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M&M; Year Six

I often wonder how to recap this event. This year? Take a look at Jen Forbus’s interview with Ridley Pearson if you want an insider’s look at the day. Ridley was wonderful, as was Jen.

Are you back? Do you not know of Murder and Mayhem in Muskego? It’s a grand one day mystery event put on every year the second Saturday in November. I do not exaggerate when I say grand. This year 29 authors flew and drove into Milwaukee to spend one day and one track of paneling with the readers of Muskego. The result was a little bit of magic.

Every panel and all the panelists brought their game. For one day the Muskego Library was alive with the sound of laughter and Murder, but only in a book lover’s kind of way.

The morning started off with a forensics presentation; Zip the search dog brought his handler to exhibit evidence recovery. Next up, the first authors bravely took the stage. Blake Crouch & Marcus Sakey (who’ve been to every M&M but one)were part of a great conversation about setting. Joining them were the irrepressible Victoria Huston and the magnificent Michael Lister and Daniel Judson. Such a great way to start the day.

This was followed by one panel on character. This one was special thanks to moderator Reed Farrel Coleman and his panelists; Brett Battles, Chelsea Cain,Sean Chercover and Brian Wiprud. No fist-a-cuffs but plenty of disagreement

The “cozy ladies” (Julie Hyzy, Deb Baker, Shirley Damsgaard, Denise Swanson, Joanna Slan Campbell) razzed Tom Schreck for a fun filled hour. The fabulous Femme, Christa Faust led the boys (Scott Phillips, Sean Doolittle, Victor Gischler, Anthony Neil Smith, Brian Azzarello) through an hour of peeves and pluses. Favorite quote? “Christa saying, “I hate the bad sex scenes.” Where upon Sean Doolittle leaned into his mike and declared, “They say, write what you know.”

The day ended with a “Thriller Panel” moderated by Julie Kramer and featuring Kat Richardson, Shane Gericke,Jeff Abbott and F. Paul Wilson. I loved, loved it when Julie pointed out that our little community had two real and notorious serial killers to wax poetic about and Jeff Abbott (with appropriate droll in his delivery) said, “but Texas had the first!”

A lot of things make Muskego special. It should be noted that Joe Konrath came to hang out this year. Joe is the only writer person who’s been to every M&M. He shared his year off of the programming with his lovely wife. Henry Perez came to teach a writing class for us and participated in the Friday night game show just because we asked. F. Paul Wilson had such a good time last year at Muskego he came in just to hang out this year and so, well we put him to work (sorry Paul).

Allan Ansorge is our own Muskego author. Allan came to the first M&M pre-published and has been a huge supporter.Check out his book CROSSING THE CENTER LINE. Having such a represent from the local Southern Wisconsin Mystery Community gladdens my heart every year.

Our little part of this day always seems so small in the scheme of things. Any false modesty aside, the fact that I live in a community where the Friends of the Library continue to think, year after year, how important it is for readers to be exposed to authors? The fact that the Muskego Library has graciously extended hospitality to a group of writers and their own patrons to make this day of magic happen? The fact that we always have such a great line-up because writers want to come from all corners to share this day? It is a day that revives my mystery laden soul a year at a time.

Many thanks to Milwaukee Brewing Company, Great Lakes Distillery, Atomic Chocolates, Times Square Pizza and the Iron Horse Hotel for making my home a mystery destination.

A thousand thanks to the divine Penny Halle and the many wonderful librarians at Muskego who run this show, pay for this show and make us all
feel so welcome.

Do you live in Muskego? Do you love reading? If you haven’t been to Murder and Mayhem in Muskego yet mark off these dates..

Friday, November 11th, 2011 … fund raising meet and greet. Saturday, November 12th, 2011 Murder and Mayhem at Muskego, Year Seven.
The one link I’m going to do, Mystery One in Milwaukee. Richard has provided books for sale every year. Thank you doll face (What, a weekend with Christa. I’m hard boiled, even to the Milwaukee book dude.)