Mystery writers converge on city for conference

The Baltimore Sun

If you're a mystery fan, Baltimore is the place to be this week.

Beginning Thursday, the international Bouchercon conference, Charmed to Death, will bring about 1,500 mystery writers and mystery lovers here for a four-day celebration of the genre. Among them: Lawrence Block, whose works span more than five decades, and Baltimore's own Laura Lippman.

Lippman, whose new short-story collection, Hardly Knew Her, just hit stores, will be the conference's American guest of honor. She's also in the running for two Anthony awards: best novel for What the Dead Know and best short story for "Hardly Knew Her."

Charmed to Death is a great place to meet your favorite authors as they discuss topics including: Has CSI ruined the way we view reality? Does sex really sell books? It's also a great resource for aspiring writers. Another reason to support the event: An auction will raise money for the Enoch Pratt Library System and Viva House.

Registration will be available at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel. If you can't make it, catch some of the authors at public events. A group will appear at Geppi's Entertainment Museum from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. The Roland Park, Southeast, Govans and Orleans Street libraries will host events Saturday.

We'll follow the conference all week on the Read Street blog. Convention details are at

Reviewers and bloggers

Last weekend, in addition to our appearance at the Baltimore Book Festival, Read Street was the guest blogger at Poe's Deadly Daughters. The post about the interplay between newspaper reviewers and bloggers drew these comments:

"I look on reader reviews as a form of word of mouth, and I'm happy to have it, as both a reader and a writer. I'm sure that in some cases, these may be the only reviews a book will get."

Posted by: Sandra Parshall

"[A]ll those websites are part of the problem. When do you find time to read the books if you're reading the lists? ... One week of following DorthyL and I've added two books to a hip deep list of TBR books."

Posted by: Susan E.

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