On November 18, I learned that the Mystery Writers of America are bestowing the Grand Master Award for Lifetime Achievement on me this coming April. I feel really excited, and happy, and in a way, bewildered. It seems as though it was only yesterday that I was watching Julian Symons receive the Grand Master award at my first Edgar dinner in New York. I was a novice and a stranger; I’d taken a half day of vacation time from my day job to fly out. I didn’t know a soul, and I was seated at a table as far from the podium as you could get, but I was incredibly thrilled to see the writers I’d admired for years. Symons was followed the next year by the gifted Margaret Millar, and then John Le Carre. Dorothy Salisbury Davis, one of my icons, received the Grand Master in 1985. Dorothy later became not just a good friend, but an extraordinary mentor, not just in how to write, but in how to live. I can’t believe I’m joining this legendary company.