New England Crime Bake 2022 – History is Mystery

I’m just back from the New England Crime Bake, a three-day conference of crime writers from across the region, and have some highlights and photos to share.

This year’s Guest of Honor was William Martin, the master of the historical thriller.  Have you read Back Bay? Cape Cod? Citizen Washington? The Lincoln Letter? If so, you know Bill has the ability to bring history alive with compelling stories of suspense. His work  inspired this year’s theme of HISTORY IS MYSTERY and his current novel, December ’41 inspired many to wear WWII-era attire to the Saturday evening banquet.

On Friday evening, Bill Martin showed off his skill as a storyteller during the TRUTH OR FICTION? panel. The audience doubted his true stories and bought his lies, the mark of an expert. At right is Julie Carrick Dalton, who told some cracking good true and untrue tales of her own.

Four members of this blog pose during the 1940s-themed banquet. Back row L to R, Matt Cost, Richard Cass and Vaughn Hardacker (who always wins the prize for longest drive). Front row L to R, MCW founder Kate Flora, B.J.Magnani (former chair of the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at Tufts University and the author of three novels featuring Dr. Lily Robinson, poison expert) and Leslie Wheeler, co-winner of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


Maine thriller author and MCW alum Chris Holm, far right, was part of a panel discussion titled ANOTHER KIND OF FUTURE – VAMPIRES, ETC., which broke new ground for brilliant and hilarious panel discussions. From left, moderator Nicole Asselin poses with panelists Dana Cameron, Paul Tremblay, Bracken MacLeod and Chris.

The Milliken sisters, Rebecca and the MCW blog’s own Maureen, in the audience at a panel discussion.

MCW alum Julia Spencer-Fleming, center, was a lively member of a terrific panel discussion on BUILDING THE COMPLEX PLOT. From left, moderator C. Michele Dorsey, Liv Constantine, Julia, Peter Swanson and Glede Browne Kabongo.

Me, moderating/herding the cats during the TRUTH OR FICTION? panel on Friday night.

MCW alum Bruce Robert Coffin with Alexia Gordon, author of the award-winning Gethsemane Brown mystery series and a pal of many Maine Crime Writers.

Caitlin Wahrer, whose debut novel, THE DAMAGE, won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction and was nominated for the 2022 Edgar Award for Best First Novel.

Dick Cass, Julia Spencer-Fleming and me.

As you can see from all of the smiles, it was a fun, productive and memorable weekend. For readers of this blog  interested in attending Crime Bake in the future, it takes place in Massachusetts on the second weekend of each November.  For more information go to

 Brenda Buchanan brings years of experience as a journalist and a lawyer to her crime fiction. She has published three books featuring Joe Gale, a newspaper reporter who covers the crime and courts beat. She is now hard at work on new projects. FMI, go to

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4 Responses to New England Crime Bake 2022 – History is Mystery

  1. matthewcost says:

    A good time was had by all for sure!

  2. BJ Magnani says:

    The writing community is incredibly supportive. Another great New England Crime Bake.

  3. kaitcarson says:

    Looks like a good time was had by all! Hope to join you next year.

  4. For more shots of the folks on this blog: Writeup of Crime Bake, with pics, website and interview links:

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