Friends in Low Places

by John O'Sullivan

Yesterday I arrived in Muncie, Indiana to attend the “Magna Cum Murder” conference of crime, detective, mystery, and thriller writers. My first impression is that writers of murder and mayhem all seem to be extraordinarily pleasant people, both good natured and hospitable.

I mentioned this to Ruth Dudley Edwards, author of Murdering Americans — a thriller set against the background of a politically correct U.S. university. Her heroine is a right-wing, anti-feminist, cigar-smoking, bi-sexual, British don who goes by the name of “Jack.”

Quite a lot of university administrators end up dead in this one.

“Yes, we work out all our enmities and neuroses on the printed page, so we can afford to be nice to each other,” Ruth tells me. “It’s exactly the opposite at the Romantic Writers’ convention. They’re all a lot of backstabbing bitches.”

A second impression is that many attendees, both writers and readers, are fans of National Review. They come up and tell me so. I have to divert any credit from me, WFB, or Rich to Linda Bridges who over the years kept the flame of low literature alight at the magazine.


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