By Claire Booth
Earlier this week, a group of people who make things up for a living decided to try sticking to the facts instead.
|Eileen Rendahl, me, Mick West, Holly West, Ann-Marie L'Etoile and James L'Etoile holding our prizes for winning the true crime pub quiz--books!|
A local pub was hosting its regular quiz night, but for the first time, the trivia had a true crime theme. How could a bunch of mystery writers pass this up? Eileen Rendahl and DSDer Holly West are huge true crime readers and podcast fans, including of the juggernaut My Favorite Murder show. James L’Etoile brought his considerable knowledge of serial killers, and I pulled from the hodge-podge of random details rattling around my brain. Our group was rounded out by civilians (aka non-mystery writers) Mick West and Ann-Marie L’Etoile. Individually, we all had huge gaps in our knowledge. Collectively, we were awesome.
|We arrived early in order to properly hydrate.|
We had perfect scores for the first two rounds, and on the third round only missed the real title of the Unabomber Manifesto (“Industrial Society and Its Future”).
We were feeling pretty good about ourselves until the fourth and last round, when “the wheels came off,” as L’Etoile put it. We only answered two of nine correctly. (For example, what well-known true crime writer co-authored And The Sea Will Tell in 1991? The answer was Vincent Bugliosi—we said Joseph Wambaugh.) We were growing increasingly more worried by the table next to us, which was full of librarians. Terrifying, knowledgeable librarians. Had they aced the fourth round while we were busy trying to figure out which area on the Mendocino Coast was the location of several different sensational crimes? (Geography did not turn out to be one of our strong points.)
In the end, we managed to eke out a victory, which we noted with some subdued, adult-like applause. Nope, that’s fiction. We really whooped and hollered like little kids. And then the librarians came over to introduce themselves. They were, as most librarians are, delightful people who were also funny and charming—but still terrifyingly knowledgeable about crime (there’s a novel in there somewhere, I know there is).