Boucher’s Con

As you probably know, every year the Crime World [Fictional Division] gathers to discuss pretty much everything to do with crime & mystery books: from character development to social media, e-books to Hollywood. The conference is named after the editor/reviewer/writer Anthony Boucher2454

and this was Bouchercon’s 46th year. We met in Raleigh, and the fun began.

Eager audience in the Sherlock Holmes panel.

Eager audience in the Sherlock Holmes panel.

Mutual selfies with Lisa Unger in the "Jumping the Shark" panel.

Mutual selfies with Lisa Unger in the “Jumping the Shark” panel.

IMG_1552

The Sisters in Crime breakfast with Margaret Maron (Lifetime Achievement award) and S. J. Rozan (back from Mongolia.)

The Sisters in Crime breakfast with Margaret Maron (Lifetime Achievement award) and S. J. Rozan (back from Mongolia.)

Of course, the funnest part is if you get to win something.

Laurie & Les, Anthony Award for Best Anthology

Laurie & Les, Anthony Award for Best Anthology

Like an Anthony.

Editing a collection: resting on the laurels of other peoples' work.

Editing a collection: resting on the laurels of other peoples’ work.

Next year it’s going to be in New Orleans. That’s right, NEW ORLEANS. And just look at this guest list:

American Guest of Honor: Harlan Coben

International Rising Star Guest of Honor: Craig Robertson

Bouchercon Kids Guest of Honor: R. L. Stone

Local Legend: Julie Smith

Lifetime Achievement: David Morrell

Fan Guests of Honor: Jon & Ruth Jordan

Toastmasters: Harley Jane Kozak & Alex Sokoloff

Sign up now, and get yourself a hotel room, because it’s going to be a blast.

See you there!

THE ANTHONY!

BoucherCon is fabulous at any time, but when they call your name out for an Anthony, it becomes positively intoxicating. Or maybe stunning:

Laurie & Les, Anthony Award for Best Anthology

Laurie & Les, Anthony Award for Best Anthology

Of course, I can’t help feeling I cheated.  After all, Les and I just had to talk a bunch of first-rate writers into playing in the Sherlock Holmes sandbox and writing a story “inspired by the Holmes canon”.  Oh, and Les wrote a story for the collection.  Ah yes, and there was his little court case that went all the way up to the Supreme Court, so maybe he actually deserved the award.

Editing a collection: resting on the laurels of other peoples' work.

The 2015 Anthony, crafted by woodworker Michael L. Thompson.

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes contributors:

Laura Caldwell
Michael Connelly
Jeffery Deaver
Michael Dirda
Harlan Ellison
Cornelia Funke
Andrew Grant
Denise Hamilton
Nancy Holder
Leslie S. Klinger
John Lescroart
Sara Paretsky
John Reppion & Leah Moore
Michael Sims
Gahan Wilson
Thank you all–and thank you, everyone at BoucherCon who voted for us!

BSI weekend 2015: Brrr

It’s been another fantastic BSI weekend here in ([bloody cold]) New York City.  Thursday after a lunch (French onion soup, nice and hot. Did I mention that it’s been cold here?) with the Random House Team Laurie, including editorial, publicity, and marketing, that was enthusiastic and energetic and warm (sensing a theme here?) the BSI action heated up (yep) with a lecture by Alan Bradley on…weather in the Sherlock Holmes stories. And other stories too but mostly Holmes.

Friday is a pair of events: the William Gillette luncheon down in (snowy) Chelsea, with drinks and friendship and silly skits to round out the day, then the BSI dinner itself at the Yale Club next to Grand Central.  Black tie is a lot of fun when all the men are actually wearing back tie, and it sure makes the women’s dresses (since the room was warm enough to shed the heavy outer coats) stand out in the group photo.  And speaking of standing out, sitting at my table was a somewhat bemused (a BSI dinner being a pretty obscure event, when it comes to references, jokes, and humor) Kareem Abdul Jabbar, who has written a novel (yes) on (ready?) not basketball, in fact the least athletic character in the entire Conan Doyle canon: Mycroft Holmes.  As a young man, meaning his brother Sherlock is still a kid.  It’s out in October.

And today, the survivors of the revels scrabble their bleary way out of their warm beds to shop the book tables and craft stalls of the dealer’s room at the Roosevelt Hotel, hoping to score that Sherlockian treasure that will complete their collection or change their life (I’ll be eyeing the knit scarves table) and with luck those tables will include one of several writers and the editors signing In the Company of Sherlock Holmes, suitable for all your reading pleasure, preferably with a hot drink before a fire. Then comes a final cocktail party-slash-business meeting at which the estimable Peter Blau runs an auction (fund-raiser) forcing up bids on everything anyone puts into his hand.

Followed by a plane, and home, where I will get walk into the airport peeling off sixteen layers of clothing, and drive home to pack my long black wool-and-cashmere coat away for another year.

