Like many, I'm looking forward to the four-day escape that is Bouchercon and one of the things I expect to do is take a few walks around the city of Dallas while I'm there. Aside from the gathering itself, one thing I like about each Bouchercon is that it provides a chance to visit cities I might not visit otherwise, to be honest. And nothing against Cleveland or Raleigh or Long Beach or Dallas. But there are indeed so many places to visit in the world (and limited money to do it with), and one has to prioritize. Everyone I've known who has visited Dallas mentions Dealey Plaza, of course, and I may stop by there, though to be honest, I prefer just wandering around a city, strolling through its downtown and various neighborhoods, just to get a feel for the place, or a tiny feel. I always try to get out of the convention hotel for awhile and do just that, and with the weather warm in Dallas, this should not be a difficult thing to do. And restaurants? It's always good to check out a couple of good local places for lunch and dinner.
I'll be moderating a panel this year, called "The Mystery of History", which is about historical mysteries. The panelists will be Frankie Y. Bailey, Kari Bovee, L.A. Chandlar, Liz Freeland, and S.C. Perkins. Since I received the panel assignment, I've been getting acquainted with the works of each of these writers, seeing how each of them incorporates history into their fiction. Frankie Y. Bailey writes about a southern crime historian named Lizzie Stuart. Kari Bovee has published two historical mysteries centered around Annie Oakley. L.A. Chandlar has the Art Deco Mystery series going, set in 1930's New York City. Liz Freeland writes about Louise Falk, a former amateur investigator who becomes a New York City police officer when there were few of them on the force, around 1913, and S.C. Perkins has as her main character a genealogist named Lucy Lancaster. Perkins is writing the Ancestry Detective series, set inTexas.
Five authors, all of whom approach history, different periods and locales in history, from different angles. I'm eager to discuss with all of them the writing of fiction to explore the past and whether they use that exploration as a means to reflect on the present.
Anyway, time to go. I have to start packing.