The Girl’s Guide to Edgar Week, 2006 Edition

Unlike last year, when Passover decided that it absolutely had to conflict with the Edgars, I’ll be around for the Awards and associated events this year. So without further ado, here’s a quick rundown of what to expect, especially if you’re attending Edgar Week for the very first time (and yes, some of it will sound the same as last year’s. Why mess with a good post?)


Things kick off in earnest starting at 6 PM on Tuesday. The place to be is Black Orchid, where Bonnie and Joe will host their annual pre-Edgar bash. There will be wine, there will be cheese,  and there will be many a mystery writer in attendance — some big names, some brand new.  If only the weather will live up to its promised billing of sunny and 68 so that we can all hang outside to chat and make good conversation.


Wednesday is MWA Symposium day, and the full schedule can be found here. I won’t be attending (mornings are for work) but the panel featuring Janet Evanovich, her agent and her editors promises to be a most interesting one (if you’re forking over the $90 to sit in the audience.) But if you’re a cheap bastard, you can take a cab over to the Borders on 57th and Park for the noontime author signing extravaganza. At last count, over twenty MWA authors would be signing books, and the number will probably swell by Wednesday. Then there are more panels in the afternoon, including Reed Coleman moderating a slew of female writers on the relevancy of Hammett & Chandler.

Once you’ve had your fill of the panels, it’s time for the Agents & Editors Party. But don’t even think about crashing — attendance is limited and security will be enforced. But if you’ve snagged an invite and can hold your tongue on pitching anyone in question, it’s a great time to network and find out that yes, people in the biz are human just like you.

Still up in the air is whether the Nevermores — the usually-annual sendup of the Edgars hosted by Partners & Crime — will take place. If so, it’ll start at 7. If not, have a leisurely dinner and some drinks. But save most of that for…


It’s awards night, and time to make sure that dress still fits and the tux is clean. The festivities begin with cocktails at six, but before then, there’s Dell Magazines (parent company of EQMM and AHMM) and their annual party beginning at 3:30. But that still gives you an hour to get all dressed up, because hey,

when are you going to get another opportunity to do so all year? And if

you want to stand out, wear a color other than black and a style no one

else does but which actually works for you. (Though I’m still torn, I must say, if only because I haven’t worn black in a while. But those other colors look oh, so tempting…)

Once cocktails are done, the awards begin. Find your table, drink more wine, endure the questionable chicken and let Jane Dentinger be your guide through the nominees, special awards and the ultimate winners. There will be pictures, phone calls, instant updates (not by me, unless someone gifts me with a Blackberry between now and then) and then some late night carousing. Which takes us to…


Otherwise known as Decompression Day. Except if you are, like me, schedule-challenged enough to attend to some business and go hear Boris Akunin & Henning Mankell speak about crime in translation as part of the PEN World Voices Festival, taking place concurrently as Edgar Week. Then I can decompress. Maybe.

Happy Edgars, everybody!