Of course the evil evil evil Judy Bobalik scheduled it for 10am Sunday morning, so you know I was barely conscious but once Rae Helmsworth gavelled the panel to order, I sat up and paid attention.
The topic was "Books You Should Be Reading" and while I think everyone should be reading my client's books, there is a place for some other guys to be mentioned.
Rae started by asking all the panelists to list authors that deserve more attention:
Larry Gandle (a reviewer for "Deadly Pleasures" magazine) started with:
Thomas Cook specifically The Chatham School Affair
Nancy Slusar's list:
Lisa Gardner (the DD Warren series particularly)
Dave Magayna's list:
Joe R. Lansdale (The Bottoms)
Kathleen George (Pittsburgh series)
T. Jefferson Parker
Question: Name a favorite classic
Roger Sobin: Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
When the Sacred Gin Mill Closes by Lawrence Block
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
To Kill A Mockingbird (it has all the elements of a great crime novel)
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Lord of the Rings
Demolition Angel by Robert Crais
Question: What are some overlooked books
Roger: gave us a great hand out compiled from THE ESSENTIAL MYSTERY LISTS (Poisoned Pen Press: 2007)
Rae: City of Shadows by Ariana Franklin (single best ending of any book)
Rob: Ben Perkins series (If you love Elvis Cole you'll love Ben Perkins)
Question: books/authors that defy or exceed subgenres
Larry: Michael Connelly, and Laura Lippman
Dave: Sophie Littlefield's A BAD DAY FOR SORRY -- a book that a guy who loves hardboiled crime could love
Nancy: Sue Grafton, Laura Lippman, John Connolly, Linwood Barclay
Rae: John Billheimer
Question: What current books/authors do you think might become classics?
Robocopalypse by Daniel Wilson,
SJ Watson Before I Go To Sleep
A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin
Six Days of the Condor
Hank Thompson trilogy by Charlie Huston
Not sure who said these:
Rae: Nina Zero
Question: What's a definitive title/author of the genre?
Roger: Sherlock Holmes
Dave: Hammett and Chandler
Nancy: David Morrell and Robert Ludlum
In the Scandanavians-Stieg Larson;
Police Procedural-Ed McBain;
Wise-cracking PI-Travis McGee and then Robert Crais gave the category a shot in the arm with Elvis Cole.
This was a terrific panel, not least because no one had a book they were pushing. I'm all for authors talking about books, but sometimes the critics and reviewers with their breadth and depth are a nice counterpoint.
And Rae Helmsworth should moderate more panels. She's terrific. She and Andrew Grant should be the default moderators forever.
Next year in Cleveland!