Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Do you know Left Coast Crime?

How well do you know our beloved convention? Now’s your chance to test your knowledge! All questions are True/False, and answers at the bottom of the page. (But no peeking!)

1.       The first LCC was held in 1991.

2.       It was held in San Diego, California.

3.       The second LCC was held in San Francisco, California.

4.       LCC has been held in Arizona two times so far—2016 will make the third.

5.       LCCs are only held in cities that have a coastline.

6.       The LCC region includes all states in the Mountain Time Zone and west to Hawaii.

7.       LCCs are put on by local committees of (dedicated, generous) volunteers, supported by advice and guidance from the LCC Standing Committee.

8.       LCC awards the Watson Award each year for the best historical mystery.

9.       Each LCC creates its own unique award trophies, often to reflect the local culture of the host region.

10.   Rhys Bowen has been nominated nine times for awards at LCC, including two nominations one year in the same category.

11.   LCC awards prizes in the same categories every year.

1.       True
2.       False, it was held in San Francisco
3.       True
4.       True
5.       False, they can be held anywhere in the LCC region
6.       True
7.       Very true!
8.       False, the Bruce Alexander Memorial Award is for best historical novel of the prior year
9.       True
10.   True (and she’s won twice)
11.   False, the local organizing committee must award the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Novel and the Bruce Alexander Memorial Award, but can also award prizes in two other categories of the committee’s choosing

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Planning Your Phoenix Trip

When you decide to join us in Phoenix for Left Coast Crime 2016 (because we know you will do that!), we hope you’ll also be able to take an extra afternoon or day—or two—to explore Phoenix and its surrounding areas.

However long you can stay, here are a few tips for your planning purposes:
  • Flying: means Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), which is served by 17 commercial airlines and handles more than 80 domestic and 20 international flights a day, most of them nonstop.
  • Accommodations at the Hyatt: The Hyatt Regency Phoenix does not have rooms available for the Tuesday night (February 23) prior to LCC, due to a city-wide convention. The hotel does have plenty of rooms Wednesday through Sunday nights. PLEASE be aware of that when making reservations—if you search for rooms Tuesday through Saturday, don’t panic when you receive a “rooms not available” response. Simply change your request to start with Wednesday.
  • Tuesday accommodations: Rooms will be available at other hotels, so we recommend checking near the airport or other areas away from downtown Phoenix.
  • Things to do as part of LCC: Stay tuned for tours specially tuned to LCC guests, including a wild-west themed dinner, a historic downtown walking tour of Phoenix, and more.
  • Things to do in Phoenix: There’s plenty for you to do within or close to the city limits, such as …
    • Arts and Culture: the Heard Museum for American Indian arts and cultures; Phoenix Art Museum, showcasing modern and contemporary works; Desert Botanical Garden, the world’s largest collection of desert plants; Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s 480-acre desert masterpiece; and the Musical Instrument Museum, featuring more than 10,000 instruments and artifacts from around the world.
    • Recreation and Relaxation: hiking and biking in more than 180,000 acres of parks and preserves, golf and spa, “air activities” such as hot-air balloon and helicopter rides, and Jeep and Hummer tours.
    • Downtown Phoenix: the CityScape for entertainment, dining, and shopping; the Arizona Science Center with 350 hands-on exhibits and a planetarium; the Civic Space Park, an urban park; Chase Field, home to the Arizona Diamondbacks; and US Airways Arena, home to the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, and Arizona Rattlers.
  • Things to do in Arizona: Day trips can take you to a variety of scenic areas, including the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon, Prescott, Flagstaff,
We’ll focus more in later blogs on some of your day-trip, in-town, and LCC-tour options. But starting thinking about what you might need to see when you join us next February!

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Do you know Phoenix?

Phoenix is …

The sixth-largest U.S. city, with a population of nearly three million and covering 2,000 square miles.

Located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, at an elevation of 1,117 feet.

Sunny more than 310 days per year, with an average rainfall of 7.66 inches and an average annual high temperature of 85 degrees.

Home to 23 reservations representing 21 different Native American tribes.

Host to more than 14 million visitors each year, out of more than 30 million who visit Arizona annually.

Golf happy, with more than 200 courses.

A top hotel destination, rated #1 in the 1997 Zagat Survey and consistently ranked among the nation’s top cities in the number of 5 diamond/5 star resorts.

Bustling, with major industries in high-tech manufacturing, tourism, and construction.

Served by 17 commercial airlines at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), one of the 10 busiest airports in the U.S. for passenger traffic.

 Experience Phoenix for yourself next February!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Great Cactus Caper

Why are we here? Aside from the existential question, there are very real reasons for Left Coast Crime 2016 to land in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Weather
Let’s get real: late February is a great time to visit Phoenix. Average high temperatures hover in the mid to high 70s, there’s only a little bit of rainfall, and it’s a comfortable, dry climate.

Part of the point of LCC is getting attendees to visit different states and cities—and if that’s not an official purpose, it’s what we all enjoy. Phoenix in the summer is pretty hot, but a visit in (what Phoenicians call) winter is pretty great. Especially for attendees coming from much colder climes.

The Convention
It’s a Phoenix native and Bouchercon alum spearheading LCC2016, and the combination made sense. A return to the city she grew up in, and a small, intimate, friendly convention.

It’s Time
Left Coast Crime hasn’t been to Phoenix in 30 years—even then, it was in Scottsdale. It was 1995, and the Guest of Honor was the late, great Tony Hillerman. It’s time for a return to the Valley of the Sun.

We hope we’ll see you here!

(photo from the City of Phoenix Facebook page)