That shriek that rattled the country just before 10:00 pm EST was me reacting to the sound of my name from the podium at the Agatha Awards: Malice Domestic’s choice of Best Historical Mystery is Dreaming Spies, by Laurie R. King!
I was nominated for an Agatha once before (for The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, in 1995) and the convention chose me as their Guest of Honor three years ago, but the award teapot (this convention, after all, focuses on the Traditional Mystery) eluded me until now.
Best of all, I got to sit at a table with the awards of three other friends on it: one each for my friends Barbara Peters and Rob Rosenwald, joint recipients of the Poirot award (for which I got to conduct the conference interview, which ranged over subjects from the state of modern publishing to whether or not they had the requisite RomCom “meet cute”–which, it turns out, they did, over accusations of cheating at cards)
…and also on the table was Margaret Maron’s Agatha for Contemporary Mystery (for the gorgeous 20th and—alas!—final Deborah Knott story, Long Upon the Land.) Here are three of the four of us winners:
In general, Malice Domestic is a really fun conference, casual and filled with dedicated book-lovers. I was pleased this year to hear that Good Friends Alice W. (who took a couple of these pictures) and Merrily T. would be going,
My trip to DC came on the heels of a quick 36 hours in New York, during which I fit in dinner with friends, meetings with Picador (who do the stunning paperbacks of the early books) and Random House’s enthusiastic Team LRK, and the Edgars Awards banquet of the Mystery Writers of America. There I had the honor of giving the Ellery Queen Award (for work in the mystery-publishing field) to my friend Janet Rudolph, whose passion for Crime is exceeded only by the joy she takes in fine chocolates. I introduced her by saying:
It’s not often a person is given the chance to speak for an entire community. I am so pleased to be the one to stand up here and say, Janet, we love you. We honor and respect you. We stand amazed at your unflagging energy, your unfailing good will and optimism, and your endless creativity in celebrating the genre.
We, the world’s scribblers, give you our thanks, our affection, our Ellery Queen Award–and, more to the point, our chocolate.
And then handed her the MWA statue, along with a box of chocolate truffles.
The Edgars banquet also involves, of course, drinks in the bar before and after with friends like SJ Rozan and Dan Stashower and Laura Caldwell and—well, it wouldn’t be a black tie party without Les Klinger.
You can read about MWA’s 2016 awards, here.