Bouchercon 2017 Wrap-up

It’s totally possible to be both incredibly energized and too exhausted to work the day after a great conference, yes?

I returned from Bouchercon Toronto after a very long travel day, via Philadelphia. Sadly only saw the inside of the Philly airport. What is it with people in window seats closing the window shade the minute they get on the plane and raising them only after landing? What are they hiding from the clouds?!

Between meetings and my own events, I usually have little time to visit other panels. I did get to hear Janet Hutchings of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Susan Elia MacNeal, Charles and Caroline Todd, Holly West, Art Taylor, Brendan DuBois, J.T. Ellison, and so many other terrific writers and editors speak. The good news is that I was able to talk to many, many other friends and readers in the restaurants and hallways of the Sheraton and surrounding venues. And, of course, I practically fell upon the neck of the brilliant Louise Penny, to whom I was introduced by the delightful debut author of YESTERDAY, Felicia Yap.

I think my most fun conference event was the Author Speed Dating event. We authors hopped from table to table in pairs, and each one of us got to natter at the eight or so readers sitting at each table for two minutes. Then a bell would ring and the pair of us would go on to the next table. The event went on for two hours, and by the end of it I’d nearly lost my voice. But what a treat it is to have a moment to meet readers one-on-one. I do love that, especially because we writers aren’t necessarily recognizable on sight, and it’s intimidating to stare at someone’s badge to confirm that they are who you think they are. Or aren’t. So awkward.

My sentimental favorite event was being part of the conference salute to Janet Hutchings and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Janet gave me my very first big story publication back in 2001, and has been very kind and generous since then. She is much beloved by all the writers I know who have worked with her.

I took shamefully few photos with friends this conference, but I have many, many happy memories. Mystery writers and readers are the kindest and most generous of folks!


43rd floor of the Sheraton



Ontario government buildings (right)


James Ziskin, Louise Penny, Art Tayor–all Macavity award winners


J.T. Ellison and Randy Ellison, lovebirds


J.T. Ellison, Stacy Allen, Me


Ruth Jordan and Jon Jordan, Crimespree Magazine publishers and fellow LEGO aficionados


This sign turned into a rainbow of colors throughout the night


Sunday morning darkness at the edge of town, on the way to the airport



4 thoughts on “Bouchercon 2017 Wrap-up”

  1. Priscilla says:

    Thank you for sharing your trip with us. It sounds like you had a blast, and the Toronto skyline photos are so pretty.

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      I don’t think it could have been a better trip! It is a beautiful skyline. Wish I’d been able to take more photos from other locations.

  2. skyecaitlin says:

    It looks and sounds like a wonderful time, Laura, and I adore your photos of Toronto, your vivid descriptions, and the photos of you and JT. Both are gorgeous!

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Thanks, hon. We try to clean up when we’re on the road, lol. But when we Skype at home, it’s all bleary eyes and yoga pants!

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