What Did Happen At Malice Domestic…

What happens when three (out of four) Chicks meet up for the first time at one of the biggest traditional mystery conventions in the country? Read on for a recap of this year’s Malice Domestic convention!

Malice Domestic
Marla, Ellen and Lisa at this year’s Malice Domestic convention. (Photo by The Semester of Our Discontent author Cynthia Kuhn.)

 Marla Cooper

CotC Marla Cooper

One of my favorite things about Malice—and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way—is meeting people I’d only known online. It was like going to summer camp and reuniting with all your old friends… except that you’ve never met before! (And they kill people for fun.) I am basically madly in love with no less than twenty people I was already pretty fond of going into it.

One of the highlights of the conference itself was the New Author Breakfast, where they call all the new authors up one by one to talk about their books. Now, they scheduled the breakfast for 7:00 a.m. the morning after the banquet. Because who doesn’t want to close down the bar and then get up early? Add to that the fact that I live on the West Coast, so it was basically at four in the morning. (If only I woke up looking like Beyonce like Kellye does! I woke up with such a hilarious case of bedhead that I immediately texted it to Ellen and Lisa.)

I barely remember what I said, but it was a great warmup for my panel: “Just Die Laughing: Humor in Mysteries.” The panel was moderated by the awesome Kendel Lynn of Henery Press, and she did such an amazing job she basically she ruined me for all other panels. My favorite feedback was a woman who posted on my Facebook, “We were at a panel next door and we could hear you all laughing!”

All in all, my first Malice was everything I had hoped it would be, and now I’m having to adjust to a life where I can’t just wander downstairs and find my friends in the bar. It’s a hard adjustment, and I’m dealing with it the only way I know how: by signing up for Bouchercon in September! (Who’s in?)

Lisa Q. Mathews

CotC Word balloons

I think I’m still recovering from Malice. Or maybe it was that nine-hour train ride home (during which I was supposed to get sooo much writing done, but slept instead). Anyhoo, I had a fabulous time and the whole conference was a great learning experience for a newbie author. I got to sit at Ellen’s nominee table at the banquet, which was an honor, join fellow Guppies at the Booeymongers lunch (I kept calling it Boogyman’s), attend Marla’s hilarious panel, and hang out with readers and friends I’d been dying to meet in person. (*waves to Vickie Fee*)


It pretty much goes without saying that one of the highlights of the weekend for me was spending time with two of my fellow Chicks. Missed you, Kellye! (Sniff.)


I was also thrilled to be on a panel (my first ever as an author!) re: sleuth teams moderated by the amazing Dru Ann Love of Dru’s Book Musings. (Note to Hyatt Bethesda: Steps up onto the stage would be a helpful addition.) Lisa.Dru.JPG

Oh, and I also got to sit next to Nancy Martin of Miss Ruffles fame for my first author signing (well, okay, as an ebook author I signed postcards my publisher made up for me–thanks, Carina/Harlequin!). Here’s a birdseye view of Marla at her signing:


And here’s one Marla took back at me, as I was leaving for Union Station. Until next year, guys. (Yes, Kellye, that means YOU!)


Ellen Byron


I drank too much wine and put faces to the names of people I’ve e-befriended over the last year. I had lunch with my fellow Best First Novel nominees, lost the award to one of them (who would be a certain Mr. Art Taylor), and didn’t care a bit. I accidentally referred to Rhys Bowen as Reese Witherspoon during the first question Margaret Maron asked me at the Best First Novel Panel, and survived the embarrassment. I hosted a table of fabulous, brave people who dared to don feather masks – including fellow Chick Lisa Q. and my publisher Matt Martz.

I yakked with old friends and made new ones of awesome authors and wonderful, wonderful readers. I lived the dream of rooming at Malice with Chick Lisa, finally met awesome Chick Marla — and will never forget the picture of her bedhead — and missed the heck out of Chick Kellye. I wore a lot of purple, a little green, and had the time of my life. I can’t wait to go back next year, and Kellye G. sure as heck better be there!

Readers, did you go to Malice Domestic this year? Pretend it’s the Hyatt bar and say hi!

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to Chicks on the Case and never miss a post. Just click the button on the top right side of this page and let the fun begin!

22 thoughts on “What Did Happen At Malice Domestic…

    1. Yes, Kaye, so much fun! I’m so glad we finally got to meet in person! You’re one of those people I referenced in the first paragraph! 🙂


    1. Yes! It was great meeting you too, Joyce! And thank you for teaching me the word “yinz” and its proper spelling. I love regionalisms!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I haven’t spent so much time in a bar since college (Exhibit A: Lisa Q’s pic). But Malice was such fun and I now have a total chick crush on Marla, Lisa and Ellen — sweet, funny ladies!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nadine!! It was so great meeting you, and maybe our paths will cross here in California as well!


  2. You all forgot to mention the fabulous Agatha tea party at the end of Malice. After meeting so many great authors and fans and expanding my “friends” list on FB, one of my best memories is meeting Marla’ s main squeeze. Shout out to Tim! You all come to Annapolis and hang out with some great local authors!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beth! It was so great spending time with you, and thanks for the shoutout to Tim! He really enjoyed talking to you—as did I!


  3. As a Malice attendee, I have tell you that one thing my table talked about at the new authors breakfast was how put together and awake the authors looked. Now I feel a little bit better knowing that lack of sleep was everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to hear it, Sarah! The adrenaline must have helped offset the sleep deprivation. I somehow made it all the way through the afternoon tea, after which I went up to my room and passed out! 🙂


  4. A friend sent me this link to your page and am forever grateful for this recap! I head to Malice for the first time this month and am so excited. It was great to see the signing table so I had an idea of what to expect. Hope to see many of you there in our live Malice!


    1. Valerie, you’re going to have so much fun at Malice! Several of the Chicks are currently on their way to Left Coast Crime in Albuquerque. Chicks Ellen, Lisa, Leslie Karst, Becky Clark, and Jennifer Chow will be on deck for Malice — be sure to introduce yourself! I’m bummed I can’t make Malice this year, but Jen, Cynthia Kuhn, and I will be at Bouchercon in Minneapolis this fall. It would be fab to see you there!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Vickie! I wish I could afford to go to all of them! I really wanted to go to LCC, but I had a conflict. I watched all the Sisters in Crime posts and ack!! Everyone seemed to be going to LCC. I will introduce myself. I’ll also be volunteering at the registration table on Thursday night from 5-7. Will you let the Chicks know so they can say hi, also? Thanks for getting in touch. I’ll be at Bouchercon next year. I’m hoping to do both LCC and Bouchercon. Chicks rock!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s