Thanks, Baker Street Irregulars, for inviting me into your warm circle. But honestly, couldn’t you have chosen another month to celebrate Sherlock Holmes’ birthday? Even the Queen gets a public day to celebrate hers in June.

Excerpts, contests, giveaways–and takeoffs

I’m off to New York today, so I, a Central Coast native and weather wimp, would appreciate any warm thoughts you can send that city’s way. And if you’re within striking distance of Manhattan, come out and see me on Saturday when I’ll be signing copies of In the Company of Sherlock Holmes, in, well, the company of some of the others: Les Klinger, Michael Dirda, Nancy Holder, and possibly Gahan Wilson. Details here.

* *

And in case you missed the newsletter that I sent out yesterday (Sherlock Holmes’ birthday, many happy returns of the day) you can still see it here, but the key points are:

Excerpts, lots of them, all from Dreaming Spies, pages and pages of words that will just keep growing over the next ten days, here.

And contests, two of them plus a giveaway: A Russellscape for the visual artists among us, a Haiku contest for the wordsmiths, and for everyone (talented or not) my publisher is giving away a loaded iPad. All those details here.

*  *

And to celebrate the birthday of Mr Holmes, Random House have done a birthday card for the gent.  No violins, but a great deal of affection.January 5 ecard

 

Rousing COMPANY!

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes brings together a mix of people you never thought you’d see writing Sherlock Holmes stories. 9781605986586Such as Michael Sims and Cornelia Funke.

The Memoirs of Silver Blaze by Michael Sims

I shall not soon forget that awful night on the moors.
I was happy in King’s Pyland. At the time of my story, I was in my fifth year. I had already been an eminent racer for years, but at heart I am still a romantic colt, and northern Dartmoor is wild and free. Not that Colonel Ross permitted me to race across the moors. No, I was too valuable for that. But I breathed the bold spirit of the moors from dawn to dusk. I loved the rugged hillsides, the towering granite tors, and the mists that often veiled it all for hours before the sun could make headway.

My mother taught me that a gentleman never boasts, and thus I face a quandary. I hope that mentioning a fact won’t brand me a braggart; possibly you have been on the continent and failed to recognize the name Silver Blaze. (I have a white forehead but no other white markings except a mottled off foreleg.) Thistle was my dam and Isonomy my sire. Yes, the Isonomy, who in 1878 won the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket, and the next year both the Ascot Gold Cup and the Manchester Plate, and the next the Ascot again. It was a legacy to trip even the most cocksure colt, yet I fancy I showed myself worthy. Foaled in 1885 I barely perspired in winning the Two Thousand Guinea Stake in my third year. At Ascot I won the St. James Place Stakes in a canter. At the time I speak of, I was the favorite in the Wessex Cup, with odds of three to one.

* * *

Lost Boys by Cornelia Funke

Dear Holmes,
You always took care to hide your personal past under a cloak of mystery. No man is more aware of how dangerous a weapon it can be in the hands of an enemy. Only one case lifted this cloak for moments and I followed your wish—one may even call it an order—to destroy everything we gathered or wrote down on it. But I know you well enough (though you don’t make it easy to gain such knowledge, my dear friend, as I dare to call you by now) to be sure that one day you’ll wish to look back at what I am going to preserve with this letter: the shadow of a past that made you the man you are.

I often wondered whether you unveil the crimes and secrets of others so passionately because they remind you of secrets you hide from the world. This case—let’s call it ‘The Case of the Lost Boy”—proved that suspicion more than any other. It made me understand that my best friend covers his emotions with layers of frost because he is haunted by memories that are only bearable in such a frozen, lifeless state. The demons the great Sherlock Holmes fears live all within himself, and his best-kept secret is the place from which they hatched.

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes publishes today! Les Klinger and I, with some other contributors, will be at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale next week. (Mike Connelly has already signed his story there.)  In the meantime, you can order a copy from:

Poisoned Pen Books (signed by Laurie King, Les Klinger, and others)

IndieBound

Barnes & Noble/ Nook

Amazon/ Kindle

But wait, there’s more!

If you’re the kind who wants a REAL book, a leather-bound, marbled-paper, limited edition (they made 221 of them: get it?) how about this:

photo 1 copy

Signed on special pages by each of the authors and the editors, like this:

 

photo 2 copyphoto 3 copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few copies of this special edition are still available, from Mysterious Books in New York, here.

Sherlock & Les & Laurie & COMPANY

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes brings together a mix of people you never thought you’d see writing Sherlock Holmes stories. 9781605986586Such as Andrew Grant and Denise Hamilton:

Dr Watson’s Casebook by Andrew Grant

Frankland shared links to Frankland v Middleton and Frankland v Fernworth, at Court of Queen’s Bench.

