Friday, February 13, 2009

They Didn’t Shoot the Messengers

Love is Murder! Ain’t that the truth? Beyond truth, it is the clever name of Mystery conference always held in the Chicago area on the first weekend in February.

Love is Murder 2009 took place at the Westin North Shore hotel in Wheeling, Illinois. We shared the hotel with the Re-enactors Fest resulting in a fascinating combination of mystery, mayhem and delightful costuming.

Love is Murder is in its eleventh year and has grown from less than ninety attendees to almost three hundred this year. The conference is put together and pulled along by a board of eight volunteers who not only wear many hats but don extra outfits too.

Love is Murder relies on the wonderful people who converge on the conference the night before it begins to help stuff folders and bags for the attendees. On Day 1 we have more volunteers to handle registration—a slippery slope for most conferences/conventions.

Love is Murder unabashedly uses family members to sell LIM merchandise, present last minute fill in workshops, coordinate with hotel staff and present entertainment.

Love is Murder is taking the next year, 2010, off…and we had to tell everyone at dinner Saturday night. One of our guests of honor, Jeffrey Deaver, called the con "a gem" when he accepted his Lovey Award for best series with his Lincoln Rhyme Series. I almost got cold feet at that point but one glance at a board member gave me the confidence I needed to make the announcement almost on the heels of his praise.

We consider ourselves lucky. At a murder mystery conference they could have done more than shot the messengers. They could have stabbed, suffocated, drowned, bludgeoned, poisoned, or hanged the messengers. Instead, they gave the board a standing “O” and promised they’d be back in 2011.

Mystery fans are the best people on the planet!

Luisa Buehler
Grateful president of LIM board


Joanna Campbell Slan said...


How can we help but feel gratitude to you and Hanley and Mary and Silvia and others (who will want to shoot me) for all your hard work? It's always an outstanding conference, and this year the programming was truly exceptional. So, no, we didn't shoot you. We did applaud you--and we were sad. But anyone who has been involved with any conference recognizes the fact that putting one on is a full-time job. You all deserve our appreciation and support.

Amy said...

Having a colleague, Susan Gibberman, who is on the board, has really opened my eyes to how much work goes on behind the scenes at this wonderful event. You should all be proud of how well it went this year. My mind is still going with ideas, projects and more! I've told Susan I'll help and I know 2011 will come quickly!

Anonymous said...

The conference was fabulous, inspiring, well-designed, full of information and wonderful people, and topped with a dash of re-enactors. What more could one want? Thanks, Luisa and all, for putting together an amazing conference. I look forward to 2011. Amanda Spear Hartley