Tag: book


Reader Seeks Unattached Book

 My local library is hosting “Blind Date with a Book” in honor of Valentine’s Day. The librarians put books inside gift bags so readers can’t see the title. (I’ve seen other libraries gift wrap the books.) They write a brief, cryptic description on the outside of the bag; readers choose a mystery book based on the description. I decided to try my luck and selected a bag based on the description: “Cambridge, Warm Beer and Hot Jazz, Jewelry Theft, Art Forgery”. The book inside turned out to be The Grantchester Mysteries: Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death.Instead of asking the Missdemeanors a question this week, I gave them a challenge: Set up a book for a blind date–write a personals ad. Think of literary Tinder or eHarmony or old-school newspaper Lonely Hearts column. Can you guess the books from the descriptions? (No peeking at the answers, listed at the end of the post) TraceeMan wishes to meet woman who will ignore the recent brutal murder of his wife. Would prefer gal with house in decent neighborhood, but is willing to fund cheap hotels. Young daughter part of the deal, but she’s quiet and will give up riding shotgun and take the backseat. Must love tattoos, have no side deals with current prison inmates, and know how to follow life-and-death orders without question.BTW….. this is an amazing book.  SusanForty-two year-old Englishman looking for gentle companion to be his second wife. Offers a beautiful mansion in Cornwall, called Manderley. No need to worry about housekeeping, which is handled by a very capable woman. Prefers that candidate not like boating.  MicheleFormer television meteorologist who no longer wears make-up, no family to drag you to on Christmas, really it was an accident with my husband,  great relationship with my dog, seeks middle age guy who likes booze, islands, asks no questions, tells no lies, and doesn’t squirm when an occasional body shows up.  RobinSingle white male seeks companion for dinner. Likes: Italian wine, stimulating conversation. Dislikes: boredom. Fascinate me with your story and I’ll tell you anything.  CateSexy, 30s, homebody seeks same for candlelight dinners in. Must love red wine and cuddling up to old movies. Ability to play chess a plus. Handiness a definite plus. Ability to spend hours–weeks, years even–indoors an absolute plus.) AlisonTall, rugged self-starter seeking companionship in Wyoming. No strings attached. Wanderlust and love of coffee a plus. Please bring your own toothbrush. AlexiaSeeking companion to attend gathering on private island. Join eight other guests for food, drink, swimming. Housekeeping services available. Must enjoy gramophone recordings, poetry, and solving riddles. Weather may be inclement. Plan accordingly.  Choose your date. Guess the title. Tell us in the comments or over on Facebook. Answers listed below.  Tracee: She Rides Shotgun by Jordan HarperSusan: Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurierMichele: No Virgin Island by Michele DorseyRobin: Silence of The Lambs by Thomas HarrisCate: The Woman In The Window by A.J. FinnAlison: The Midnight Line by Lee ChildAlexia: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie    

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Bite-sized Bouchercon

 I started this post a few days ago. Now I’m sitting in Toronto Pearson International Airport waiting to board my flight back to the U.S. I’m manning the International Thriller Writers’ table at my first Bouchercon, feeling…overwhelmed. This conference is huge. I ran into Hank Phillipi Ryan in the elevator and joked there were more people in the hotel than there were on the streets. 1700 registrants. Wow. 1700 authors, editors, agents, bloggers, reviewers, readers, all gathered to celebrate mystery. Double wow. No danger of not finding enough to do. The opposite. Activities run non-stop from 7:30 am until 11 pm, or later. Hard decisions must be made to choose what to do without overdoing it and making yourself crazy. Try to do everything and, in addition to discovering you’d need to clone yourself to be in multiple places at the same time, you’ll collapse from exhaustion. Here are a few suggestions, based on what worked for me. If you’re on a panel, it’s easy. Start with that. Block out your time slot so you don’t inadvertently schedule yourself to be someplace else while you’re supposed to be on the dias. Dont forget, a 30 minute booksigning follows your panel. Next, find your friends’ (and agent’s and editors) panels and mark those. We members of the mystery community are friends with each other. The only throats we cut are on the page. We support each other. But at Bouchercon, support has to be rationed. At least two of your friends will be on concurrent panels. Attend one friend’s panel and buy the other a drink later to make up for it. You could spend the entire conference going from panel to panel to panel but I advise you not to. Panel fatigue will set in quickly. Break up the routine by volunteering for a shift at a table promoting one of the many writers’ organizations and fan societies represented at Bouchercon: Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and several others. Or volunteer to help Bouchercon itself. The volunteer table lists opportunities to serve. Plus, depending on what you sign up to do, you get to sit for a while and let people come to you. Finally, leave some time for fun. Cocktail and dinner parties abound. Or get away from the conference completely and be a tourist. Experience what your host city has on offer. Fellow Missdemeanor, Susan Breen, and I went on a ghost walk (led by Ryan of The Haunted Walk Toronto) through the Distillery District. We learned a bit of Toronto’s distillery past, discovered that Canadian ghosts are more polite than their American counterparts, and had a free sample of beer at Mill Street Brewery. I became a Fluevog shoe convert and celebrated my shoe-shopping victory with a tasting at Spirit of York distillery (sadly, not available in the US. Yet.) and at Soma chocolate. I also squeezed in a visit to the Guillermo del Toro exhibit, At Home with Monsters, at the Art Gallery of Ontario. I marveled at pieces from his apparently endless collection of books, movie memorabilia, paintings, photographs, and sculptures, all related to the people” places, and things that inspired him and accented by his quotations on creativity and belonging (or not). So, those were my tips for navigating Bouchercon. Pick and choose and break it into smaller pieces so it’s easier to wrap your hands, and your brain, around.

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