Margaret maron

Wink of an Eye in the book room, before it sold out.

I’ve been back from Bouchercon a week today. I think I’m recovered now.  It was my first big conference/convention and the one word that describes it best is overwhelming.  I could spend hours detailing my fan-girl moments with all the greats. All the thought-provoking panels and show-stealing panelist with their one-liners. Having lunch with friends and peers you see once a year. Rubbing elbows in the bar with the leaders in the industry.  Discovering the book stores in the book room no longer have Wink of an Eye isn’t because they shipped it back to the publisher, but rather because it sold out. Sold out. A good problem to have in the grand scheme of things.

But I won’t spend hours telling you all that stuff. I’ll get to the nitty gritty of what you want to know. No, Wink didn’t win the Shamus but man, is it ever in good company! I never knew so many well-known, A-list authors have lost that award. To lose in the same category as some of the names who have lost the Shamus is humbling. Made me feel like quite the somebody.

All of that—the Bouchercon experience, the Shamus Award, the stories!—take a backseat to the story you’re waiting to hear. The missing car.

Let me just throw this out there and see if you can piece together the puzzle. Like I had to do…

  • Ten parking decks located within four blocks of one another. Unfortunately, each parking deck can accommodate 4,567,823 cars. Dark blue cars.
  • Not knowing until it’s too late that leaving the parking stub/ticket from the little electronic dispenser thingy in your cup holder is not a good idea. If it had been in my purse, I would have found it. Eventually. Probably sooner than it took me to find my car.
  • All parking decks look basically the same. They’re made of concrete.
  • As writers, we invent details for the reader to visualize. We can’t actually be expected to notice such real details as a parking deck name.
  • The City of Raleigh actually has an entire department called “Parking Ambassadors” who do nothing but help people find their lost cars. The guy who helped me was super friendly. He said the weekends were their busiest time because you know, people get drunk and can’t find their cars. I wasn’t drunk. And it wasn’t the weekend.

Go ahead….piece it together. I’ll give you time. Like oh, maybe three hours to link it all together.