The panel was called HOT ICE (Caper Novels). As most of you know, I’ve been a big fan of caper novels all of my life. I grew up reading Donald Westlake’s comic capers and his darker capers in the Parker books. Loved Lionel White’s noirish capers. So I looked forward to Benjamin Whitmer, Eoin Colfer, Sean Doolitttle, Chris Ewan, Peter Spiegelman, and Keith Thomson to discuss the caper genre and perhaps suggest some more current caper novels I may have missed. But, no, it was not to be. The participants merely talked about their own books (which didn’t appear to be caper novels). After 20 minutes of this blatant self-promotion, I walked out of the panel. Beth Feydn, who stayed, told me later that someone in the the audience finally stood up and said, “Have any of guys ever heard of Donald Westlake?” Over the years, I’ve seen this creeping (and creepy) phenomenon of using panels to boost the authors’ books, but this caper panel was the most egregious example yet. Mystery fans go to panels to meet new writers and to learn more about the various aspects of the genre. They are not a captive audience for authors promoting their books!