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Left Coast Crime Awards

Left Coast Crime is an annual mystery fiction convention, organized and run by fans, focused on western North American regional mystery fiction. The first convention was held in 1991 in San Francisco, CA. and the location changes each year. Despite the geographic focus of the convention, its own location has even included international locations, such as Canada and the U.K. Being in 1996, registered members of the convention have been eligible to nominate novels for The Left Coast Crime Awards (a.k.a. “The Leftys”), and attendees at the annual convention are allowed to vote on the award winners. When originally founded, these awards focused exclusively on the Most Humorous Mystery Novel of the year, but have grown to encompass a number of other categories as well.

From 2016 on, the categories have become standardized — Best Humorous Mystery Novel, Best Historical Mystery Novel (the Bruce Alexander Memorial Award), Best Debut Novel and Best Mystery Novel overall. In the years from 2004 to 2015, the organizing committees of each year’s convention were given great latitude to giving out Lefty awards in a variety of non-standardized categories, using a variety of different names each year — tied into their own specific geography and culture. For more detailed information visit the Left Coast Crime Awards Archive page on the Left Coast Crime website. (* – logo above directly from the Left Coast Crime Awards Archive page)

Book titles “hotlinked” in the list below are owned by the Lincoln City Libraries, and the link will take you to the holdings screen in our catalog, where you can check on the current availability of that title.

2021 – The Unconvention*

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel – Ellen Byron – Murder in the Bayou Boneyard
Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel (Bruce Alexander Memorial, covering events before 1970) – Catriona McPherson – The Turning Tide
Lefty for Best Debut Novel – David Heska Wanbli Weiden – Winter Counts
Lefty for Best Mystery Novel – Louise Penny – All the Devils Are Here
* The 2021 convention was postponed to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however the awards were still presented. Nominations and voting were open to registered members of the 2020 San Diego and 2022 Albuquerque conventions.


2020 – San Diego, CA

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel – Catriona McPherson – Scot & Soda
Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel (Bruce Alexander Memorial, covering events before 1970) – Sujata Massey – The Satapur Moonstone
Lefty for Best Debut Novel – Carl Vonderau – Murderabilia
Lefty for Best Mystery Novel – Matt Coyle – Lost Tomorrows


2019 – Vancouver, B.C.

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel – Catriona McPherson – Scot Free
Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel (Bruce Alexander Memorial, covering events before 1960) – Sujata Massey – The Widows of Malabar Hill
Lefty for Best Debut Novel – Dianne Freeman – A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder
Lefty for Best Mystery Novel – Lou Berney – November Road


 width=2018 – Reno, NV

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel – Ellen Byron – A Cajun Christmas Killing
Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel (Bruce Alexander Memorial, covering events before 1960) – Rhys Bowen – In Farleigh Field
Lefty for Best Debut Novel – Kellye Garrett – Hollywood Homicide
Lefty for Best Mystery Novel – William Kent Krueger – Sulfur Springs


2017 – Honolulu, HA

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel – Ellen Byron – Body on the Bayou
Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel (Bruce Alexander Memorial, covering events before 1960) – Catriona McPherson – The Reek of Red Herrings
Lefty for Best Debut Novel – Alexia Gordon – Murder in G Major
Lefty for Best Mystery Novel – Louise Penny – A Great Reckoning


2016 – Phoenix, AZ

Best Humorous Mystery Novel – Donna Andrews – Lord of the Wings
Best Historical Mystery Novel (Bruce Alexander Memorial, covering events before 1960) – Rhys Bowen – Malice at the Palace
Best LCC Regional Mystery (best mystery set in the LCC region) – Gigi Pandian – The Accidental Alchemist
Best World Mystery (set anywhere outside the LCC region) – Louise Penny – The Nature of the Beast


2015 – Portland, OR

Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel – Timothy Hallinan – Herbie’s Game
Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery Award (historical mystery, covering the events before 1960) – Catriona McPherson – A Deadly Measure of Brimstone
The Rose (best mystery set in the LCC region) – Gigi Pandian – Pirate Vishnu
The Rosebud (best debut mystery) – Allen Eskens – The Life We Bury


