It feels as if I spent the whole weekend taking photos and asking people to take them of me and yet here I am with no pictures at all of my friend Dina Wilner who was powering through her first Malice without *her* friend Sally Fellows, who was Fan Ghost of Honour this year. Laura Lippmann, as toastmaster, gave many wonderful speeches but none more touching than when she talked about Sally and drank a good glug of red wine in her honour.
The Guest of Honour was Laurie R King (no photos)
The International Guest of Honour was Peter Robinson (another photo fail)
The Ghost of Honour (non-fan) was Dick Francis. And finally I got a picture. This is me, Dick's son Felix and some new kid who's giving writing a go. Hope he makes it.
The Hyatt Regency Bethesda did Malice proud for the 25th year: dressing the doorman as Sherlock Holmes (here he has apprehended Jessie Chandler):
and decorating our pudding at the banquet:
as well as giving away 5 Charlie-Bucket-style lucky bookmarks in our goody-bags. (I didn't get one.)
I was lucky enough to moderate a stellar panel on the topic of research, with Frankie Bailey, (criminology), Jane Cleland (antiques and rare books), DP Lyle, (forensics and medicine) and Rochelle Staab (occultism). I learned a lot and laughed even more.
Malice-go-round, speed-dating for books and readers, was an exhausting and exhilirating blast. Going round with Sparkle Abbey, two of my favourite writer (Sparkle defies grammar), made it twice the fun.
There were so many lovely little moments. Like the one when Joelle Charbonneau, who has written a gazillion books, caught her first glimpse of her brand new one and was instantly turned into a wee girl with a new bike on Christmas day.
Another lovely bit about conventions now is that you can meet face-to-face with people you already love, thanks to Facebook. I was particularly thrilled to meet Diane Vallere, who wrote one of my favourites of last year - Pillow Stalk (a Doris Day murder mystery). She was just as groovy as I imagined.
But if I had to pick the biggest highlight of the weekend it would be the banquet. I hosted a table and spent the evening with old friends Vicki Delany of Criminal Minds, Sara J Henry and Michele Sandiford, and made new friends: Jean, Sarah, Deb, Jill, Lee, Maureen, Elizabeth and Irma Baker, who I think has given me the title of my next DG book - thanks, Irma.
Then there was the diamond on the cherry on the icing on the cake. I was nominated for an Agatha alongside Rhys Bowen, Victoria Thompson, Charles (and Caroline) Todd and Jacqueline Winspear. And look!
It's such an honour. I'm still bobbing about somewhere near the ceiling. And the teapot is on its way west via UPS courtesy of Malice. Thank you to everyone who nominated, voted and cheered for Dandy. You rock! Or as Dandy would say: "Jolly good show."