds a body, Cheese shop mysteries (To Brie or not to Brie, Lost and Fondue), Cookbook mysteries—several authors include recipe cards, Yarn shop mysteries (Last Wool and Testament) , and so on. Many amateur sleuths had pets. Some of the cats solved the crimes—“he’s like Sam Spade with hairballs.” Some of the dogs dug up the corpses. The authors were quick to point out that there was murder, but no pets were harmed.
Some of these ideas sounded pretty goofy to me. But all the pitches were in earnest.