2014 – Monterey, CA

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel – Brad Parks – The Good Cop
Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery Award (historical mystery, covering the events before 1960) – Catriona McPherson – Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses
The Squid (best mystery set within the United States) – William Kent Krueger – Ordinary Grace
The Calamari (best mystery set anywhere else in the world) – Louise Penny – How the Light Gets In


2013 – Colorado Springs, CO

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel – Brad Parks – The Girl Next Door
Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery Award (historical mystery, covering the events before 1960) – Catriona McPherson – Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for a Murder
Rocky Award (best mystery set in the LCC region) – Craig Johnson – As the Crow Flies
Watson Award (mystery novel with best sidekick) – Rochelle Staab – Bruja Brouhaha


2012 – Sacramento, CA

Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel – Donna Andrews – The Real Macaw
Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery Award (historical mystery, covering the events before 1960) – Ann Parker – Mercury’s Rise
Golden Nugget Award (for best mystery set in California) – Kelli Stanley – City of Secrets
Eureka! Award (for best first mystery) – Darrell James – Nazareth Child


2011 – Santa Fe, NM

Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel – J. Michael Orenduff – The Pot Thief Who Studied Einstein
Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery Award (historical mystery, covering events before 1950) – Jacqueline Winspear – The Mapping of Love and Death
Hillerman Sky Award (mystery that best captures the landscape of the Southwest) – Margaret Coel – The Spider’s Web
Watson Award (mystery novel with best sidekick) – Craig Johnson – Junkyard Dogs


2010 – Los Angeles, CA

Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel – Rita Lakin – Getting Old is a Disaster
Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery Award (historical mystery, covering events before 1950) – Rebecca Cantrell – A Trace of Smoke
The Panik (in honor of the late Paul Anik for the best Los Angeles noir) – Linda Richards – Death Was in the Picture


2009 – Waikoloa, HA

Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel – Tim Maleeny – Greasing the Pinata
Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery Award (historical mystery, covering events before 1950) – Kelli Stanley – Nox Dormienda, a Long Night for Sleeping
Hawaii Five-O (law enforcement, police procedural) – Neil S. Plakcy – Mahu Fire


2008 – Denver, CO

Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel – Elaine Viets – Murder With Reservations
The Rocky Award (best mystery set in the LCC region) – Margaret Coel – The Girl With the Braided Hair
Arty Award (best cover art) – Rhys Bowen – Her Royal Spyness


2007 – Seattle, WA

Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel – Donna Moore – Go to Helena Handbasket


2006 – Bristol, UK

Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel – Peter Guttridge – Cast Adrift
Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery Award (historical mystery, covering events before 1950) – Tony Broadbent – Spectres in the Smoke


2005 – El Paso, TX

Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel (tie) – Donna Andrews – We’ll Always Have Parrots
Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel (tie) – Susan McBride – Blue Blood
Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery Award (historical mystery, covering events before 1950)– Sharan Newman – The Witch in the Well
Calavera Award (best mystery set in the LCC region) – Rochelle Krich – Grave Endings


2004 – Monterey, CA

Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel – Jerrilyn Farmer – Mumbo Gumbo
Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery Award (historical mystery, covering events before 1950) – Rhys Bowen – For the Love of Mike
Otter Award (best mystery set in the LCC region) – Meg Chittenden – More Than You Know


2003 – Pasadena, CA

Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel (tie) – Tim Cockey – The Hearse Case Scenario
Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel (tie) – Brian W. Wiprud – Pipsqueak


2002 – Portland, OR

Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel (tie) – Jerrilyn Farmer – Dim Sum Dead
Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel (tie) – Bill Fitzhugh – Fender Benders


2001 – Anchorage, AK

No award given


2000 – Tucson, AZ

Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel – Donna Andrews – Murder With Peacocks


1999 – Albuquerque, NM

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel – Janet Evanovich – Four to Score


1998

Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel – Janet Evanovich – Three to Get Deadly


1997 – Seattle, WA

No award given


1996 – Boulder, CO

Lefty for Most Humorous Mystery Novel – Alan Russell – The Fat Innkeeper


Last updated June 2021 sdc