Frankland likes this. D1,000 others do not like this.

Frankland Two cases, two results in my favour! I WON!!! My case against the constabulary is next. I’ll win that, too! But if the police treated me with the respect I deserve, I’d be helping them, not fighting them. I could tell them where to find the missing convict. I could tell them how to watch the boy who delivers his food every day. But they don’t, so I won’t. Ha!

The West Country Telescope Emporium likes this.

* * *

The Thinking Machine by Denise Hamilton

Bill often felt like the resident alien at the Landmart Corporation. After earning a PhD in mathematics while barely out of his teens, he’d spent the next decade at a research university dwelling happily in a world of pure numbers. It was a comfortable world where he felt at home,. Numbers were precise and did exactly what they were supposed to. They never let him down, unlike the human world, with its messy emotions and unpredictable behavior. A world Bill was so bad at navigating.

But then math got sexy and guys like Bill who knew analytics and data forecasting were suddenly in high demand.

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes publishes in three weeks, on November 11. You can pre-order a copy from:

Poisoned Pen Books (signed by Laurie King, Les Klinger, and others)

IndieBound

Barnes & Noble/ Nook

Amazon/ Kindle

Sherlock Holmes & COMPANY

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes brings together a mix of people you never thought you’d see writing Sherlock Holmes stories. 9781605986586Such as Jeffrey Deaver and Laura Caldwell:

The Adventure of the Laughing Fisherman by Jeffrey Deaver

Sometimes it’s overwhelming: the burden of knowing that the man you most admire isn’t real.

Then the depression that you’ve fought all your life creeps in, the anxiety. The borders of your life contract, stifling, suffocating.

And so slim Paul Winslow, 28, was presently walking into the neat, unadorned office of his on-again, off-again therapist, Dr. Levine, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

“Hello, Paul, come on in. Sit down.”

Dr. Levine was one of those shrinks who offered basic armchairs, not couches, for his patients. He spoke frequently during the sessions, wasn’t afraid to offer advice and asked, “How do you feel about that?” only when it was important to know how his patients felt. Which was pretty rare.

He never used the verb “explore.”

* * *

Art in the Blood by Laura Caldwell

When the reporter from the Post, a young woman with a garishly severe haircut, tried to tell him that the Gargeau he’d sold last month was a fake, Dekalb swallowed his disgust, took his bone china cup out of her hand and asked her, as politely as possible, to leave his office. Drew Dekalb VanWerden was his full name, but he preferred Dekalb. And Dekalb did not take well to contradiction or confrontation, certainly not from the Post.

The reporter had gotten an appointment by telling his assistant, a boy named Tad who would now have to be fired, that the Post wanted to do a profile on him. Movers and shakers of the art world, she’d apparently said. “A follow-up to Art of the Blood.”

She had clinched his interest with that comment. The decades-old article in the New Yorker, naming him as the Sherlock Holmes of the art world, was still the favored link on his web site. The moniker was one he’d gladly accepted.

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes publishes in one week, November 11. You can pre-order a copy from:

Poisoned Pen Books (signed by Laurie King, Les Klinger, and others)

IndieBound

Barnes & Noble/ Nook

Amazon/ Kindle

What a COMPANY!

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes brings together a mix of people you never thought you’d see writing Sherlock Holmes stories. 9781605986586Such as Gahan Wilson and Nancy Holder:

How I Came to Meet Sherlock Holmes by Gahan Wilson

I must confess I do not remember the precise date I first came to meet Sherlock Holmes but I know it was back in the brewing days of World War Two. Hitler and his Nazis had been building their extraordinarily powerful killing and crushing machine for some time and I was a very young lad living with my parents in a pleasant apartment building in Evanston, Illinois which had a very spacious backyard/parking lot to serve the apartment building’s tenants needs.

The building was full of families with young people such as myself, and we children played games enthusiastically and generally got along quite well with one another. I grew to be particularly fond of young, blonde Helen Stumph.

* * *

The Adventure of My Ignoble Ancestress by Nancy Holder

After my parents were murdered, I dropped everything and devoted myself to their case. I spent an incredible amount of money on private detectives and false leads. I got scammed a dozen times. A year passed, two, three. I never finished that book. My editor stopped asking about my progress. My literary agent suggested that a break would be good for both of us. I still had some cash left at that point, and I decided to make it last until I woke from this terrible nightmare. Money from royalties would come in the way it always had.

While that was true up to a point, the amount I received decreased every year as readers moved on. But I could not move on. Nothing I did made a difference. No one came forward with a name or a reason. No case-breaking clues were found. Still, I didn’t give up. I badgered the Roman police, I exploited all forms of social media, and I kept up the heat.

That was how Blackfield Carpenter, an English law firm, linked me, Nancy Holder the horror writer, to a Victorian-era banker named Alexander Holder. It turns out that I’m a descendant of this man, the closest one, in fact.

