I didn’t spend a lot of time at the convention today. My morning was eaten up with phone calls on some TV work I’m doing (more on that another day) and work on MONK #4. I met with my publishers Kristen Weber & Ellen Edwards of Penguin/Putnam, author Donald Bain, and his lovely wife Renee for a long lunch, then spent two hours at convention, chatting with Max Allan Collins, J.A. Konrath, Bill Crider (official Bouchercon videographer with his $125 Point-and-Shoot), Thomas Cook, Margaret Maron, Sean Doolittle, Rochelle Krich, Cynthia Chow (voted the hottest librarian in the U.S.), Lita Weissman (the SoCal Borders CRM extraordinaire) Mark Billingham (who professed his undying love of DIAGNOSIS MURDER), Jon Jordan (CRIMESPREE editor and natty dresser), and a bunch of other folks. I bought the anthology THESE GUNS FOR HIRE, signed by many of the contributors, and then it was time to head back to the glamorous Doubletree to make some calls and get dressed up for the Shamus Awards. I sat at what turned out to be the loser table…where fellow nominees PJ Parrish (Kris Montee), Joel Goldman, Harry Hunsicker and I all lost in our respective Shamus categories (I got whipped, as expected, by Michael Connelly’s excellent THE LINCOLN LAWYER). The ceremony included a funny, but far-too-lengthy roast of Private Eye Writers of America founder Robert Randisi (who has written over 300 GUNSMITH novels, among many other books). The comments by Dominick Abel and Jon Lutz were, by far, the highlights of the roast and of the evening’s festivities. Now I am back in my room, working on MONK #4, while the couple in the room next door have loud, moaning, headboard-pounding sex. They must be a very religious couple, since they keep calling out to God.