|Columbia Club, Indianapolis|
It might seem a bit hypocritical for me to recommend an event that I’m not planning to attend. As an expatriate Indianapolitan, believe me, I would if I could. I’ve been in a nostalgic mood lately and I’m also thinking about another book in my Indianapolis-based Shanahan series. Checking out the city’s continued metamorphosis would be helpful to the work. But there are other reasons to go to Indianapolis. This October the city hosts a gem of a mystery conference.
For mystery writers and readers, Magna Cum Murder is a beautiful thing. This is not to take away from other crime fiction conventions. For example, there is no mystery fan gathering grander than the Mystery Writers of America’s (MWA) annual Bouchercon, which I also highly recommend. But this is something different. Unlike the wonderfully raucous throngs of mystery fans at a convention hotel, Magna is designed to be a more relaxed, more intimate event.
Whether you are an established author, want to be one, or merely have a passion for the genre, you’ll not only have a chance to participate in great panel discussions, but also talk face-to-face with best-selling, award-winning authors who’ve written some of your favorite books. Among those who have already signed up:
Hank Phillippi Ryan — A Hoosier by birth and currently a Bostonian, Ryan is stealing the spotlight these days. Her latest book, The Other Woman has been nominated for “best novel” by just about any group giving out awards, including the MWA, the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA) and Mystery Readers International.
Terence Faherty — Faherty was born in New Jersey, but calls himself a “naturalized” Hoosier. An Edgar nominee and winner of two Shamus awards and a Macavity, he is the author of two highly regarded mystery series and several prize-winning short stories. Eastward of Eden, a new book in the Owen Keane series, has a September release date.
William Kent Krueger — No stranger to the best seller lists, Minnesotan Krueger won back-to-back Anthony Awards for Blood Hollow and Mercy Falls. The 13th in his Cork O’Connor mystery series, Tamarack County, will be released in August. His latest, the standalone novel, Ordinary Grace is on the shelves now.
Jeremiah Healy — Premier private eye writer Healy is the author of two mystery series, both set in Boston. He has the distinction of not only winning PWA’s Shamus Award for best P.I. Novel, but also having been nominated for the honor an unprecedented 15 times. Many of these classics were recently reissued.
Parnell Hall — Bon Vivant and entertainer as well as popular and prolific mystery writer, Hall is a welcomed regular at Magna Cum Murder. The New Yorker is the author of the Puzzle Lady series — if you like crosswords, Hall is a double threat — and the highly-praised Stanley Hastings mysteries. Arsenic and Old Puzzles and Stakeout, the most recent books from each series, were released earlier this year.
John Gilstrap — The best selling author’s first book, Nathan’s Run, was optioned by Hollywood as has a second book. For those interested in books and movies, Gilstrap is a screenwriter as well. Meanwhile the books keep coming. High Treason will be available next month.
Steve Hamilton — Hamilton writes the Alex McKnight series set in Michigan. His A Cold Day in Paradise picked up both an Edgar and Shamus for Best First Novel. His novel, The Lock Artist, was also awarded the Edgar and the Barry, this time for Best Novel in 2010. He lives in Upstate New York. His latest, Let It Burn, has just been released.
For many years, Magna Cum Murder was successfully held in Muncie, Indiana at the historic Hotel Roberts. Unfortunately, the lovely old hotel is now history. The good news is this year’s conference is being held at a protected national historic landmark — the Columbia Club in Indianapolis. The Club is located in the very center of the city’s revitalized downtown. Conference attendees will be only a few blocks from hotels, galleries, shopping, restaurants and nightclubs.
The Columbia Club
121 Monument Circle