Thursday, September 29, 2011

My favorite Bouchercon panel

It's taken a while to unpack sober up and find my notes which might explain why I'm just now posting about what turned out to be my favorite Bouchercon panel.

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: 
Roger Ellory
Peter James
Thomas Cook specifically The Chatham School Affair

Nancy Slusar's list:
Roger Ellory
Gregg Hurwitz
Lisa Gardner (the DD Warren series particularly)

Dave Magayna's list:
Joe R. Lansdale (The Bottoms)
Kathleen George (Pittsburgh series)
T. Jefferson Parker
Loren Estleman
George Pelecanos

Question: Name a favorite classic

Roger Sobin: Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Dave Magayna:
When the Sacred Gin Mill Closes by Lawrence Block
The Shadow of the Wind by  Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Nancy Slusar: 
To Kill A  Mockingbird (it has all the elements of a great crime novel)

Larry Gandle:
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: 
Ross Thomas
Barbara Serenella
Tony Hillerman
Ellis Peters
Thomas Perry

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;
PI-Chandler's Dashiell Hammett's (I'm mortified at that little error!)  MALTESE FALCON;
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!


Anonymous said...

Editors and agents at a conference years ago are who hooked me on Elmore Leonard and Thomas Harris, right before they broke big. I love these lists. Thanks for sharing them.

Melissa Dymock said...

Thanks for the list. I'm always looking for new authors to try. And with a list this complete, I'm bound to find some on the shelf at my little local library.

For my own list, I have to plug the Spellman files. I love a crime book that finds time to be ridiculously funny. But stay away from her latest, Heads You Lose. I'm still angry over how awful that was.

Rae Helmsworth said...

Thanks Janet! I'm looking forward to duking it out with you over You-Know-Who's dialog next year in Cleveland ;-)

jennymilch said...

Wish I had been there! Great mentions. Next year we'll have to drink I mean think about which panel is the one worth getting up for...

Janet Rudolph said...

Thanks for posting.I went to the panel but neglected to take notes. The readers/critics panel is always my favorite. Love to hear favorite reads.

Anonymous said...

This question is always my favorite part of any conference (though I suppose if someone offered me a book contract, THAT would become my favorite part)-- hearing agents and editors talk about books is delicious. And I always come home with a reading list as long as my arm. Thanks for sharing!

Joyce said...

I love seeing friend and fellow Pittsburgher, Kathleen George on the list!

Anonymous said...

Have said it before, will say it again: Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series, as a (50+ book!) whole, will someday be regarded as a towering achievement of Twentieth Century American literature.

Laurent said...

Chandler's Maltese Falcon...? Really ?

Janet Reid said...

oh god.
No, Chandler did not write the Maltese Falcon.

Thanks for calling this to my attention so I can fix it.

I'll just swim off to the Sea of Mortificationfor awhile now.