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

Plans for our Bouchercon 2020 adventure continue to expand. Every month brings more news and increased excitement. Check out the options described below as you plan your travel and your time here in Sacramento. The two convention hotels, The Hyatt Regency and the Sheraton Grand/Marriott, still have plenty of rooms. Connect to descriptions and links to the hotels on our website at If you have any issue getting the convention rate please email


March 1 Deadline For Anthology Entries

California Schemin', the short story anthology from Bouchercon 2020, is approaching the submission deadline, March 1.  Stories must be between 1,500 and 5,500 words. See the website button above for more information.

SPECIAL EVENTS at BOUCHERCON 2020 Calling All Debut Authors

Do you have a debut mystery/crime book first published between October 31, 2019, and October 18, 2020? First, congratulations! How wonderful for mystery readers to have new books to read. You are eligible to present your book at the Meet the Debut Authors Breakfast, Saturday, October 17. Contact Mike Befeler at Send him your name and book title.

Volunteers: An Exceptional Group

If you’re looking for a way to have even more fun, meet your favorite authors, and gather with fellow mystery lovers — volunteer! Please check the box on the registration form when you register if you’re interested in helping. If you already registered and didn’t check the box, just email us at the address below. (You must be registered for the convention to volunteer.)  We will send you a Volunteer Interest Form to complete giving you some choice in what you might be doing. Additionally, we’ll be posting specific opportunities in the future. Questions? Contact

Nero Wolfe Banquet

Are you a Nero Wolfe aficionado? Does your stomach growl when you read descriptions of the meals Archie Goodwin and Nero Wolfe share? Or, maybe you just enjoy an evening of fun in a gorgeous venue with the Wolfe Pack accompanied by sumptuous gourmet dining. Either way, the Nero Wolfe Banquet is for you. It will be held Thursday, October 15. Register now at:


Our convention has special support from wonderful sponsors whose dedication helps us provide a meaningful gathering for those who love good books and the pleasure of joining others to celebrate them. Our deepest thanks go to these sponsors.

Mystery Writers of America:  The fantastic convention bag you will receive, which will serve you for many years, is a contribution from this titan in the mystery industry. Make sure you stop by their table and say hello.

Sisters in Crime: We have SINC to thank for the great looking badge holders and lanyards you will receive. Don’t forget to sign up for the Sisters in Crime Breakfast on Friday, October 16.

Atria/Simon & Shuster: Watch for the Hospitality Suite they sponsor Saturday, October 17, in the Hyatt Regency Ventura Room. You will have a chance to meet Chris Hauty, author of the timely thriller, The Deep State. If you read it before Bouchercon 2020 and review it on Goodreads, you’ll be entered to win one of the advanced copies of his next book.

Sign-ups start March 1, 2020, on the Bouchercon 2020 website. Space is limited on the excursions and tours, so you need to sign up early!

Sacramento is the star on the California map, and not just because it’s the capital. From its gold-rush, farming, and ranching beginnings, it has expanded to include a vibrant cosmopolitan downtown area with a high energy night life. Building on our past and embracing the present, our excursions and tours will give you a taste of the wonders that our capital has to offer. Here’s a preview of what we have in store for you.

Railroad Museum

The California State Railroad Museum is the largest of its type west of the Mississippi and features nearly 40 locomotives and rail cars, including rare steam locomotives, a mail car, dining car and more. Upstairs, a model train exhibition showcases the art of miniature railroading, and other interactive exhibits tell the story of the railroad from everyday life to the mammoth Transcontinental Railroad project that was completed in 1869.

Sacramento City

California’s capital is full of history and modern-day sites and adventures. One of the best ways to get a primer on the city, its geography and history is to take a bus tour. Your trip will take you past many of Sacramento’s iconic sites, like the California State Capitol building, Sutter’s Fort, the Crocker Art Museum, Leland Stanford Mansion, Golden 1 Center Arena, several breathtaking wall murals, the Governor’s Mansion, and McKinley Park with its rose garden.

Old Sacramento Underground

Building your city where two rivers come together and flood all the time isn’t that smart, but raising your city an entire floor above ground in a stubborn move to make it work makes for a really good story, and the Old Sacramento Underground Tour chronicles this event. On the tour, you’ll go to the original street level under the wooden sidewalks and cobblestoned streets of the historic old city and learn about the early days in Sacramento and the massive project that involved raising existing buildings off the ground with jacks. It’s not only interesting and atmospheric, but it may inspire your next murder mystery novel, because sometimes, things in Old Sacramento got a little rough.

Old Town Sacramento

Step back in time and experience Sacramento’s 1850s’ business district as you explore Old Sacramento Waterfront State Historic Park. Walk along wooden planked sidewalks and cobblestone roads and see over 50 historic buildings, like the 1853 B. F. Hastings Building, once home to the California Supreme Court. And there is so much more to do: take a horse-drawn carriage ride; visit museums; shop at locally owned antique, candy, and novelty stores; stroll along the Sacramento River; do some wine tasting; and enjoy a meal. There’s something for everyone at Old Town Sacramento.

State Capitol

Tour the California State Capitol to see the seat of power of the nation’s largest state. Highlights include access to the California Legislature chambers, a stunning view of the inside of the dome, the historical section of the building where rooms are preserved as they appeared in the 1850s, and even the large golden bear statue outside the governor’s office installed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Sac Brew Bike

What’s better than walking around on a pub crawl? Riding around on a 15-passenger bike from bar to bar rocking out to your favorite music. Your guide steers and brakes, but you’re the engine as you pedal your way around Sacramento’s lively Midtown district visiting favorite local spots for craft beer, cocktails, wine, bites and more. Or, if you’re feeling lazy, take one of the seats along the back or over the wheels, and you won’t have to pedal.

Old Sugar Mill

Sacramento’s farm-to-fork bounty isn’t limited to food –the city boasts a host of wineries in its immediate vicinity, and one of the best spots to go is nearby Clarksburg, which houses The Old Sugar Mill. It really is an Old Sugar Mill (we totally brought it from another state) that now houses 15 local wineries, each in their own tasting room. Since you’ve got a bus to take you back to Sacramento, feel free to sample from multiple wineries and really get a taste of the Sacramento-area varietals.

We want to share a little of our wonderful city with you, but we also want your Bouchercon 2020 experience to be exceptional. So, to avoid competing with programs, all excursions and tours will be on Wednesday, October 14, between 9 and 5, allowing you time to visit Registration and to browse the Book Bazaar before the convention starts.

Starting March 1, go to, click on Travel and Hotels to get more detailed information and to sign-up for your excursion or tour.


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