I was delighted to receive the news that Howdunit has been shortlisted for an Agatha award, following its recent nomination for an Edgar award. This is the third time a book of mine has featured in the Agatha nominations and it's all the more pleasing given that, as a result of the pandemic, members of the Detection Club who contributed to Howdunit have not been able to meet in person for more than a year. We are collectively honoured by the nomination!
I was also pleased to see the names of a number of friends in the list of nominees, including but not limited to Art Taylor, James Ziskin, Catriona McPherson, Lori Rader-Day, and Shawn Reilly Simmons. It's especially gratifying to see Sheila Mitchell's biography of her husband Harry Keating in the list. I contributed an appreciation to that fine book and recommended Sheila to her excellent publishers, Level Best Books. Not that I realised our books would one day be in competition for an award, mind you!
It is all the more frustrating that, once again this year, I won't be able to attend Malice in person. However, the organisers have come up with a fascinating online alternative. This is More than Malice, which will take place from 14-17 July. A wide range of stellar guests will be taking part. In addition, I shall be involved in an event focusing on Golden Age detective fiction with a number of lovely colleagues. More details will be available soon.
The pandemic has made life difficult for all events organisers - including those of us who are involved with Alibis in the Archive, which will also take virtual form this year, in October. But the efforts that everyone is making to provide entertaining alternatives are admirable, and whilst an online event is not quite the same, it is far, far more enjoyable than sitting at home on one's own thinking about what might have been.