I’m finally recovering from Left Coast Crime in Honolulu. As one of my friends remarked, they used Hawaii to lure the big guns, Faye and Jonathan Kellerman. The Kellermans were recipients of Lifetime Achievement Awards. Then we had Toastmaster Laurie R. King, a treat, although she’s local to my area so I have plenty of occasion to see her. She and I even did a book signing together at a local bookstore a billion years ago.

For me the highlight of the conference wasn’t the big names, but the opportunity to hangout with my current mystery idol, Allen Eskens. He was moderator of my panel, Private Investigators: Eye to eye with the P.I. and I was seated beside him at the Saturday night banquet! *Squeeee*

Conferences are also a chance to visit with writer friends from other necks of the country, who I mainly see only at events, such as Sisters in Crime Guppies Chapter Prez, Jim Jackson and his wife Jan Rubens. They live part-time in Michigan’s upper peninsula and part-time in Georgia’s low country.

Jim Jackson looking dapper before his panel Real Life Experience: Authors Tell All. The panel started with free mimosas–now that’s a way to get people to tell all.

The Liar’s Panel, a perennial favorite, delivered again. This line-up fooled the audience more often than not and provided lots of laughs.

The band of liars: Catriona McPherson, Parnell Hall, Rhys Bowen, Lee Goldberg and Donna Andrews.

And, of course, another star: Hawaii. Before LCC, Danny and I rented a condo for a few days on the North Shore. We took a lovely, largely uninhabited hike to see some of the pillboxes on the island.

I love how these war bunkers have been graffitied with messages of love and peace.

Even in Honolulu, we escaped the conference a bit. The hike up Diamond Head was a trudge in a file of tourists although Danny and I found breaks to scamper by.

View from the top through pillbox.

View from the top of Diamond Head.