Hi folks - John McFetridge are going to be taking a road-trip in the week running up to the Bouchercon in early October, doing some readings and events as we move from Toronto to Baltimore via Vermont, NY, Philly and that general area. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions about interesting diversions, stuff off the beaten track or the road less travelled? If you've any tips about bookstores and suchlike, great, but we're equally interested in writing-related ideas, famous graves we might want to pay homage at, infamous settings for crime fic novels, that kind of thing ... Any and all suggestions welcome. Cheers, Declan Burke

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Well, there's always Nantucket and Nathaniel Hawthorne's home. I'm not sure where the latter is.
Thanks, John, much obliged. Cheers, Dec
Hawthorne lived in the House of Seven Gables, did he not? (It's in Salem, MA at any rate. It's got a secret room where suspected witches were hidden. You can take a tour and try to find it.)
Dan Brown lives somewhere in Vermont. You could go watch the money trucks backing up to unload in his driveway.
Thanks, Eric, much obliged. Any chance we could get Dan Brown stashed in Hawthorne's 'secret witch room'? Cheers, Dec
Drop by Lowell, MA to visit Kerouac's grave (to pay homage or piss on it, depending on your opinion of the guy). Pop into The Old Court pub downtown during lunchtime and you'll probably see me scribbling at the corner table with a half-eaten Irish dip sandwich and an empty pint of Bass in front of me. First round's on me if you can make it.
Hi Nick - I'd be more inclined to bring a token bottle of firewater along to Kerouac's grave than engage in ye olde micturation ... I've a soft spot for him ever since I read Big Sur. As for The Old Court pub ... we'll try to make it, if only to find out what an 'Irish dip sandwich' is ... Cheers, Dec
You could head to Walden Pond and walk in the footsteps of Emerson and Thoreau. Or out to Amherst, MA to the house of Emily Dickinson. Robert Frost's house in New Hampshire. All that might be a litle tame. Head into South Boston and Charlestown and see where the Irish settled and the pubs still line the streets. Where you still meet the people "Who pay no praise or wages, Nor heed my craft or art" as Thomas would say. The kind of folks you write for and about. Triple O's, The Quiet Man, The L Street Tavern, The Warren Tavern, all bars that Whitey Bulger scared the sh_t out of people as the head of the Irish mob. If you've read Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan, you get the idea. No trip would be complete without heading over to Faneuil Hall to The Black Rose for a couple of pints with the fellas. Have a good time.
Much obliged, gents. If we survive Boston's underworld, we'll let you know how it went ... Steve, if it looks like we'll have that kind of time in Boston, we'd love to hook up with your buddy and kill a few beers ... sounds like my kind of evening. Cheers, Dec


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