Mysterious Island

The 59th annual Edgar awards will be handed out April 28th at the Grand Marriott Hotel in New York City. If you’re planning to attend, or have been nominated for an award, better leave now; it takes two months to navigate the lobby of the Grand Marriott despite color coded instructions as to which elevator bank is yours, which tower your room is in. Although the hotel is in midtown some of the rooms are actually on the Upper East Side.

The last time I was there I was meeting a client for drinks. I never found him; that was 1988. Larry, I hope you’re okay. When it opened, some people praised the Grand Marriott as having a ‘futuristic’ look; apparently in the future we’re doomed to wander through a carpeted labrynth clutching card keys and hoping the bellhop who took your luggage off to the tower will one day find his way back to your color coded patch even as Magellan once returned to Lisbon and asked, “was I gone long?”

Anyway this article isn’t about the hotel. I’m not fond of hotel lobbies large enough to re-enact the battle of Gettysburg. Let’s assume the authors are escorted by guides through the hotel and actually arrive at the award banquet before the sun also rises. I think the winners will all be from New York City simply because the out of towners, TJ Parker, Laura Lippman to name a few, are at a serious disadvantage. They won’t have anything to wear to the banquet; once they’re checked in and their luggage vanishes into the fern infested depths they’ll be consulting the handy chart issued to guests that explains the significance of the color stripe on the carpet…follow the green stripe to the green elevators; this is your elevator bank. These are mystery writers, well equipped to solve puzzles; still, is TJ going to wear a tux on that long flight from LAX? I think the Edgar award in each category should go to the author who finds their room, locates their luggage and makes it to the banquet hall in less than an hour.