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March 2020 Newsletter
Join us October 15 to 18, 2020
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Greetings Bouchercon Friends,

Many of our Bouchercon committee members were in San Diego last week when San Diego County shut down Left Coast Crime. In addition to the upset for a lot of authors who had panels and books sales canceled, and fans who’d come to meet their favorites, there was a lot of speculation about Bouchercon 2020, particularly since Malice Domestic, Sleuthfest and other cons on the horizon were facing cancellation.

Now, March 22, 2020, the closures and cancellations have gone far beyond the mystery world, but we can’t know what the future holds. We’re watching, waiting and reading all the news (after all, we’re in California where the governor ordered a statewide “shelter in place”).

But it’s early days still and we’re continuing with our planning. An event like Bouchercon takes a lot of time and planning to make it the stellar event we want for mystery fans and authors. One thing we’ll be looking at over the next few months will be our cancellation/refund policy. In light of the virus, we plan to adjust it, although we don’t have specifics yet.

So register, stay tuned, and we’ll all stay sequestered to stop the spread and be healthy in October.

Speed Dating

Author Speed Dating is a fun way for authors to connect with a new set of readers. The setup allows 40 authors to circulate in pairs, and 144 fans to relax and enjoy their two-minute pitches.

Les and Leslie Blatt are our Author Speed Dating hosts. Authors, if you want to participate, email Leslie Blatt at Please let Leslie know if this is your first time participating in Speed Dating at a Bouchercon. Also, if you want to be paired with a particular speed dating partner, mention that. Both authors MUST send an email naming each other. If no partner is named, Les and Leslie will do the matching.

The final date to apply is August 7. Notifications of your selection for these events will be made by August 31. If you are not on the list, waitlists for last-minute author cancellations will be developed and additions made as we move closer to the Convention. Any questions can be sent to Leslie at

New Sponsors Provide Wonderful Hospitality Suites

Poisoned Pen Press/Sourcebooks is a true friend. They are hosting a hospitality suite in the Sheraton Grand on Friday morning as well as an exceptional hospitality suite Friday afternoon in the Hyatt! Expect something wonderful.

And especially for fans of “cozy” mysteries—Kensington Publishing is taking advantage of the Sheraton Grand being our focus for all “cozy” panels. They will be hosting an upgraded hospitality suite on Friday afternoon.

Nero Wolfe Banquet

Are you a Nero Wolfe aficionado? Or, maybe you just enjoy an evening of fun in a gorgeous venue with the Wolfe Pack accompanied by sumptuous gourmet dining? If so, the Nero Wolfe Banquet is for you. You must be registered for the convention to attend. Held on Thursday, October 15, at the classic Sterling Hotel, only two blocks from the convention hotel. Sign up now at:

California Schemin’ Anthology

Submissions for the Bouchercon 2020 Anthology, California Schemin’, closed March 1. The more than 150 stories submitted are now being read by the first-round judges. With the number of entries, we won’t be able to give judges’ feedback on stories, but we appreciate all of you who entered. As the process continues, we’ll keep you posted.

Sign up Now for Excursions and Tours

Our excursions and tours are finalized and open for sign ups. You have six wide-ranging options to choose from: museums, historic sites, beer and bites, wineries, and city sightseeing. You can walk, ride, or bike. And the costs range from free to $50. Go to, click on Excursions and Tours to get more detailed information and to sign up for your October adventure.

All tours will be on Wednesday, October 14, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Space is limited, so we encourage you to sign up early.

Sign Up Here!
Free State Capitol Tours

For those of you who are interested in seeing our State Capitol (Where Murder Is a Capitol Crime!), but are unable join our tour on October 14, the State Capitol Museum ( conducts tours daily (Monday – Sunday) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Capitol is located directly across the street from the Hyatt Hotel.

The Capitol building is surrounded by Capitol Park: 40 acres of manicured lawns, with exotic trees and memorials to significant events involving California, i.e., Civil War Memorial Grove; life-sized statue of Father Junipero Serra; the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial; and the California Veterans Memorial.

Amidst this beautiful setting is the World Peace Rose Garden, whose theme is “Peace for Women, Children, & Families.” It is a Victorian-designed garden and features about 650 roses in over 140 varieties of colors and fragrances. Walkways lead to a small courtyard with a fountain in the center, and a heart-shaped seating wall surrounds an elegant square Peace Pavilion. Numerous benches scattered throughout the garden beckon visitors to sit and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of multi-colored roses amidst an historic ambiance. Additionally, forty-four winning Inspirational Messages of Peace by our youth have been engraved on individual plaques and placed throughout the garden to serve as points of inspiration. (Excerpt from:

Bouchercon 2021

Like to plan ahead? Bouchercon 2021 in New Orleans has opened registration. Check out their website


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