Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Weekend With the Grandes Dames

Margaret Maron
I seem to have grown up.  Last Thursday I took off for what I thought was going to be a weekend with the girls--aka Malice Domestic, a gathering of mystery fans and writers--and ended up hanging with the distinguished grandes dames Nancy Pickard,
Nancy Pickard
Margaret Maron, and Sue Grafton. About three days ago we were the Class of '82,  more or less ( that year, definitely, for Sue and me, '81 for Margaret and somewhere around there for Nancy).  We were all so bright-eyed and hopeful. Who knew what the next zillion years would bring?

Sue Grafton
But looking at the way the fans worshipped those ladies, I realize that, yes, my friends really have achieved grande dame status, and how lucky I am to have been in that class. We kicked some butt. We woke up the tired old cliche-ridden detective novel and breathed new life into it. It was a Renaissance!  So imagine my surprise when, about a year ago, I heard those exact same words come out of the mouth of  Dennis Lehane, with regard to HIS class, not surprisingly all boys except for Laura Lippman and S.J. Rozan, who received only glancing mentions. Maybe every generation of writers feels that way,

But I digress. (Sorry, that incident made quite an impression.) What I meant to say is that if you want a weekend of laughs and giggles, spend it with the grandes dames. What a great time!  Now Malice is a convention celebrating the "traditional mystery," which generally means one a good deal tamer than either Sue or I write. But she was there to be honored for  Lifetime Achievement and I was there actually as her most devoted friend, but officially to interview her.

Which I did, amid many more laughs and giggles, and if I do say so, I was able to uncover a major scoop regarding the iconic mystery writer.  I harangued her in the manner of Barbara Walters until she gave up the Youtube channel that uncovers the heretofore closely guarded secrets of her private life and revealed it to the assembled masses. Thus, the cat, to severely mix a metaphor, is out of the bag. This cat has feathers. For enlightenment, proceed instantly to YouTube and plug in the secret code:
stevenhumphrey6100 . And then eat this blog.


  1. Nice! I've been a fan of all 4 of you for a long time!!

  2. Thanks, nolaboard! I can't vouch for myself but the other three are simply great people.

  3. What a great class -- and what wonderful set of class acts!


  4. Loved this post... the grandes dames, indeed.

  5. To Jan and Janet--for some reason, this software isn't letting me respond to Jan individually. Just wanted to say--thanks and ditto. These dames--uh, babes--are definitely class acts.

  6. Awww, Julie, thank you. What fun to see the other classmates, too. Love Sue's narration on the chicken video. You can take a girl out of the country. . .

  7. Great post, Julie. I really loved all three of your series. I wish there were another book of yours on the horizon.