Thursday, October 15, 2015

Bouchercon 2015: Photo Finish

(Left to right) Ali Karim and newly minted novelist Patricia “Patti” Abbott, whose Concrete Angel was released this last summer.

Everyone who attended the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention last week in Raleigh, North Carolina, came away with memories. Some people also departed with myriad photographs. One of the latter was my longtime friend and Rap Sheet colleague, Ali Karim, who’d worked so hard on the programming for this year’s gathering. A whirlwind of energy (thanks, in part, to the copious amounts of caffeine he ingested), Ali seemed to be everywhere simultaneously--not only in the audiences at panel discussions, but outside the conference rooms checking in with authors and comrades, and introducing people to one another in the best networking fashion.

It’s understandable that many folks--even a few who didn’t know Ali--returned home with photos that included him in some way. However, the ubiquitous Mr. Karim also gave the camera component of his own smartphone a workout, recording the Raleigh conference for posterity. Below, I’m embedding a selection of the shots Ali took (or that were taken with his camera), along with a handful that came from other sources (and are properly identified). This is in no way a complete record of what went on during Bouchercon 2015, but I hope it provides a taste of the great fun we all had there.

Click on any of these images to open an enlargement.

Ali hams it up with Alvin, Texas, novelist and blogger Bill Crider (Between the Living and the Dead).

Bouchercon 2015 chair Al Abramson welcomes the attendees.

George Easter, the editor of Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine, stops outside the main convention hotel for a photo with author Aly Monroe (she’s the one with a full head of hair), DPMM assistant editor Larry Gandle, and novelist Reed Farrel Coleman.

Ali doesn’t miss his chance to appear beside legendary crime writer Lawrence Block (The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes).

Janet Rudolph, the editor of Mystery Readers Journal and author of the blog Mystery Fanfare, cozies up beside Adrian Muller, the co-chair (with Myles Allfrey) of Britain’s annual CrimeFest.

Your humble blogger, J. Kingston Pierce, greets San Francisco, California-based photographer and author Mark Coggins, whose new August Riordan private-eye novel is No Hard Feelings.

Our man Ali is flanked by South Africans Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, who publish mysteries under the joint nom de plume Michael Stanley. Their latest book featuring David Bengu, aka Kubu, the assistant superintendent of Botswana’s Criminal Investigation Department, is A Death in the Family.

North Carolina author Margaret Maron, who was presented with the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award during Bouchercon, stops to autograph one of her many novels for a reader.

Ali elicits a curious look from James R. Benn, author of the Billy Boyle World War II mysteries (The White Ghost).

Northern California high-tech entrepreneur-turned-author Keith Raffel (Temple Mount) sidles up to Cartriona McPherson, the Scotland-born author of the Dandy Gilver detective series (Dandy Gilver and the Unpleasantness in the Ballroom).

Novelist, screenwriter, and Brash Books publisher Lee Goldberg (The Scam) takes a moment in the sun with Parnell Hall, author of the Stanley Hastings mysteries (A Fool for a Client).

Ali pauses in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel beside Lucinda Surber and Stan Ulrich, editors of the Web site Stop, You’re Killing Me! and the Fan Guests of Honor at Bouchercon 2015.

Australian journalist-fictionist Michael Robotham, who recently won the British Crime Writers’ Association’s Goldsboro Gold Dagger award for his novel Life or Death, takes a moment to share memories of that victory with the gregarious Ali.

Here’s a motley crew, all gathered in the convention’s book room. From the left: Charles Todd, the co-author--with his mother, Caroline--of the Ian Rutledge historical detective series (A Fine Summer’s Day) and the Bess Crawford mysteries (A Pattern of Lies); yours truly, again; the aforementioned and very pleasant Caroline Todd; Deadly Pleasures’ Larry Gandle; the hyper-prolific novelist Max Allan Collins (Kill Me, Darling); and mystery/suspense author Brendan DuBois (Blood Foam).

Assembled for what turned out to be an excellent panel discussion titled “The ‘Masters’ that Influenced the
‘Masters’ in Crime & Mystery” are Bill Crider, Karin Slaughter, Megan Abbott, and Lawrence Block. (Photo © Peter Rozovsky)

International Guest of Honor Allan Guthrie teams up with his very funny fellow Scottish author, Caro Ramsey (aka Carole Mitchell), for the “Murder Goes International” panel. (Photo © Peter Rozovsky)

Although it took place at the rather early hour of 8:30 a.m., moderator Peter Rozovsky’s Saturday presentation, “Inside the Mind and Work of Dashiell Hammett,” was very well attended--probably because he was talking with Hammett’s granddaughter, Julie M. Rivett, and Hammett biographer Richard Layman. Rozovsky later admitted he was “over the moon before, during, and after interviewing” these two guests. (Photo © Peter Rozovsky)

Eleven years after the founding of the International Thriller Writers organization, members David Morrell, Joseph Finder, Robin Burcell, Carla Buckley, and Gayle Lynds gathered to talk about its evolution and future intentions.