And Alexander Holder was a client of Sherlock Holmes.

 

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes publishes November 11. You can pre-order a copy from:

Poisoned Pen Books (signed by Laurie King, Les Klinger, and others)

IndieBound

Barnes & Noble/ Nook

Amazon/ Kindle

In the COMPANY

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes brings together a mix of people you never thought you’d see writing Sherlock Holmes stories. 9781605986586Such as… John Lescroart and Michael Dirda:

Dunkirk by John Lescroart

May, 1940
In full dark and shrouded in fog, the Dover Doll rose and fell in the

still waters of the English Channel.
The Doll, an 18-meter former fishing boat converted to pleasure yacht, had disembarked from her berth in Dover at a few minutes before 7:00 that night, the 26th, one of the 161 British vessels that proved to be avail- able on the first day of Operation Dynamo. The Doll carried a crew of four. Two of them—Harry and George–were boys under sixteen years of age, nephews of Duffy Black, a clerk from Churchill’s War Office who, because he’d spent much of his youth on the water, had volunteered to act as the captain of his brother-in-law’s boat during this crisis.

The last crew member, lately arrived from the Sussex Downs, was a elderly man who had with great formality identified himself to Duffy only as Mr. Sigerson. Taciturn and close to emaciated, Sigerson struck Duffy as a potential if not likely liability, but Churchill had called for volunteers post haste without regard to rank or age, and Duffy wasn’t in a position to turn away an able hand.

If, Duffy thought, he was in fact, able.

* * *

By Any Other Name by Michael Dirda

“How could you? Just how could you?”
Jean Leckie looked up at Arthur Conan Doyle, the tears streaming

down her cheeks. The couple were seated in a quiet corner of an ABC Tea shop in Camden Town. Her companion, dressed in handsome tweeds, appeared perplexed.

“Dearest, sweetest love. Please don’t cry.”
“It’s easy enough for you to say. Don’t you care about my feelings?” “I adore you.”
“Save that for Touie, you hypocrite. You clearly adored her enough

to make your marriage, your happy marriage the subject of this!” Jean brought out a book from her capacious handbag and slammed it on the table.

Arthur quietly picked up the small volume and looked at the cover: A Duet, by A. Conan Doyle.

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes publishes in two weeks, November 11. You can pre-order a copy from:

Poisoned Pen Books (signed by Laurie King, Les Klinger, and others)

IndieBound

Barnes & Noble/ Nook

Amazon/ Kindle

It’s all about the COMPANY

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes brings together a mix of people you never thought you’d see writing Sherlock Holmes stories. 9781605986586Such as… Laurie R. King and Michael Connelly:

Introduction by Laurie R. King

Variations on the theme of Holmes have been played ever since the man first saw print. Some have been whimsical, others deadly serious; some have even taught us something about ourselves. For Sherlock Holmes is both us, and a super-hero, armed not with greater-than-human powers, but with wits, experience, a small community of dependable friends, and the occasional singlestick or riding crop. Like the artist-scientist, Holmes takes a mass of cold, unrelated, and inert fact, shapes it between his narrow, nicotine-stained hands, and then electrifies it—and us—with a bolt of inspiration.

Come to think of it, perhaps we should envision him, not as an archetype, but as a golem, a mud figure brought to life by human need.

* * *

The Crooked Man by Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch held his badge up to the man in the gray uniform at the guardhouse door and said nothing. He was expected.

“You know which one it is?” the guard asked.
“I’ll find it,” Bosch said.
The guardrail opened and Bosch drove on through.
“Going to be hard to miss,” said his partner, Jerry Edgar.
Bosch proceeded past estates that sprawled across the southern ridge of

the Santa Monica Mountains. Vast green lawns that had never accepted a weed because they didn’t have to. He had never been in the Doheny Estates but the opulence was even more than he expected. Up here even the guesthouses had guesthouses. They passed one estate with a garage that had a row of eight doors for the owner’s car collection.

They knew only the basics about the call out. A man—a studio man— was dead and a wife—a much younger wife—was on the premises.

Soon they came to a house where there were three patrol cars parked outside the driveway entrance. In front of them was a van from the coroner’s office and in front of that was a car that looked out of place on the street and not the driveway. It was a long, sleek Mercedes coupe the color of onyx. Bosch’s battered black Ford looked like a mule next to a stallion.

Edgar noticed the incongruity as well and came up with an explanation. “My guess, Harry? She’s already lawyered up.”
Bosch nodded.
“That will be just perfect.”

In the Company of Sherlock Holmes publishes November 11. You can pre-order a copy from:

Poisoned Pen Books (signed by Laurie King, Les Klinger, and others)

IndieBound

Barnes & Noble/ Nook

Amazon/ Kindle

css.php