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Malice Domestic 2018

April is here, and while I’m still waiting for warm spring weather, I do have a sure thing coming up--this year’s Malice Domestic Conference, April 27-29 in Bethesda, MD. I am part of a panel on “Antiquities” to be held Saturday morning, April 28, at 9 a.m. A book signing will follow.

Malice Domestic was established in 1989 as an annual fan convention in the metropolitan D.C. area. It celebrates the traditional mystery, books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie. The genre is loosely identified as mysteries which contain no explicit sex, excessive gore, or violence. Malice Domestic Ltd. is a tax-exempt nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation governed by an all-volunteer board of directors.

This will be my second Malice Domestic conference, but I found it an energizing, enjoyable learning experience. The brown-bag luncheon one day featured an expert on poisonous plants. She talked about the plants that cause diseases that mimic heart disease, ALS, and other such terminal illnesses, leave no trace in the body, and kill so slowly that alibis are unnecessary. It gave me a creepy feeling. I felt the need to guard my lunch and eye the other participants warily.

But that was only one experience in the three days filled with workshops, panels, and enjoyable conversations with other participants.

Malice Domestic also presents the Agatha Awards for books and stories first published in the United States by a living author during the previous calendar year. These awards honor the traditional mystery and contain no explicit sex, excessive gore or gratuitous violence, and are not classified as "hard-boiled."

A ballot listing each category's nominees will be given to all attendees who will vote by secret ballot. The ballots will be tabulated and the winners announced at the Agatha Awards Banquet on Saturday, April 28, 2018.

Malice Domestic also publishes a newsletter called “The Usual Suspects.”

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