Books were the principal focus of Bouchercon, but TV crime dramas also enjoyed some spotlight treatment. Gathered together for a presentation titled “Beyond The Wire, Bosch, and True Detective: TV Crime Evolves” were Lee Goldberg, Megan Abbott, Alison Gaylin, Tim O’Mara, and Christa Faust.

Laura Lippman could attend only one day of Bouchercon events. She took part in a Thursday panel discussion titled “Beyond Hammett, Chandler, and Spillane,” then was gone by the end of that day. Which meant she wasn
t around to see her novel After I’m Gone (one of my favorite works of 2014) win this year’s Anthony Award for Best Novel. (Photo © Peter Rozovsky)

Jack Bludis, author of the 1950s-set Brian Kane gumshoe series, joins Ali for this year’s Shamus Awards dinner.

Bouchercon provided plenty of plaudits for Brooklyn author and TV crime reporter Julia Dahl. Her first book, Invisible City (2014), captured the Barry Award for Best Novel as well as this year’s Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel. Above, she poses with her third honor of the convention, the Shamus Award for Best First Private Eye Novel. (Photo provided by the author.)

Steve Hamilton, whose A Cold Day in Paradise won the Private Eye Writers of America’s Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel in 1999, relaxes at this year’s Shamus dinner.

A little more promotion for Michael Robotham’s Life or Death: Authors Jason Starr (Savage Lane) and Cara Brookins (she’s holding the book) join Robotham and Ali in a hotel hallway shot.

Former P.I. and journalist Michael Koryta (Last Words) poses with Ali outside the Sheraton’s largest convention room.

During Saturday’s Anthony Awards presentation, editors Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger picked up the Best Anthology or Collection prize for their latest book, In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon.

North Carolina-born author Art Taylor, who only recently welcomed the release of his first novel, On the Road with Del & Louise, won the Best Short Story Anthony for “The Odds Are Against Us” (from Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, November 2014).

Chicago resident Lori Rader-Day scored the Anthony Award for Best First Novel with her 2014 release, The Black Hour.

UK author Zoë Sharp was, along with Allan Guthrie, one of Bouchercon’s two International Guests of Honor.

This year’s David S. Thompson Award, recognizing “extraordinary efforts to develop and promote the mystery and crime fiction community,” was given to Toby and Bill Gottfried.

The Raleigh convention boasted two American Guests of Honor: Kathy Reichs, author of the Temperance Brennan novels (Speaking in Bones), on which the TV crime procedural series Bones is based; and Tom Franklin, who teaches in the University of Mississippi’s Master’s of Fine Arts program, and whose 2010 novel, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger Award.

The last item on the convention schedule was Sunday’s “Guest of Honor Closing Panel.” Moderated by whodunit writer Rochelle Staab, it featured Stan Ulrich and Lucinda Surber, Local Guest of Honor Sarah R. Shaber, Margaret Maron, co-Toastmaster Sean Doolittle, Tom Franklin, Allan Guthrie, Kathy Reichs, co-Toastmaster Lori G. Armstrong, and Zoë Sharp.

And that’s it for Bouchercon 2015. Cheers!

READ MORE:Bouchercon 2015 in a Few Pictures” and “Bouchercon, Part II,” by Peter Rozovsky (Detectives Beyond Borders); “Bouchercon 2015 Raleigh Recap--Part One” and “Bouchercon 2015 Raleigh Recap--Part Two,” by Kristopher Zgorski (BOLO Books); “Some Great Moments from Bouchercon,” by S.J. Rozan; “Bouchercon Photo Gallery,” by Max Allan Collins; “Bouchercon Bliss,” by Art Taylor; “Bouchercon ’15: N@B, Negroes, Ofays, Bike-Effers and Nacho-Gate,” by Jedidiah Ayres (Hardboiled Wonderland); “Baby’s First Bouchercon,” by Angel Luis Colón; “In My Tribe: Bouchercon Raleigh Recap 2015,” by Joe Clifford (Candy and Cigarettes Blog).


Ronald Tierney said...

Thank you. For those of us who couldn't make it, this was a good time.

pattinase (abbott) said...

What a lovely group of pics. So much credit goes to Ali who seemed to be everywhere at once. Wish I had known those were the people behind STOP YOU'RE KILLING ME. I would have introduced myself as they sat beside me for a long time.