Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Killing It in Nashville TN by Martha Reed

On August 18, 2022, after a speedy 1.5-hour flight from Tampa, I arrived in the lushly green and scenic Nashville, TN. Music City is booming as a girl’s weekend/bachelor/bachelorette weekend party getaway destination. As much fun as Nashville can be, I wasn’t looking for honky-tonk entertainment or the city’s infamous hot chicken. No, I sought murder, mayhem, mystery, suspense, thrills, keynotes speakers, and informative writing panels.

I rode into town looking for Killer Nashville 2022.

This wasn’t my first rodeo. I can remember attending the Killer Nashville conference with Annette Dashofy, my favorite partner in crime. I’m not exactly sure what year it was, but at that time Killer Nashville was held downtown because I know we shopped for cowboy boots at the Buy 1 Get 2 Free Boot store. Yes, that is a place.

I also recall that Annette talked me out of buying a turquoise leather pair decorated with silver studs. I know it was the right decision, but I still dream of wearing those boots. I also recall that Annette and I dressed up for the Killer Nashville Halloween costume contest. We entered a ballroom filled with Sherlocks and Irene Adlers. We walked in channeling Thelma and Louise. And if we don't look like trouble on wheels then I don't know what does.

This year, I’m delighted to report that after our year(s) of COVID-19 isolation, the Killer Nashville convention sold out with 250 attendees, offering 4 days of panels, ticketed break-out sessions, Claymore and Silver Falchion finalists, all of which culminated on Saturday night with an awards banquet. In 2021, “Love Power,” my Crescent City NOLA mystery came home as a Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Best Attending Author Award Winner and a finalist in the Best Mystery category. I’ve sworn I’ll have NOLA Book #2 for them next year. You heard it here first.

In my Nantucket Mystery series, protagonist Sarah Hawthorne Jarad is an on-the-run artist hiding a grim secret past. Right out of the gate on Friday, I joined the “Your Ticket to Art Crime” panel with authors Connie Berry, Judie Gaines, Lane Stone, and Nena Wachsman all of whom have characters and novels featuring the art history and/or antiques worlds. If Art Theft/Heist/Historical are your cup of tea, I highly recommend looking into their booklists.

What’s next? September brings Bouchercon 2022, this year in Minneapolis, MN. I was trying to remember how many Bouchercons I’ve attended:

St. Petersburg, FL 2018
Toronto, Canada 2017
New Orleans, LA 2016
Raleigh, NC 2015
Long Beach, CA 2014
Albany, NY 2013
Cleveland, OH 2012
St. Louis, MO 2011

How about you? What was your most memorable Killer Nashville or Bouchercon adventure?

And because I know I’ll be asked, Nashville-Style Hot Chicken is fried chicken with a hefty dose of hot sauce and four tablespoons of cayenne (yes, that's right I triple checked the recipe) in the coating with an additional spicy drizzle on top. This delicacy is served with the cheapest white bread you can find and sour pickles to cool the heat. Yum!



  1. KN was a productive conference for me, and I managed to cram in some sight-seeing at Cheekwood Gardens and the Hermitage.

  2. Only attended on Bouchercon -- the one in North Carolina. I enjoyed it, but found it rather larger than other conferences, and so a bit less enjoyable for me. I think my favorites are the Left Coast Crime conventions.

  3. Killer Nashville was very productive for me as well. Learned a lot from some interesting panels and met some new friends. I’m definitely going back next year. I’ll be taking Book 2 in my NOLA series, and an entry in their Claymore Award.

  4. How about Bouchercon next year in San Diego? Any interest?

  5. You certainly make me want to start going to conferences again! Glad you had such a good time.

  6. Conferences re-energize me. They're like big cocktail parties where everyone talks about books. LOL

  7. Thelma and Louise! You two did look like trouble!
    I've been to a couple of Bouchercons but mostly go to Malice. I'm looking forward to San Diego!

  8. Yes, we have some good stories. It usually takes chocolate martinis to roll them out. LOL See you at Malice 2023 if not sooner!

  9. I did my first Malice in April and now my first Killer. It's addictive! I had the best time and was thrilled to meet so many nice people!

  10. Hi Lori - It was a real treat meeting you at Killer Nashville. Here's to continuing our adventures.

  11. Sounds like you had a ball, Martha. Maybe I'll go next year.