‘Bouchercon’ comes to Minneapolis, and it’s no mystery why – Twin Cities

Murder comes to Minneapolis Sept. 8-11 when more than a thousand mystery/crime writers, readers, librarians, reviewers and book clubs gather for the World Mystery Convention known as Bouchercon, a celebration of this popular genre that ranges from hard-boiled detective stories to cozies that include flower arrangements and recipes. Headquarters will be the Hilton Hotel, 1001 Marquette Ave. p.

Ellen Hart (Pioneer Press: Scott Takushi)

Bouchercon is a chance for fans to meet their favorite authors, including guests of honor Lou Berney, SA Cosby, Attica Locke, Jo Nesbo, Alexander McCall Smith and Minnesotans Ellen Hart, who will receive a lifetime achievement award, and William Kent Krueger. Toastmasters will be Minnesotans Jess Lourey and Lori Rader-Day.

After authors participate in 120 panels about all aspects of writing mystery/crime novels, guests can mingle over drinks with bestselling authors including Donna Andrews, Marcia Clark, Jeffrey Deaver, Heather Graham, Charlene Harris, Craig Johnson, Laurie R. King, Dennis Lehane , Kyle Mills, Sara Paretsky and Charles Todd.

Other featured events include a Minnesota Ta, which allows readers to mingle and sample regional work by state authors; Debut Author reception, saluting those whose debut novels were published in the last three years (allowing for books that came out during the pandemic); Noir at the Bar, where noted authors will read from their work; Anthony awards reception, following announcement of winners of the prestigious honors for best writing in several categories, and a reception hosted by Crime Writers of Color, highlighting writers of color and LGBTQ communities.

This is the third time the Twin Cities has hosted the 53-year-old Bouchercon, named for author and critic Anthony Boucher. The gathering was in Minneapolis in 1987 and St. Paul in 1996. This

William Kent Krueger (Tony Nelson)
William Kent Krueger (Tony Nelson)

Bouchercon is a big one because the 2020 convention was moved online because of the COVID pandemic and the 2021 convention was cancelled.

Bouchercon is here this year thanks to the efforts of Devin Abraham, owner of Once Upon a Crime mystery bookstore in Minneapolis, and Terri Bischoff, an editor for New York-based Crooked Lane Books publisher. Four years ago they bid on having the convention in Minneapolis, emphasizing Minnesota’s rich legacy of authors, independent booksellers and Minneapolis’ standing as one of the most literate cities in America.

Toastmaster Jess Lourey recommends first-time attendees sign up to volunteer at the convention. “As an avid reader, I’ve gotten to fangirl some of my favorite authors, and as a writer, I’ve seen my career grow through the Bouchercon connections I’ve made, including getting to know agents, publishers and fellow writers, she says. Registration is $215, allowing entry to all events. For more information about convention activities, go to: bouchercon2022.com

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