Bouchercon 2009 is the world's largest conference of mystery writers and fans. This year, its fortieth, was held in Indianapolis, a brisk 3.5 hour drive from Jackson. 1500 authors and fans gathered for four days of discussions, hilarity and networking. I have been wanting to go for several years, and this year I finally made it. I met many of my favorite authors, met lots of other fans, and was exposed to many, many new authors, I've seldom met so many nice people. The writers were so kind and approachable. Not surprisingly, they are delighted to hear their books are appreciated. I met some personal favorites like Chris Knopf, Roberta Gellis, Jane Cleland, Carolyn Hart, Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, Parnell Hall, Charlaine Harris and Toni Kelner and met some that I must read - Mary Saumes, John Maddox Roberts, Julie Hyzy, G. M. Malliett and many others. Never have I felt the truth of the adage "So many books, so little time," so very keenly. I enjoyed panel discussions on a whole range of topics - from Crime through Time and the role of coffee, wine and food in contemporary mysteries, also Geezer Lit and the Rules for the Paranormal Mystery. There were discussions for everyone. Saturday night the Anthony Awards were held and Michael Connelly won for Best Novel. Sunday ended the Conference with a book bazaar - every attendee received 5 tickets to exchange for 5 books by their favorite authors and could purchase additional books for a dollar, with the proceeds going to charity.
Next year Bouchercon will be held in San Francisco. I better start saving now!