Okay, so I didn’t see any blood and if there were any tears they were tears of joy, but there was definitely sweat. If you dared step outside the air-conditioned Renaissance Vinoy Hotel.
St Petersburg, Florida. Bouchercon 2018. September 6th to 9th. The annual migration of crime writers, publishers and readers. Emphasis on the readers, since without them you wouldn’t need the other two. My first time in Florida, although I did have a sauna once, which felt pretty much the same. As always I caught up with old friends like Lee Child and Reed Farrel Coleman, and moved acquaintances like Ace Atkins a step closer to friendship. Between them these three have kept me enthralled for years with Jack Reacher, Gus Murphy and Quinn Coulson. They’d better outlive me because I can’t imagine a world without those books to read. Or books for Mystery Mike to sell. Then there were the new friends like ex-cop Bruce Coffin, with whom I shared numerous police jokes and sundry unmentionables. And not to forget those all-important readers. It still amazes me that anyone remembers my name, never mind reads my books but I will be forever grateful for the hand of friendship that they extend. I shake it willingly and embrace their warmth. It is Florida after all. Everything is hot.