Bouchercon, THE largest annual mystery party convention in the world kicks off this week in St. Petersburg, Florida. It’s the place where writers and fans come together for an entire weekend. It’s also the place where writers connect and re-connect with their good friends and fellow authors. In short, it’s a blast!

So here’s a brief collection of photos of several of your favorite authors, taken at Bouchercon a decade ago. It’s one that has long been a fixture in the history books, and one that holds a special place in my memory.

How many of these smiling faces do you recognize?

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Donald Bain (above), a true inspiration to many us, is no longer with us, having recently joined his beloved, Renee Paley-Bain, in that better place. The couple sought my advice many times over the years regarding police procedure, and it was and still is an honor to see my name in the acknowledgments pages of several of their books.

I first read Don’s famed “Coffee, Tea or Me?” back when I was a kid and quickly learned how easily I blushed. The tale was extremely racy for its time. I’d been a fan since I first cracked the cover of the book. So to say that I was thrilled to be a part of his and Renee’s lives, and to learn that each of them kept a copy of my book nearby while working on their latest “Murder, She Wrote” stories, would be a massive understatement to say the least.

Thanks to Don I have a signed copy of “Coffee, Tea or Me?” that’s a part of my prized collection of books. As they say, “a full circle.”

I certainly miss seeing those emails that so often began with,

“Hi Lee,

Haven’t bothered you for a while. Hope you can answer this. How …”

It was a great year. In fact, here’s a rack of books containing the award nominees for that year. Notice the book on the far right of the third shelf from the bottom.

And with that, here’s the final photo taken before the curtain fell on a fabulous weekend.

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Alafair Burke politely listening to me ramble on and on and on and on, and …

 

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