Thursday, October 15, 2009

'Twas the night before Bouchercon...

In a few short hours, many American-based crime fiction fans will wake up to a day almost as exciting as Christmas - the arrival of Bouchercon 2009!

Living in one of the best places on earth (New Zealand) is great and all, but at times like these, I do occasionally get a little green around the gills for my fellow crime fiction afficianados in the USA and Europe that have much easier access to great events such as this.

The 40th edition of the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention is four days (15-18 October) packed with dozens and dozens and dozens of great authors, great events, and great times. You can see this year's programme HERE (26 pages of event listings - sheesh). Interestingly there is an adult programme, and a children's programme as well - which seems like a great idea for a literary festival.

Obviously there are too many highlights to mention them all, but a huge one must be that this year's Guest of Honour is bestselling crime writer Michael Connelly (who will be interviewed by fellow crime writer Michael Koryta at a whole-conference special event). Throughout the four days attendees have a choice of several great events at each time slot (concurrent events), but there are also specific 'whole conference' events which do not have any clashes on the programme (special events) - such as Connelly's talk, and the gala ceremony for the Anthony Awards, which are announced each year at Bouchercon.

The nominees for the 2009 Anthony Awards for Best Novel and Best First Novel are:

Best Novel
Trigger City by Sean Chercover [William Morrow]
The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly [Little, Brown and Company]
Red Knife by William Kent Krueger [Atria]
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson [Knopf]
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny [Minotaur]

Best First Novel
Pushing Up Daisies by Rosemary Harris [Minotaur]
Stalking Susan by Julie Kramer [Doubleday]
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson [Knopf]
Death of a Cozy Writer by G. M. Malliet [Midnight Ink]
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith [Grand Central]

You can see the nominees for the other Anthony Awards here.

So are any of you going to Boucheron? What are you most looking forward to? Have you been to events in previous years? Who would you like to see win the Anthony Awards?


  1. Brass Verdict for Best Novel and Girl w Dragon Tattoo for best first novel. Win-win! I heard Michael Connelly at Crime Fest in Bristol this year, and he was just fantastic! Hard to describe it without going into hyperbole alert. Have just finished Nine Dragons - well up to usual standards.

  2. I'm headed to Bouchercon in a matter of hours. This will be my first and I'm very, very excited. I'm looking forward to meeting many of my favorite crime fiction writers and fellow readers. I can't wait to meet Libby Hellmann, Tom Schreck, Kelli Stanley, Jane Cleland, Andy Gross and so many more. Michael Koryta I have seen at events a number of times. I live in the Cleveland area, which is where Michael sets his books. And I won a HOT TICKET to be in a small session with Michael Connelly. Who could possibly ask for a better weekend?

  3. I just finished NINE DRAGONS as well Maxine, and I love Connelly - he's up there with Billingham and James Lee Burke as my fave crime writers/writers I think are at the top of the tree, but I have to say I was a little (just a little) disappointed with Nine Dragons. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the read, but (particularly in the early stages) I found myself going 'hmmmm...' about some of the dialogue and description - it just seemed less smooth and fresh than normal for Connelly... there seemed to be a lot more 'tell' than show, about what characters were thinking/feeling - and spelling out things that could have been evoked through a telling detail here or there... it seemed uncharacteristically a bit 'huh?' for Connelly.

    Overall, still a very, very good book - but I guess for me he's set such high standards, that I thought some of the actual writing in the early parts didn't shine as much as it usually does with him. Storylines were great though, and a much more personal story for Bosch. I liked the detour to HK (which some fans might not like), and the shift in direction of the series with the more personal story - but I was thinking before I read it that it could be the arguably the best book i read this year - and i finished thinking it was very, very good, but not one of his very best...

    Having said that, I'd go to Bouchercon just to see him... still an all-time fave...

  4. It's when we hear about great festivals like this that I lament being soooooo far away. Sigh.

    My only consolation is I hear the Melbourne Festival often has a great Crime Writing presence, so maybe I'll have to treat myself a little hop across the ditch to that one year.

  5. I'm thinking about going to next year's B-con. It's in San Francisco.

  6. you should just get yourself invited to the Melbourne festival Vanda!

    You're right Steve - a San Fran Bouchercon is certainly more accessible for us Kiwis - pretty simple (and often cheap) flight direct from Auckland...