Oline Cogdill

For years, I wanted to attend Left Coast Crime (LCC) having heard such good feedback about the conference. The various western locations also interested me.

But the timing was never right as it always seemed I had previous commitments in the March/April time frame.

But 2020 was different.

Oh, so different as we were about to find out.

For the first time, the timing worked for me and, as an extra bonus, one of my dearest and closet friends lived in San Diego.

Tony and I had big plans—we would spend the day before the conference and, after LCC ended, we would either stay in San Diego, a city I love, or spend time in Los Angeles.

None of that was to be.

Tony and I spent the day before the conference together.

But then the pandemonium of the pandemic began to take hold.

The first day of LCC was terrific. Good panels, good authors, good discussion.

I moderated one panel, went up to my room to grab something and 10 minutes later came down to find out the city had shut down LCC because of the health risk.

Of course, the in-person 2021 LCC also had to be canceled. But LCC had a terrific virtual conference last month that featured the finalists in the Lefty Award categories.

And attention must be paid to those authors who have worked so hard on their novels to become Lefty Award finalists.

Last Saturday, LCC had its small but very good awards ceremony honoring those winners and finalists.

Each winner was given a chance to make an acceptance speech.

Between categories, LCC honored its past by showing the program cover and the guests of honor through the years.

Congratulations to all the Left Award winners, and to the nominees. Each author is a winner.

Best Mystery Novel
WINNER: All the Devils Are Here, by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
What You Don’t See, by Tracy Clark (Kensington Books)
Blacktop Wasteland, by S.A. Cosby (Flatiron Books)
Blind Vigil, by Matt Coyle (Oceanview Publishing)
And Now She’s Gone, by Rachel Howzell Hall (Forge)

Best Humorous Mystery Novel
WINNER: Murder in the Bayou Boneyard, by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane Books)
Mimi Lee Gets a Clue ,by Jennifer J. Chow (Berkley Prime Crime)
Squeeze Me ,by Carl Hiaasen (Alfred A. Knopf)
The Study of Secrets, by Cynthia Kuhn (Henery Press)
The Pot Thief Who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing ,by J. Michael Orenduff (Aakenbaaken & Kent)
Skin Deep, by Sung J. Woo (Agora Books)

Best Historical Mystery Novel
WINNER:The Turning Tide, by Catriona McPherson (Quercus)
he Fate of a Flapper, by Susanna Calkins, (Minotaur Books)
A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder, by Dianne Freeman (Kensington Books)
Riviera Gold, by Laurie R. King (Bantam Books)
Mortal Music, by Ann Parker (Poisoned Pen Press)
Turn to Stone, by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street Books)

Best Debut Mystery Novel
WINNER: Winter Counts, by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Ecco)
Murder Goes to Market, by Daisy Bateman (Seventh Street Books)
Derailed, by Mary Keliikoa (Camel Press)
Murder at the Mena House, by Erica Ruth Neubauer (Kensington Books)
The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman (Viking)
The Lady Upstairs, by Halley Sutton (Putnam)

More good news, LCC 2022 is scheduled for April 7–10, 2022, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I plan to go, along with my other dear and close friend, Toni. (Yes, one is Tony, one is Toni). She and I plan to come in early, go to Santa Fe for a couple of days and then tour Albuquerque—something we did years ago.

2022 Left Coast Crime Honorees
Guest of Honor: Mick Herron
Guest of Honor: Catriona McPherson
Fan Guest of Honor: Kristopher Zgorski
Toastmaster: Kellye Garrett
Ghost of Honor: Tony Hillerman

I am hoping that by the time LCC 2022 rolls around, in-person conferences will be the norm.

And more good news, LCC 2023 also is in the works for Tucson, Arizona.

Planning is good!