Bouchercon - mecca for lovers of the mystery genre.  The conference has fascinated me for years, although it was only this week I realized I've been pronouncing it wrong. Named after Anthony Boucher (1911-1968), an author, reviewer, radio scriptwriter and one of the founders of Mystery Writers of America, the event is pronounced "Bow-cher-con," not "Boo-cher-con." Live and learn. So what is Bouchercon? It's the largest annual meeting in the world for mystery lovers -- sort of a Mysteries R Us.  As an avid reader and moderator of B&N's Mystery Book Club, attending this conference for the first time has been like walking into the Garden of Eden in the middle of an apple harvest - temptation is everywhere! It's not as if I need any more mysteries filling my bookcases and TBR pile - but really cool old collector's books don't count, right? They're an investment (at least that's what I'm telling my husband).


I had just graduated from high school when the first Bouchercon was held in Santa Monica in 1970, but I was already a long-time mystery fan by then. THE SECRET OF THE OLD POST BOX thrilled me at age 8, Nancy Drew left me breathless at age 9, my Mom's old Beverly Gray books lured me at age 12 and when I read FUNERALS ARE FATAL by Agatha Christie at age 15, I knew I was a fan for life. I still can't figure out why someone like me - mild-mannered, boringly normal - is so addicted to mayhem and murder. It's, um, a mystery.

I've been hearing about Bouchercon since its early days, because a good friend of my dad's has attended just about every one. His stories are legend in our family, and now I've finally met uber-fan Tony Del Vecchio and his wife Betsy. I've been reading Tony's quarterly book and movie reviews for years, and I have him to thank for introducing me to many then-unknown authors who are now favorites (and best sellers).

Neil Armstrong said, "Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand." Me? I just wanted to see if I could figure out "whodunnit" before the end of the book. Still do, although now my tastes are a lot broader, and my list of favorite authors who write mystery, suspense, romantic suspense, noir, police procedurals, thrillers and all the other sub-genres of mystery could fill a book.

Bouchercon is paradise to a mystery geek like me - now that I've taken a bite of this apple, I know I'll be back for more. The dark side has me in its clutches -- oh yeah, I'm in the zone. The Mystery Zone.

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎10-19-2009 10:33 AM

That sounds so cool Becke and a great article about it, as a fellow mystery lover it's better that I envy you from afar because if I had shown up there I would have spent the entire time with my mouth hanging open seeing all my favs in one place, plus you got to hang with Hank too one of my favs.


by Moderator becke_davis on ‎10-19-2009 11:10 AM

Oh, Debbie - it was so dangerous! The one good thing was, since I came up by Megabus (don't laugh -- only ten bucks each way!), I knew I'd have to lug home anything I bought. Luckily, I don't collect autographed books, but I did buy a couple of Agatha Christie collectibles. I was stunned at the prices some old (and not-so-old) mysteries were going for! I'm definitely going to have to go through my book cases one of these days. I may have some treasures hidden there!


Another thing, Debbie -- I can promise you the Mystery Book Club is going to be rocking in 2010! I've made some great contacts, and there are going to be some fabulous author visits coming up! (Not that this year hasn't rocked, but you know what I mean . . . )


It was great to hang out with Hank -- I also spent some time with others you may recognize, but that's in tomorrow's blog.

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎10-19-2009 11:50 AM

Can't wait to hear more Becke and to have a preview of 2010's authors and you're absolutely right 2009 rocked too.

by Author KenIsaacson on ‎10-20-2009 11:01 PM

It was definitely a hoot, Becke, wasn't it? Thanks for getting those pictures up on FB, too. Great meeting you IRL. Thanks for all the hard work you do here!

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎10-20-2009 11:42 PM

Ken - It was great to meet you, although I did feel as if I knew you already, in a way. I'm excited about your new book/agent - I think we're going to be hearing big news from you before long!

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎10-21-2009 09:09 AM

Yes Becke, I thank you endlessly for all you do to make everything mystery here at B&N enjoyable.

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎10-21-2009 09:43 AM

For me, this is the most fun job in the world. Where else can I find people who love to read as much as I do? And you, especially -- I swear our bookshelves are filled with the same books! (Although I'm willing to bet my TBR pile is bigger.)


Since 1997, you’ve been coming to to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.