This year’s Malice Domestic brought a milestone: My wife Tara Laskowski‘s first (hopefully of many!) Agatha Award—sharing the top spot in the Best Short Story category with Leslie Budewitz in one of two ties in this year’s list of winners.
Tara’s story, “The Case of the Vanishing Professor,” originally appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and I was pleased to catch the picture here of Tara posing with the teapot alongside her AHMM editor Linda Landrigan. Congrats also to all of the other winners: Ellen Byron (Best Contemporary Novel), Sujata Massey (Best Historical Novel), Dianne Freeman and Shari Randall (tied for Best First Novel), Jane Cleland (Best Nonfiction), and Cindy Callaghan (Best Children’s/YA).
The full weekend was fun start to finish—from the opening day Malice-Go-Round through the closing afternoon’s elegant tea. Other highlights for me included:
- The Agatha Award Best Short Story panel with all the finalists this year, Tara and Leslie, along with Susanna Calkins, Barb Goffman, and me—moderated with style and ease by the incomparable Michael Bracken.
- Two additional short story panels, between them featuring a great list of short story writers: E.A. Aymar, Michael Bracken, Kaye George, Teresa Inge, Eleanor Cawood Jones, Kirstin Kisska, Deborah Lacy, M.A. Monnin, Alan Orloff, Josh Pachter, Robin Templeton, and Carol L. Wright.
- The launch and group signing for the latest Malice anthology Mystery Most Edible—too many folks to name there, but such an exciting collection!
- The Sisters in Crime Breakfast, an afternoon happy hour/tea with the editors and writers for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and at least parts of Sunday’s New Authors Breakfast. (Had to step out for a bit with Dash, who lost a loose tooth at the beginning of it!)
- Watching Dash deliver small packages to various authors throughout the weekend on behalf of our good friend Tammy Barker—and if his delivery manner was a bit abrupt (basically just tossing out the gift and marking off names!) his efficiency was skillful, targeting authors at signings and in the cafe/bar. (And thanks too to Avery Walker for chaperoning him through the deliveries and so much of the weekend!)
- And then so many informal talks and drinks and meals in-between times with fellow authors and readers—really the best part of the weekend in so many ways.
I also fit in a bit of business too—more on that in updates ahead.
In the meantime, a quick shout-out to all of the folks who help to make Malice such a smooth-running machine year after year. Hoping I don’t miss anyone, but wanting to make shout-outs to Janet Blizard, Jack and Judy Cater, Anne Murphy, Rita Owen, Janet Powell, Verena Rose, Shawn Reilly Simmons, Angel Trapp, Tonya Spratt-Williams (who may have stepped away a bit, but is still part of the heart of the organization), Kristopher Zgorski, and all of Malice’s many, many volunteers.
Needless to say, I’ve already signed up for next year too. See you then!