Murder’s a Beach Newsletter: January 2020

We can hardly believe it’s 2020 already but we are excited that the big event is almost here! We are busy scurrying around and finalizing plans for so many amazing treats for you all.

Calling All Attendees: The Author Cabaret wants you!

Do you sing? Play a musical instrument? Juggle flaming chainsaws? We’re giving you an opportunity to strut your stuff! The Author Cabaret needs your talent on Friday, March 13th. We will have a band, the Left Coast Criminals, made up of crime-writing stalwarts Lisa Brackmann, Corey Lynn Fayman, and Caitlin Rother, among others, to back up those musically inclined. Just tell us what you’d like to do/sing/play by January 31st. Please send an email to with the subject heading “Author Cabaret” and tell us what you'd like to do! But … maybe no flaming chainsaws. This time.

Hotel Update

Convention Hotel
Our convention hotel, the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, is usually in sold out status for most nights from Wednesday through Sunday. However, rooms occasionally become available when people cancel.
Marriott reservation link

Overflow Hotel
Nearby SpringHill Suites Mission Valley is matching the $169 rate. The hotel is about a 10 minutes walk from the Marriott, and offers free parking, Wi-Fi, and breakfast.
SpringHill reservation link

Other Hotels
Please check our hotel webpage for updated information on other nearby hotels, no special link needed.

Questions about hotel registration? Email Registrar Kathy Krevet

We look forward to seeing you in March!
Team 2020
Lisa Brackmann
Kim Keeline
Maryelizabeth Yturralde


Lefty Award Nominees

Our thanks to all who submitted their nomination forms. The Lefty awards will be voted on at the convention and presented at a banquet on Saturday, March 14, at the  San Diego Marriott Mission Valley. We are delighted to announce the Lefty nominees.

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel. The nominees are:
  • Ellen Byron, Fatal Cajun Festival (Crooked Lane Books)
  • Leslie Karst, Murder from Scratch (Crooked Lane Books)
  • Cynthia Kuhn, The Subject of Malice (Henery Press)
  • Catriona McPherson, Scot & Soda (Midnight Ink)
  • Wendall Thomas, Drowned Under (Poisoned Pen Press)
Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel. (Bruce Alexander Memorial) for books covering events before 1970. The nominees are
  • Susanna Calkins, Murder Knocks Twice (Minotaur Books)
  • L.A. Chandlar, The Pearl Dagger (Kensington Books)
  • Dianne Freeman, A Lady’s Guide to Gossip and Murder (Kensington Books)
  • Jennifer Kincheloe, The Body in Griffith Park (Seventh Street Books)
  • Sujata Massey, The Satapur Moonstone (Soho Crime)
Lefty for Best Debut Mystery Novel. The nominees are:
  • Tori Eldridge, The Ninja Daughter (Agora Books)
  • Angie Kim, Miracle Creek (Sarah Crichton Books)
  • Tara Laskowski, One Night Gone (Graydon House)
  • John Vercher, Three-Fifths (Agora Books)
  • Carl Vonderau, Murderabilia (Midnight Ink)
Lefty for Best Mystery Novel. The nominees are:
  • Steph Cha, Your House Will Pay (Ecco)
  • Tracy Clark, Borrowed Time (Kensington Books)
  • Matt Coyle, Lost Tomorrows (Oceanview Publishing)
  • Rachel Howzell Hall, They All Fall Down (Forge Books)
  • Attica Locke, Heaven, My Home (Mulholland Books)

Murder’s a Beach Panel Programming

The Left Coast Crime 2020 Panel Team is busily organizing the panels. Our goal is to send the panel notifications out to panelists around January 24, and to post the panel schedule by the first week in February.

Left Coast Crime Events

At Left Coast Crime 2020 we are offering our usual four opportunities outside the normal panel and book signings for authors and readers to interact.

Meet the New Authors Breakfast

Authors who have a first mystery, crime, thriller, or suspense novel published between January 1, 2019, and March 15, 2020, and did not present last year at LCC 2019 in Vancouver, are eligible to present at the Meet the New Authors Breakfast, Friday, March 13th, hosted by Mike Befeler.
New Authors: Email Mike Befeler with your title and publication date
Participants: All LCC registrants are welcome.

