Bouchercon 2017 #1: Reviewers Recommend

This post will be the first of several dedicated to Bouchercon 2017 Toronto, which will be held from October 12-15, with some special events starting on the 11th.

Although I now live about 90 minutes northwest of the city, I still consider Toronto my home patch, since I was born and raised there. So I’m pretty excited to be part of this massive celebration of all things mystery.

Today, however, I’m looking for your input. I’ve had the great fortune to be assigned a panel on Sunday, October 15th from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. It will be my first time as a moderator! and the topic is Reviewers Recommend, described as Reviewers Discuss their faves. Here’s the prestigious list of panelists:

Margaret Cannon (Toronto Globe and Mail)
Andrew Gulli (The Strand Magazine)
Erica Ruth Neubauer (Publishers Weekly, Crimespree)
Steve Steinbock (EQMM)

Marsali Taylor (mystery people and Mystery Readers)

Are you nervous for me yet??? Yeah, I thought so!

Now…pretend that you’re in the audience. What question do you want me to ask?



21 responses to “Bouchercon 2017 #1: Reviewers Recommend

  1. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks so much for stopping by Marsali. So looking forward to meeting you.

  2. There are some wonderful ideas here to talk about – thank you all! I’m really looking forward to the panel, and hope to meet some of you over the Festival.

  3. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks Mary. I’ll consider these. We have 5 panelists and only 45 min or so of actual questions so I’m not sure what will come of it! Appreciate your time.

  4. Is there anything that reviewers think authors can learn from reviews? Or are reviews strictly for readers?

    How do they see their role in the book world?

    Is there (or should there be) a professional code of conduct (even if informally)? If so, what is it or what should it be? What do they think of Amazon and Goodreaders who leave one-star reviews with snarky comments? Are those helpful for readers?

    What do reviewers aspire to as the pinnacle of their career path?

  5. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Some questions to consider asking.

  6. Okay, Judy, just throwing out a few possible questions:

    What genre do you read when you’re not reading mysteries?
    What sub-genre of mystery have you observed to have been around for the longest haul / made a big comback
    Are you finding that technology and world views are shifting so rapidly that writers seem to be having a hard time keeping up?

    (I’ll keep thinking.)

  7. Kristina Stanley

    Totally misunderstood what you were doing. Guess I should slow down when I read!

  8. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Hi Kristina, as the moderator, my job is to ask questions. It’s not about me at all. I really dislike it when moderators forget that (pet peeve). On the other hand, I think the reviewers might feel a bit “on the spot” to mention one specific book given the number of authors attending Bouchercon (over 900 at last count). But thanks for chiming in!

  9. Kristina Stanley

    Congrats Judy. I think you should recommend a book that you read in the last year that just won’t leave you. Something you couldn’t put down and now can’t forget.

  10. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Hi Janice, I’ll definitely post about the experience.

  11. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks Melissa…I’ll try to pop by your panel! I like your question.

  12. I always like to step into other people’s shoes. I’d ask about biggest joys and frustrations as a reviewer.

    This should be a terrific panel. I’m a fan of Steve Steinbock, Margaret Cannon, and, of course, yourself. I look forward to getting to know Andrew Gulli, Erica Ruth Neubauer, and Marsali Taylor.

    P.S. The Medical Mysteries panel is at 9:30, right after this one, if any of your readers want to step onto the MD/midwifery/psychologist side!

  13. Janice J. Richardson

    Congratulations on the moderating gig. 🙂 Hope you do a post, it will be interesting to hear how it felt and and how it went and what the trends are. 🙂

  14. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Hi Ellen, that’s a great question.

  15. What a great panel. Congratulations! I’d love to know how they do it. How do they keep up with the # of books published, and what’s their criteria for choosing which books to read?

  16. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thank you Sheri. Fingers crossed!

  17. Congrats- Judy, for being asked to moderate the panel discussion. You’ll do great!

  18. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Good to hear from you Vicki. Since these are reviewers and not publishers, I’m not sure if they will have the answer to your question. What is interesting is the other comment from Beth also mentioned trends, so you’re onto something…but I have to think of how it would apply to reviewers.

  19. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks so much Beth…it will be my first time as a moderator. I’m very excited about it … and very nervous! These aren’t publishers though, they are reviewers. I think I could ask about what trends they have seen enough of…something like that. I’ll think on it.

  20. I am impressed but not surprised that you will be a moderator! You are a star promoter of our genre! Ask those publishers what they are seeking currently, new trends, something we writers might not expect to find they are interested in finding!? Thanks for the chance to add to your questions, but I know you will find even better ones.
    Beth, who misses seeing you!


    I’m always interested in what trends in crime/mystery/thriller fiction people see. Have we reached the end of the “girl” era; or the tendency to put in excessively macabre and gruesome violence for no good reason? With the political shifts worldwide, are political thrillers on the rise? That kind of thing.

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