John Connolly will be hosting proceedings in his inimitable fashion - John, I’m delighted to say, is honoured as Toastmaster for this year’s Bouchercon - and quite a few of the authors who contributed to BTDF will be present for the event, and signing books once the palaver is dispensed with. Among those scheduled to attend are (deep breath) Mark Billingham, Cara Black, Lee Child, Reed Farrel Coleman, Max Allan Collins, Michael Connelly, Thomas H. Cook, Deborah Crombie, Joseph Finder, Meg Gardiner, Alison Gaylin, Charlaine Harris, Erin Hart, Peter James, Laurie R. King, Michael Koryta, Bill Loehfelm, Val McDermid, John McFetridge, Chris Mooney, Stuart Neville, Sara Paretsky, Michael Robotham, S.J. Rozan, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Kelli Stanley, Martyn Waites and F. Paul Wilson.
That’s a pretty impressive line-up, and I’m desperately disappointed that I won’t be in the room for the launch. This year’s Bouchercon would have been a once-in-a-lifetime trip, particularly as BOOKS TO DIE FOR was born out of the kind of spirit that pervades Bouchercon, which is the willingness of other writers to enthuse about good books. And it would have been wonderful to rub shoulders with the writers in the room, if only to see if some of their pixie dust might rub off on yours truly. Not only that, but a post-Bouchercon road trip in the company of John McFetridge had been planned, John being a good mate and superb writer, and not necessarily in that order; and said trip was supposed to culminate in Detroit, where I was pencilled in to interview the great Elmore Leonard.
All told, it would’ve been a hell of a week. Still, it can’t be Mills & Boon every day, right?
Meanwhile, there was a smashing review of BOOKS TO DIE FOR in the Irish Examiner last weekend, courtesy of Prof. Val Nolan. The gist ran a lot like this:
“An anthology of verve, heft, and no small ambition, this volume gathers 120 of the world’s leading crime writers to discuss their favourite mystery novels in a series of short essays … By securing the participation of grande dames and young guns alike, Connolly and Burke have ensured that their anthology transcends mere curiosity to serve as a robust defence of a fiction which tackles the ugly, messy nature of the world head on. Part celebration, part list of required reading, BOOKS TO DIE FOR will thrill the individual mystery lover as much as it will prove an essential reference for the shelves of lending libraries. A vast, comprehensive undertaking, it is that rare breed of anthology of interest to both the initiated and the newcomer. Indeed, like the ideal mystery novel itself, this is a page-turner with an addictive quality.” - Prof. Val Nolan, Irish ExaminerSo there you have it. Upward we go, and onward, and maybe it’s not too early to start planning for Bouchercon 2013 …