Last Wednesday I went to my first Mystery Writers of America holiday party, aptly called Revels. MWA took over Distilled on West Broadway and it was fun. The late Lawrence Block was honored. There was an open bar and delicious food was offered by a pleasant wait staff. Can you juggle a drink, a purse, a napkin and a skewer with a smile on your face? If so, teach me. Before the party, I had the forever fifteen anxiety that no one would know me or talk to me. What is it about mystery writers? Is it because we have a purpose, writing mysteries, that makes it easy to talk to one another. A common question is what’s your genre? In crime fiction the answer could be police procedural, cozy, thriller, Victorian, hard-boiled, private eye, medical, military.
The Edgars have been presented every year. Named after Edgar Allan Poe, they honor the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television, film, and theater.
MWA was founded in 1945. It’s catchy slogan, courtesy of Clayton Rawson, is “Crime doesn’t pay – enough.”
Graphic Lessons: What do a thirty-four-year old, a nine-year-old and an eighteen-year-old have in common? Murder.
Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a dying man in the school kitchen, deals with a troubled nine-year-old and with the eighteen-year-old niece of the murdered man.
Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie.
Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned the murder case at the prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed while Kulchek was buying cigarettes? Escaping an attempted car bombing? His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School? Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook?