Monday, November 6, 2017

Dispatches from Bouchercon from Cathy Ace

Jim Napier, Officer Julie Meeks, Rick Blechta and Cathy Ace 

Author Cathy Ace has a great Bouchercon round up for us today. Bouchercon is the world's largest mystery convention and this year it was hosted in Toronto, Canada. 

This year was a very different Bouchercon for me in many ways, but exactly the same as others in one key respect…I came home from it with the second horrible head-cold I’d had in three weeks, so had to allow myself to collapse and get better for a while – hence the slight delay in writing this post. 
Bouchercon is the biggest, truly international crime reader and writer convention held each year; with it being held in Toronto, Canada this year I, as the current Board Chair of Crime Writers of Canada (CWC), have been working with the volunteer committee since 2015 to try to ensure the best possible experience for every attendee. Helen Nelson and Janet Costello were the co-chairs of this year’s Bouchercon, and more than 1700 conventioneers benefitted from their efforts, and those of the 30+ people who planned and worked hard to make it all happen.
Lisa de Nikolits with just some of the book bags! 

The Opening Ceremonies were extremely well-attended, and allowed me the chance to welcome around 1000 people to Canada on behalf of CWC, and to introduce Peter Robinson to speak. 
On Friday evening I hosted the International Reception, where a veritable “Mount Rushmore” of past CWC presidents welcomed authors from the UK, Iceland, Thailand, Guatemala, Finland, France, Australia and Singapore, to name but a few of the countries represented. 
CWC Past Presidents -  L to R: Cathy Ace (Chair), Mike Martin (Vice Chair), Rick Blechta, Barbara Fradkin, RJ (Robin) Harlick, Mary Jane Maffini, Peter Robinson, Howard Engel, Maureen Jennings, Cathy Astolfo.

That evening a pub-style trivia quiz I’d organized on behalf of CWC was attended by over 150 people, who were led in teams by CWC members like Maureen Jennings, David Morrell and Linwood Barclay. 
Linwood Barclay

The winning team received a super bag of goodies, including books, and even Three Pines pins and mugs donated by another of CWC’s members, Louise Penny, who was Canadian Guest of Honour at the convention. 
CWC's pub quiz winners

Canadian Guest of Honor, Louise Penny

Panels and interviews were well attended – though the perennial problem of “I wish I could be in three places at once” persisted this year. 

Cathy Ace is the Bony Blithe Award-winning author of The Cait Morgan Mysteries and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries.  She has an anthology of short stories – MURDER KEEPS NO CALENDAR – featuring those where Cait Morgan and the WISE Women first appeared, in December 2017. You can find out more about Cathy, her work and her characters at her website, where you can also sign up for her newsletter with news, updates and special offers: 

PHOTOS: Cathy Ace books


  1. Thanks for having me along today...I'm please to say I am now "fighting fit" and have to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this Bouchercon one to remember!

  2. Please note - the photos of Linwood Barclay and Louise Penny were taken by Lisa de Nikolits. The photo of the CWC Past Presidents was taken by Linda McNab.