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Mystery, crime writers descend on St. Pete this weekend

Bill DeYoung

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Among the special guests at Bouchercon 2018: Authors Karen Slaughter, left, Mark Billingham and Ian Rankin (photos provided).

Many of the world’s best-selling crime fiction authors will be in St. Petersburg this weekend, for the 2018 Bouchercon Festival – a series of panel discussions, conversations, parties and award ceremonies held at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort. Nearly 100 authors will participate, with attendance estimated at around 1,600.

Bouchercon – named for legendary mystery scribe Anthony Boucher – bills itself as “The World Mystery Convention, the premier annual event for readers, authors, and all lovers of crime fiction.” So the panels – and there are dozens of them between Sept. 6 (Thursday) and Sept. 9 (Sunday) – are for readers, writers, editors, publishers and every sort of imaginable aficionado.

For those who crave the whodunit, the panelists will attempt to explain just howdunit.

The guests of honor (and panel participants) include Lisa Unger (the top-selling mystery writer who resides in Tampa; new thriller Under My Skin due Oct. 2), Edgar Award winner Ian Rankin, the Scottish novelist and OBE whose works have been translated into 36 languages, Karen Slaughter (Pretty Girls, Cop Town), former Florida journalist turned crime writer Tim Dorsey, Danish novelist Sara Bladel, Sean Chercover (Big City Bad Blood) from Canada and impossibly popular UK scribe Mark Billingham (In the Dark, Time of Death),

Tampa authors Lisa Unger and Michael Connelly (photo from lisaunger.com).

Former Florida journalist (and Tampa resident) Michael Connolly, whose crime novels have sold more than 60 million copies, will interview Billlingham in the Vinoy Grand Ballroom at 5:45 p.m. Friday; Connelly will sign his own books from 10-11 a.m. Saturday.

Alifair Burke interviews Karen Slaughter at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Connolly, best known for his police procedurals centering around Los Angeles detective Harry Bosch, is up for a pair of Anthony Awards, which will handed out during the event’s closing bash (his The Late Show has a nomination for Best Novel, while his 20th Bosch book, Two Kinds of Truth, is nominated for best novel in a series).

Festival attendees are allowed to vote for the Anthony Awards.

See the full schedule of panel discussions here.

Register and learn more about the event here.

 

 

 

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