Mystery Conventions Are Back!

I was lucky enough to spend last weekend at the Left Coast Crime Convention in Albuquerque and I had a wonderful time!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Left Coast Crime is an annual mystery convention sponsored by mystery fans, both readers and authors, and it’s always held in Western North America. Just in recent years, it’s been held in Hawaii, Reno, Vancouver, San Diego, and Albuquerque. The idea is to bring readers, authors, critics, librarians, publishers, and other fans together for a long weekend to pursue their mutual interest—crime fiction!

Author, Mary Keliikoa and I co-hosted a table for the Saturday Awards banquet.

Sadly, the last time we all gathered was 2020—which was cancelled due to the pandemic on the first official day of the conference. There are quite a few big mystery conventions like Left Coast in the US. Malice Domestic in Maryland, Thrillerfest in New York City, and Bouchercon, which like Left Coast, moves to a different city every year. They are all run by volunteers. They all involve some form of author panels, meet and greets or author/reader connections, book signings, banquets, party nights, a ton of fun and hugs and laughs! And that year, one by one, they were all cancelled. The organizers worked their tails off to put together some form of virtual connection, at least to present awards for those authors who were nominated. And we all said, Next Year, like it was a battle cry. Unfortunately, everything was virtual in 2021 too.

Two years later, in Albuquerque, it was such a joy to gather together again! Someone pointed out how fitting it was that Left Coast Crime was the last time we gathered together. Now we’ve come full circle. In 2023, Left Coast Crime will take place in Tucson, AZ. If you love crime fiction, you should check it out!

Just a few of the dozens of panels: Female Sleuths in Historical Mystery, The Importance of Family, and Spies, Official and Otherwise.

Books and Left Coast souvenirs!
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