– Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery
New Orleans is a city known for sin, drinking, and corruption; a perfect place for the 2016 Bouchercon where hundreds of crime novelists, publishers, and fans meet. I’ve been going solo to these things, but this time I was joined by my fellow MysteryPeople, newly named Director Of Suspense Molly Odintz and and MysteryPeople Blogger Meike Alana to divide and and conquer. That said, I was still exhausted after I was done.
Even the panels were more rollicking than usual. When Moderator Laura Lippman spoke on behalf of Megan Abbott on their “Real Housewives” discussion, panelist Greg Herren called up Megan to see if Laura was right. for the record, she was. On a panel on vigilante justice in crime fiction Stuart Neville questioned the authors who talked about the need for a vigilante hero, by saying it is a fascist trope. A panel on the use of violence got interesting when Taylor Stevens, author of The Informationist, talked about the need for it in her writings. “Our characters are gladiators in the arena and our readers want to see them get bloodied.”
As usual the conference served as a great way to learn about new and upcoming books. Molly and I attended a party for In Sunlight Or In Shadow edited by Lawrence Block, coming out in December. The anthology features stories where authors like Block, Stephen King, Lee Child, and Michael Connelly use an Edward Hopper painting as the basis for a story. Two other exciting collections I discovered were The Highway Kind featuring car related crime fiction from the likes of Ace Atkins, Joe R. Lansdale, and George Pelecanos, and A Long Time Dead, a collection of unearthed Mickey Spillane Mike Hammer stories, finished and edited by his friend and collaborator, Max Allan Collins.
It was a full four days in Crescent City, including parades, celebrating with the gang at Mulholland Books on their fifth anniversary and SoHo publishing on their twenty fifth. After hanging out with my author friends, including dinner at Mandina’s, one of Elmore Leonard’s favorite restaurants, with Thomas Pluck and Josh Stallings, picking up more books and eating more crawfish than I should it was time to go home. Another B-con, more great memories.