PJ Parrish (for all your adrenalin needs) and Jess Lourey (Minnesota Tourist Board's Public Enemy No1).
Donna Andrews (a hard woman to hate, but if I did hate her it would be because her suggested cure for procrastination is to write more books - seriously).
Sarah Shaber (a glittering example of how to write historical fiction stuffed to the gunnels with perfectly researched details . . . and have none of the research show (would hate her too if I could (but I can't))).
And Sandra Balzo (who else has ever set a snow-bound, Christie-esque locked room mystery . . . in a strip mall?).
Ands as well as these wonderful women, there was -
Michael Ayoob, who won the first novel Edgar for In Search of Mercy (Minotaur Books - yeay!). How can anyone so young have written a book, you say? And bear in mind this photo was taken at a party, well after midnight, when all the rest of us could have gone on without make-up as extras in The Name of The Rose. Well, he only looks young; actually he's fifty-four.
Other kindred spirits included -
Esri Allbritten, another Minotaur author, whose Chihuahua of the Baskervilles, introducing Tripping: a paranormal tour company, (yeah, I know, yet another paranormal tourist chihuahua book; they're worse than vampires) broke my self-imposed B'con rule. I told myself I wasn't buying anything. I was noting down names and buying them at home afterwards in The Avid Reader. But Esri's cracked me.
With Esri is Debi Huff, super-reader, good egg and wise woman.
Doesn't everyone look happy? For balance, then, here's the tartan contingent on Sunday morning.
Val McDermid, Russel McLean and me, looking miserable, belligerent and hammered (variously) and so covering all ethnic stereotypes between the three.