Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bouchercon VIII: Roll, Jordans, roll

A tip of the battered baseball cap to Ruth and Jon Jordan of Crime Spree magazine, honored at Bouchercon 2009 with an Anthony Award for special services.

I got to hang with Ruth and Jon throughout the convention, and their warmth, energy and brains are contagious. They plan Bouchercons. They put out a magazine. They love crime fiction and its community, and they are full of creative ideas for bringing new readers to the genre. They are the sorts who make one want to roll up one's sleeves, get to work, and have fun doing it. I feel quite sure that no one has deserved an award more. (Visit the Rap Sheet for a complete list of Anthony Award winners and nominees.)
I occupy a fairly specialized niche, and one of the pleasures of conventions is the chance to break out, to meet authors and even entire genres outside my specialty of international crime fiction. In the past, this has led me to Scott Phillips, Megan Abbott, Christa Faust and, through Brian Lindenmuth, back to comics and graphic novels. In Indianapolis I met, mingled, dined, drank at the same table as or schmoozed with Victor Gischler, Kelli Stanley, Heather Graham, Theresa Schwegel and Rosemary Harris, among others whom I had known previously just by name or not at all.

Practitioners and fans of crime fiction's various subgenres sometimes spit on the ground at the mention of each other's specialties, so it was nice to see the hard-boiled and the cozy breaking bread in good fellowship in Indianapolis.

Of course, I had good fun with the usual suspects, too, notably talking P.G. Wodehouse with Ruth Dudley Edwards at a dinner outing that also included Leighton Gage, who started the Wodehouse ball rolling; Cara Black; and Stuart Neville. The latter drank a Newcastle Brown Ale.

© Peter Rozovsky 2009

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Anonymous Chandra said...

I'm newcomer to your blog and despite the name am of Irish descent (it's complicated). I read Stuart Neville's book Ghosts of Belfast and thought it was great. I was wondering if you could tell me about other Irish crime or mystery writers that I might not have heard of. (I know about Ian Rankin of course.)



October 21, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Welcome. If you like Stuart Neville's writing, you might also like Adrian McKinty's, particularly Dead I Well May Be, The Dead Yard and The Bloomsday Dead.

Brian McGilloway writes a series where the afterlife of the Troubles is sometimes present by its absence. There's Declan Burke, with The Big O and Eightball Boogie. Declan Hughes. Ken Bruen you'll have heard of, but you may not know of his Brant and Roberts novels or his three collaborations with Jason Starr published by Hard Case Crime. Garbhan Downey has an astonishing comic take on post-Troubles Ireland.

It's a long list, really, and I can refer you to two blogs and a Web site for more information: Crime Always Pays, Crime Scene NI and Critical Mick.

On the Scottish side, there's Rankin, of course. I like Allan Guthrie and Christopher, and you can get the lowdown on Scottish crime fiction at Big Beat From Badsville.

October 21, 2009  
Anonymous Chandra said...

Thank you very much.

Rankin is Scottish, of course! Although I cant tell them apart when they are talking on TV.

Again thank you,


October 21, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I omitted Christopher Brookmyre's last name in my first reply. His writing is unrestrained and sometimes very funny.

Well, if you squint, perhaps Rankin could sound as if he were from Northern Ireland.

I'm glad you brought up Rankin. That gave me the chance to tout some Scottish crime writers. Donna Moore, who keeps the Big Beat From Badsville, is one of those; her second novel is just out. But you really ought to look in on those blogs I mentioned (along with frequent visits to this site, of course). Irish crime writing is booming, and, especially in the North, there's lots more to come, I think.

The pleasure is mine. I love talking and writing about this stuff.

October 21, 2009  
Blogger Kiwicraig said...

Other Irish crime writers include Alex Barclay and John Connolly.

A Scottish writer who set his excellent debut ALL THE COLOURS OF THE TOWN in Scotland and Northern Ireland (linking the effect of the Troubles on both countries) is Liam McIlvanney, who now lives in New Zealand.

I am jealous of all those who got to go to Bouchercon Peter... maybe one day...

October 22, 2009  
Blogger John McFetridge said...

If we're going to talk about the Scots we should include Russel McLean.

I hate that I missed Bouchercon. I'm definitely going next year.

October 22, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Arlene Hunt. Jason Johnson. (Colin) Bateman. John McAllister, Gene Kerrigan. Sam Millar. Liam McIlvanney got a write-up on one of the Irish crime-fiction sites, and I think he did a reading at the excellent No Alibis in Belfast.

Craig, maybe we'll see you in San Francisco next year, in St. Louis in 2011, or somewhere after the world ends in 2012.

October 23, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

John, is Stuart McBride Scottish?

By odd coincidence, I had a bunch of tablemates from in and around Toronto at dinner the Wednesday night before the conference. Quite a dinner it was: thirty people, and we got separate checks without even asking.

October 23, 2009  

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