By this time last year Crimespree was exuding information and enthusiasm for the State of Kentucky, the infamous and entirely charming Zev Buffman and a new mystery festival. The International Mysery Writers' Festival. Our enthusiasm has many in the Midwest asking if they should go this year. Well, duh. In fact if you need to recharge those mystery con batteries this is the one event I can promise you will be different than anything else you've ever seen. No matter how far you have to come to get there. No other mystery "event" has accomplished as much in its first year.
Record attendance. A mixture of mystery and cultural fans and 12 plays presented in seven days. Books (which will always be the first love of Crimespree) were lovingly cherished within major stage productions. And the radio plays? A year later I still remember them all. So between the first year of the Festival and now a lot has happened.
The accolades. In the new play catagory for this year's Edgar you will see a theme... The Mystery Writers' Festival ran the catagory. There's a reason. With great venues, and a gross of talent, without the restraints of a Broadway budget, yet within the means of a hailed producer to demand the very best, well miracles can and do happen.
Zev and his team have also done the impossible, they've acquired a group of productions for 2008 that is more than impressive, it's breathtaking. Please visit their site. But Agatha, Sherlock as adapted by Stuart Kaminsky. Guest stars like Rupert Holmes, Mary Higgins Clark paired with Ray Bradbury, Sue Grafton receiving the second ever Angie for life time achievement.... You got to try to make it. There are first time authors there as well, new discoveies. And Robert Levinson, he of the multi-talents will offer two one act plays of his origin in one presentation.
As I said the earlier a lot has changed in a year. Kentucky has a new Governor and new spending policies. I am not criticizing, I will not mention the possibility of this wonderful entity dying before it has a chance to become, but if you are intrigued go this year. Zev will take care of us. We'll all have a wonderful time. And it will be even better year three.
All I know right at this moment is I hope my husband Jon and William Link (creator of Colombo amongst other staples) have a chance to do chest bumps. Mannix is coming out on DVD (and I assume Blue ray too).