Choosing a Roommate From Those Who Plot Murder

Doesn't seem like anyone with good sense would actually do that, but it happens all the time among the mystery community.

Every time a mystery convention draws close appeals for roommates turn up on various lists, they usually say something like:

Looking for female roommate, Non smoker--or male roommate,non smoker. What makes it so intriguing, is that among these potential female or male roommates are people who figure out ways to kill people. I know this, because these same folks turn up on the same or other lists asking questions like: What would be a good poison that would look like natural causes? Or what kind of medication put into a drink wouldn't taste bad and would knock a man out for at least two hours? What kind of gun could kill someone who was shooting from 50 yards away? Actually the questions posed are far more intricate than what I made up here.

So, you ask for the roommate and hope he or she doesn't want to experiment on you, right?

Actually, I've been one of these people who actually had a mystery roommate, more than once.

The first time was when the one I'd planned to room with backed out and a friend suggested a woman from Sisters in Crime who was also attending the conference. I didn't see her for the first time until midway through the first day. She turned out to be a wonderful roommate.

Once I roomed with a lady I did know vaguely and she wasn't quite as good a roommate since her belongings took up the entire room and even spilled onto my bed. I had to ask her to move them.

I made arrangements with another gal via the Internet to be roomies at a conference in Burlingame WA. Her name sounded so familiar I was sure I'd met her before. I hadn't. We had a great time together, in fact we went on to be roommates in New York City for the Edgar awards and then on down to Arlington VA for Malice Domestic.

Hubby and even stayed at her house for a booksigning in Glendale and the L.A. Book Festival. Needless to say we're good friends now. We plan to be roommates for Bouchercon in 2010 in San Francisco.

Another good roommate was a fellow Sister in Crime--we knew each other from several venues, book signings, talks at libraries and other conferences. We did Bouchercon in Alaska--fantastic experience all around.

Usually I take my regular roomie with me--my husband. He likes to attend most of these conferences, but it can be expensive.

I have heard of some of these roommate pairings that haven't been so wonderful, but as yet haven't heard of a murder coming from one.

The whole idea struck me funny last night and figured I ought to write about it.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith


Gayle said…
What a terrific post, Marilyn. Thank you for sharing this. You know, oddly, I'd never thought about it this way...even though I DO have a mug that reads "Caution: Mystery Writer - I figure out ways to kill people for a living. Remember that before you make me angry." ;-)

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