Author Speed-Dating

Author Speed-Dating will take place Thursday March 12, from 9:00–11:00 AM, before the panel programming begins, and is a fun way for authors to connect to a new set of readers. The time frame and setup allows 40 authors to circulate in pairs and 140 fans to relax and enjoy the 2-minute pitches. Les and Leslie Blatt will be our Speed-Dating Hosts.
Authors: Email Lucinda Surber if you would like to date 140 new fans! Authors registered by December 31st who have not participated in Speed Dating at LCC before will be given priority through the end of January. Please let Lucinda know if this is your first time. The remaining spots will be filled by repeat Speed Daters in the order emails are received. Please mention your Speed Dating partner if you’ve already made arrangements to pair up with another author. You will receive a return email with more information sometime in February.
Participants: First come, first seated!

Author-Hosted Tables

Partner with another author to host a table at the Lefty Awards Banquet on Saturday, March 14th. Convention attendees will sign up to sit with you at dinner. Table favors optional.
Authors: Email Lucinda Surber with BOTH of your names and email addresses. You will receive a return email with more information sometime in February.
Participants: When you register, look for the Author-Hosted Table signup sheets near the registration desk.

Author-Reader Connections

One of the best things about Left Coast Crime is the chance to get to know your fellow readers and writers. But sometimes, during the excitement and flurry of activities, it’s not always easy to find time to get to know each other. At Left Coast Crime 2015 Co-Chair Bill Cameron launched Author-Reader Connections to provide an easy forum for readers and authors to enjoy some time together. An Author-Reader Connection might include a snack or a drink, or a walk together near the hotel. These Author-Reader Connections are free, and in some cases may include some special benefits from the authors.
Authors: Author-Reader Connections are open to all authors. Email Lucinda Surber for  all the details. Connections won’t be scheduled until after the panel schedule has been posted in early February to avoid conflicts.
Participants: We will announce some Author-Reader Connections in the February newsletter, along with directions for signing up.


Left Coast Crime encourages organizations to sponsor a variety of events such as the Opening Reception, the Awards Banquet, the Friday “Meet the New Authors” breakfast, the Saturday breakfast, and the Hospitality Suite. Other options include sponsoring one of our Guests of Honor or supporting Left Coast Crime by sponsoring items such as the convention book bag.

Books for Book Bags
We are happy to accept crime fiction and non-fiction books for distribution to all attendees in our book bags. There is no charge, but you will need to ship the books to arrive in early 2020. We accept any quantity of books, but prefer not to have more than 300 copies of a single title; multiple titles are recommended if you would like to place a book in every bag. In order to make book distribution work for both the participants (who will love receiving your books) and the booksellers (who will plan to bring different books to sell), we ask that you provide the title(s) and number of books you would like to donate.

If interested in donating books or other sponsorship opportunities, please email Lucinda Surber.


Attention Authors! Please encourage your publisher to advertise in the Left Coast Crime Program Book. There are sizes and prices for every budget. Don’t be left out! The deadline for reserving ad space is February 1, 2020. Details and Ad Form

Good-bye to Vancouver

Now that the Lefty nomination period is finished, those of you who attended LCC 2019 in Vancouver and are not registered for LCC 2020 will be removed from the San Diego newsletter distribution list. Interested in receiving occasional news about future conventions? Sign up for the Left Coast Crime eNews List.

If you are not sure whether you are registered for LCC 202o, check the San Diego Attendee page!

Questions about your San Diego registration? Email Registrar Kathy Krevat

Left Coast Crime 2021: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Registration Is Now Open!
When: April 8–11, 2021
Where: Hyatt Regency Albuquerque
Guest of Honor: Mick Herron
Guest of Honor: Catriona McPherson
Fan Guest of Honor: Kristopher Zgorski
Toastmaster: Kellye Garrett
Ghost of Honor: Tony Hillerman
Visit the LCC 2021 website for more details and to register.