Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dispatches from Bouchercon: Day One #Bcon2013

Kim Hammond reports from Albany, New York where the world's largest mystery fan convention, Bouchercon, is taking place. This is her first report from this year's convention. 

I arrived in Albany on Wednesday night and who was on the shuttle from the airport with me? None other than Lee Goldberg.  I recently met Lee with Janet Evanovich when they were on book tour for their joint book, The Heist

My first panel of the day was called When in Rome: Murder is Everywhere. All of the panels here at Bouchercon 2013 are named after Billy Joel songs. Anyway, the panel featured writers who write about locations outside the US and are all on the Murder is Everywhere blog. Panelists included Annamaria Alfieri, Lisa Brackman, Jeffrey Siger, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, and Michael Stanley. There were about 100 people in attendance. Highlights included:

  • Cara Black described Paris in the old days and told stories about interviewing the art cops in Paris. She said they only recover 10% of stolen objects in a year. That seems really low and sad.
  • Jeff Siger talked about living on Mykonos.
  • Yrsa Sigurdardottir talked about living in Iceland and it's history. Then she  gave away a trip to Iceland for the new Iceland Noir conference in Reykjavik. I love Iceland in November, but darn it, I didn't win. 

The second panel I attended was You're Only Human: Secret powers & other little-known talents that would make us great Super Heroes...or Villains. Panelists included Jen Forbus, Catriona McPherson, Daniel Palmer, Brad Parks, Tom Schreck, Zoe Sharpe and Michael Wiley. The highlight of this panel was when Brad Parks turned from Clark Kent into Superman. 

Here's Brad in Clark Kent mode:

Here's the whole panel with Brad in Superman mode:

The Macavity and Barry Awards were announced at the opening ceremonies last night. The Derringers were already announced but winners received their awards last night. 

Congratulations to all of the winners and the nominees.

2013 Macavity Award Winners:

Short story - Barb Goffman

Historical- Charles Todd - AN UNMARKED GRAVE

Best Non-Fiction - BOOKS TO DIE FOR 

Best First Mystery- DON'T EVER GET OLD by Daniel Friedman

Best Mystery Novel - THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY by Louise Penny

2013 Barry Award Winners: 

Don Sandstrum Award for Lifetime Achievement in Fandom - Ali Karim

Best Paperback Original- MR. CHURCHILL'S SECRETARY by Susan Elliott McNeil

Best Thriller- THE FALLEN ANGEL by Daniel Silva 

Best First Mystery Novel - A KILLING ON THE HILLS by Julia Keller

Best Novel - THE BLACK HOUSE by Peter May

I'll be reporting from Bouchercon all weekend so come on back. Don't forget to "like" the Mystery Playground page on Facebook

A view of the Bouchercon 2013 book room before the rush

There are day passes available for the Albany show if you are nearby and curious, it would be a great day spent for any mystery fan. 

If you are more of a planner you can learn all about next year's convention, being held in Long Beach, California, November 13-16, 2014. You have more than enough time to plan.  


  1. Thanks so much for keeping us updated on the conference. For those of us who can't be there, it's the next best thing.

  2. Thanks for a great report. Love the Superman change!