Memories of Malice 2018

Five of the Wickeds and two of our accomplices attended the 30th Malice Domestic conference last weekend. Malice celebrates the traditional mystery, and we celebrate alongside hundreds of mystery fans and authors (although we sorely missed Liz and Jane joining us). Here are some of our highlights.

Sheila:  Ann Cleeves and Brenda Blethyn. Need I say more? Delightful and talented women who were gracious to the adoring throngs of fans. I asked and was told that “pet” is a term that applies to both men and women and is regularly used by Geordies (those who live in Northumberland, I understand).

Apart from the miles of walking from one end of the convention hotel to the other, everything went smoothly, and I saw many happy faces, and talked to more people than I can count.

Edith: So many highlights!  The core Wickeds started off with dinner together, minus Liz, alas.


Jessie and I found our Agatha-nominated books on the special table in the bookstore!


The Sisters in Crime breakfast is always a wonderful gathering. Those of us present from the Sprint Club – which Ramona DeFelice Long runs every morning – got a group shot in, too.  The sprints get me writing every morning at seven and I am grateful.

Sprint Leader Ramona DeFelice Long at far right.

The Kensington signing and book giveaway on Saturday was very popular, with an entire box of my books going in under an hour. I had a delightful crew at my banquet table that night, including the Wickeds’ agent, John Talbot, and a bunch of avid fans, plus Map Your Mystery blogger Christine Gentes (standing at far left).


Sunday was topped off by a fabulous interview between Catriona McPherson, Toastmaster, and Lori Rader-Day (who could do stand-up comedy if she wished), then the Agatha Tea. But I don’t want to monopolize the blog! Next?

Sherry: One of the highlights for me was introducing Dorothy Cannell and Marcia Adair at the Sisters in Crime Breakfast on Saturday morning. Every year a scholarship is given in Dorothy Cannell’s name to a member of the Guppy chapter of Sisters in Crime so that member can attend Malice Domestic. This year the winner was Marcia. I had a great time getting to know her during the conference. And as I said in my post yesterday it’s just about getting to hang out with members of the crime fiction community be they readers or writers.

Jessie: On Thursday I started out the weekend by spending the day with most of the Sleuths in Time for a plotting and chatting session. They are a fun group of women! Friday evening I had a great time at dinner with the Wickeds own Kim Gray and a host of other friends both old and new.  On Saturday I really loved signing books for some new readers at the Kensington book giveaway! I also had a wonderful time meeting some of the lovely ladies who have already read some of my work at the table I hosted for the Agatha banquet. They were a lively and fun group!

Barb: In the photo below I’m with two members of the Maine Crime Writers, Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett and Lea Wait/Cornelia Kidd. Bruce Robert Coffin and Maureen Milliken were also there, though I only saw Maureen once, passing in the long hallways.

Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett, Lea Wait/Cornelia Kidd, Barbara Ross. No, we did not coordinate our outfits!

I had loads of fun on my panel Murder at the Improv, making up a mystery on the fly from audience suggestions with Sheila Connolly, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Parnell Hall.

Murder at the Improv with Barbara Ross, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Sheila Connolly and Parnell Hall.

Julie: I am still exhausted from Malice! Favorite parts? Seeing folks, even in passing.  My panel with Sherry, Shari, and Leslie that Sherry talked about yesterday.  Barb and I hosting a really fun table of folks we didn’t know at the banquet. Seeing Catriona McPherson shine as the toastmaster. Edith and Jessie’s excellent panel (with Rhys Bowen, moderated by Harriet Sackler). Breakfast with Jacki York, who we first met when we carried her on a stick a few Malices back. Seeing Annette and Ramona, the sisters de Felice. Meeting people, as always. But the best part? Laughing. What a great group of folks at Malice. SO much laughing!

Malice going friends, what was your favorite part of the weekend?

19 Thoughts

  1. It was a wonderful conference! I’d never seen an episode of Vera, and though I didn’t get to ask Brenda Blethyn about portraying Mrs. Bennett in Pride & Prejudice, I did thoroughly enjoy her interviews. The banquet was fun–thank you very much for allowing us to sit at your table, Edith–and the apres banquet chatting in Julie’s room was also a treat. But the best memory had to be the wild and crazy dinner outside the bar, with Cindy Callaghan and Jessie discussing spiralizing food, and my friends Kim Gray and Jackie of York. I am still laughing!

  2. Truly a great conference and a chance to see so many of you shine! Barb, Murder at the Improv was hilarious! And had people on either side of us in different rooms wondering just what was happening! I enjoyed seeing the Vera episode, too, and Brenda B was charming and funny. A great time!

  3. Waving at all of you!!! This was my favorite Malice of all and how funny that Malice journey all started on a stick three years ago!

    I thought to myself that I wished Malice was every weekend and then I realized, one I would be exhausted all of the time and two, that is what make Malice so special!

    Thanks for making my Malice so memorable!!

  4. There was a lot of walking from hotel to conference center, but it was well worth it. And the banquet was delicious!

    My favorite part? Aside from seeing so many friendly and familiar faces, any time I got to hear a combination of Louise Penny, Margaret Maron, and Rhys Bowen. I told Louise if the writing thing doesn’t work out for them, they could go on the road with a comedy show. 🙂

  5. I went last year and besides being one of the photographers and getting to take pictures of everyone, I really enjoyed meeting most of the authors for a few minutes at the book signings and getting to tell each one what I loved about their books. I made it a point to try to read at least one book by each author (cozies only) before I went, so I didn’t sound stupid. 🙂

    1. Of course! It means you’re doing what you love and you missed a chance to hang out with authors. Hope the stars align for you to come next year.

  6. If I had to pick one special moment of the entire weekend it would have to be meeting one of my favorite authors and friend Ellery Adams aka JB Stanley. When I introduced myself, she grabbed me into a big hug and I got tears in my eyes. We later had a chance to visit and take a photo together. This was my first Malice, but it won’t be my last. Where else can a devoted cozy reader hang out with her favorite authors, sit at a nominees’ table at the Agatha Awards, thanks Edith, and get free books. It was a fabulous weekend. Oh, and I got to spend time with my sister, Ramona, doing what we love to do best, talk about books.

    1. I am SO glad you were able to come, Annette. Maybe next year I can get my own sister to come and the two of you can gad about! You’d have a lot to talk about – she’s a huge cozy mystery fan. ;^)

  7. Loved meeting old friends and new ones, too. Thanks for wonderful advice about blogging, Edith. Sheila and I talked about a fav Irish author, Erin Hart. Glad to meet someone who read her. You all have the BEST author blog. Love to see Sherry’ s smiling greetings always at meetings. We are fortunate to know her as a rising star in SinC!!

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