Ah Malice Domestic

By Sherry — I’m home recovering from the lack of sleep and all the fun at Malice

Malice Domestic is the annual conference for fans of the traditional mystery. The first time I went was in 2003 as fan and hopeful writer. I was amazed by the crime fiction community then and continue to be now. I didn’t know a soul at that first conference. I stood in line at the restaurant for lunch and the woman in front of me turned and asked me to join her and her friend. It turns out that she was the prolific writer Lee Harris.

I have talked often about meeting Julie Hennrikus at Malice and how that changed the trajectory of my writing life. I gave Malice a shout out in the acknowledgements of my first book, Tagged for Death. For me Malice is all about connecting with people – seeing old friend and making new ones.

Here are Jessie and Edith with Rhys Bowen getting their certificates for their Agatha Best Historical nomination.

I don’t get to see the Wickeds very often. While it may seem like we are running over to each other’s houses for tea every other day, the truth is we are spread out all over the place. And poor me – I’m the farthest away. So Malice is one of the three or four times a year that I get to see them.

Photo by Eleanor Carwood Jones

This year I was on a panel, Murder in New England, with friends Shari Randall and Julie Hennrikus  — how lucky is that? The other panel member was writer Leslie Meier who writes the Lucy Stone mystery series. I confess when I saw her name on the list of panel members I went total fan girl, but managed to maintain my cool on the actual panel.

Some people you only see long enough to give them a quick hug. Others you are lucky enough to sit down with for a chat. And some people you see photos of and wonder how you never managed to glimpse them!


This year my publisher Kensington gave away books. I sat by Debra Goldstein. Her new book, One Taste Too Many, doesn’t come out until December 18, 2018, but she passed out bookmarks. Then she said to each person, “I only have a bookmark, but Sherry has a great book you can get.” Did I mention how generous the crime writing community is? Oh, and Debra’s book is available for pre-order.

Attending the Sisters in Crime breakfast and the New Authors breakfast is always fun but oh so early when you’ve stayed up late so you don’t miss a minute of talking to someone. I keep campaigning for New Authors cocktail parties but no one listens to me. I confess I was a bit late to the New Authors breakfast but got to hear most of the authors. The short interviews are always a lot of fun. Here are just a few of the many wonderful debut authors:

Then there is getting to meet people you’ve only known online. The banquet, the Agatha Awards… Aw, heck, I could go on and on about how wonderful Malice is, but I’m guessing you get the point.

This year my Malice experience was extended for a bit because author Leslie Budewitz came home with me. We yakked until the wee hours and then got up at 5:30 to get Leslie to the Metro station for her flight home. Boo-hoo – why do you live so far away Leslie? And now it’s all over for another year. I’ve gotten some sleep (including a two hour nap Monday morning) and am now recharged and renewed.

I hope if you’ve never been to Malice that you get to go some day. It’s special. They give out scholarships to people who might not otherwise be able to attend. Here is the contact information: MaliceAngels@comcast.net

Readers: Is there a place you go to see old friends and meet new ones?


33 Thoughts

  1. I don’t travel well anymore, so I mostly meet up on Facebook ( a real help when one’s acquaintance is halfway around the world).

  2. I love Malice! But you’re right, it’s so hard to see everyone you want to see. I think all we managed was a quick hug in the hallway, Sherry!

    1. I know, Joyce that made me sad. Congratulations on the RT Reviewers Choice and Career Achievement Award for A Room with a View!

  3. Malice truly is a wonderful weekend. After meeting up with Barbara Ross very much on the periphery of her trips to Malice, I took the plunge and attended three years ago. It is now a fixture on my calendar. In the three times I’ve attended, I’ve met lots of great people, heard some fascinating panels and presentations, and just immersed myself in the community. Well worth the time and the trip! And yes, an incredibly welcoming community!

  4. I would be in heaven at Malice! All of my writers in one place, to talk to and learn from! My head would be spinning for weeks! How lucky you all are to have the chance to see each other at least once a year.

  5. And you do have a great book (series) – I wasn’t lying! Here’s to many more Malice conferences sitting next to each other both with books (thank you for mentioning One Taste Too Many – the first in my new Sarah Blair series).

  6. I’m going to Malice next year with my friend Tracy. And I’ll see some of you this fall at Bouchercon. Very excited for that!

  7. Nice tribute to the aspect of seeing old friends and meeting new ones. It is hard to see everyone that you want to see and actually spend time with them. It is nice to be reminded that we should do that as often as we can and that staying in touch is a gift we can share.

  8. Your enthusiasm bursts off the screen. I’m so glad you had such a great time!

  9. Malice is now the place I will go to meet friends and make new ones. As a reader and non writer, I felt so appreciated and loved. How many people get a big bear hug from Louise Penny when you mention you are at Malice as a fan/reader. This was my first Malice and it most definitely won’t be my last

  10. Loved seeing you there, Sherry! And Julie, and Edith, and Jessie, and Barb…. I could go on and on. Malice is a wonderful, big blur of happy. I couldn’t have been luckier, having you and Julie on the panel with me. And I fan girled over Leslie, too!

  11. Sherry, I’m both surprised and not surprised we didn’t meet up. I kept seeing you “across a crowded room” but never managed to make it over!

  12. Malice, of course! And there wasn’t enough time to get to hang out with everyone I wanted to. I like that new authors cocktail party idea. Maybe an unofficial event?

  13. I didn’t make it this year, but I was finally able to make it the last two years, and I loved it! It does go way too quickly, and there were people I had hoped to get a chance to talk to in person that I hardly talked to. I think it needs to be at least a week.

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