Crime on the Comstock

Crime on the Comstock News: November 2017


Welcome to all our new registrants since the last newsletter. Only four more months until Left Coast Crime in Reno, Nevada!

Lefty Awards

The Left Coast Crime “Lefty” Awards are fan awards chosen by registered members of the Left Coast Crime convention. Nominations for the Lefty awards to be presented at each annual convention are made by people registered for that convention and also the immediately prior convention. A ballot listing the official nominees is given to each registrant when they check in at the convention, and final voting takes place at the convention. The ballots are tabulated and that year’s Lefty Awards are presented at the Awards Banquet.

Left Coast Crime 2018, “Crime on the Comstock,” will be presenting four Lefty Awards at our 28th annual LCC convention. The Lefty awards will be voted on at the convention and presented at the Awards Banquet on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at the Nugget Casino Resort.

Registrants of the 2017 and 2018 Left Coast Crime Conventions will be able to nominate three titles in each Lefty Award category. Nominations will be accepted the first two weeks of January, for the four 2018 Lefty Awards:
  • Best Mystery Novel
  • Best Debut Mystery Novel
  • Best Humorous Mystery Novel
  • Best Historical Mystery Novel (The Bruce Alexander Memorial), covering events before 1960
To be eligible, titles must have been published for the first time in the United States or Canada during 2017, in book or ebook format. (If published in other countries before 2017, a book is still eligible if it meets the US or Canadian publication requirement.)

Nomination forms will be emailed to all 2017 and 2018 LCC registrants in late December. The Lefty Award nominees will be announced on January 15, 2018. Final voting for the Lefty Awards will be by paper ballot at the convention in Reno.

Questions about the Lefty Awards?
Email Awards Co-Chairs Lucinda Surber & Stan Ulrich

Opportunites for Authors

Left Coast Crime is first and foremost a fan convention but we all know that authors are often the most invested crime fiction fans. We want to maximize the experience for all attendees so we have created several events at Left Coast Crime that focus on different ways for authors to interact with their current fans and meet new fans. Future newsletters will provide directions on how to sign up for these events.

Author-Reader Connections (Tuesday March 20 through Sunday March 25)
Plan a gathering and invite a select number of fans to join you. It can be as simple as meeting at a bar, sharing a meal at a restaurant, or throwing dice in the casino. We can provide suggestions of possible meeting spots.

Author Speed Dating (Thursday morning March 22, before Panels begin)
Authors rotate from table to table, talking to fans about their latest book “one table at a time.”

Meet the New Authors Breakfast (Friday, March 23)
All authors who have a debut mystery, crime, thriller, or suspense novel published between March 1, 2017, and March 25, 2018, are invited to present at the Meet the New Authors Breakfast Friday morning. Contact Mike Befeler at if you are eligible.

Author-Hosted Tables (Saturday, March 24)
Partner with another author to host a table at the Lefty Awards Banquet. Convention attendees will sign up to sit with you at dinner. Table favors and decorations optional.

Silent Auction Donations
Share your work with fans eager to support our charity recipient by donating to the Crime on the Comstock Silent Auction.

Crime on the Comstock Charity

Each Left Coast Crime Convention raises money to support a local literacy organization with funds raised through a silent and live auction and the annual Quilt Raffle. LCC 2018’s auction recipient is the Women and Children’s Center of the Sierra, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides education, job training, resources, and referrals to help women escape or avoid poverty in order to provide a better life for their families. The Women and Children’s Center of the Sierra offers a comprehensive variety of services to under-resourced women and their children. Core programs include a diaper bank; classes for high school equivalency preparation, English as a Second Language, and computer skills training; Gateway to Success job prep and attainment program; GS2 for women seeking to advance in their jobs and lives; and case management for women needing to regain financial stability. All services are free and focus on the special barriers faced by poor women living day-to-day, crisis-to-crisis.

All proceeds from Left Coast Crime 2018’s auction go to the Women and Children’s Center of the Sierra. Anyone — reader, writer, bookseller, librarian, blogger — may donate an item or two to the silent auction. A few of you are probably working on your auction donations right now — it’s a good excuse not to do actual work!

You can either mail your Silent Auction donations to yourself at the hotel or bring them with you. We’ll be setting up the Silent Auction Room on Wednesday and Thursday, but we will accept donations on Friday morning as well.

Side Trips

We have arranged with Patty’s Tours, a local tour operator, to schedule three optional opportunities to explore the Reno/Sparks/Tahoe area before and after the Left Coast Crime 2018 convention. Please contact Patty’s Tours at 775-453-1794 or email to make reservations or with any questions you might have about the tours. Tours not meeting the minimal enrollment will be cancelled and your money refunded.

History of the Comstock

Tuesday, March 20, 2018, from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Depart from the Nugget with your historian and travel to Virginia City, once a rip-roaring mining town in the 1800s. Step back in time as you explore this authentic gold mining town. Our first stop will be the Virginia City Cemetery, built in the 1860s for a wide variety of fraternal, civic and religious groups. Grave markers range in materials from wood, metal, to cut stone. The inscriptions on the markers give silent testimony to the social and economic fabric of Virginia City. Next stop will be the 4th Ward School, opened in 1877 and built to hold 1000 students. Little has changed in the classroom, which includes original maps, desks, blackboards, pump organ and potbellied stove. Also featured is the “Out of the Closet” exhibit of period clothing. We then travel a short distance to Piper’s Opera House, built in 1868. John Piper was one of the influential entrepreneurs in the West. A typical season at Piper’s included performances of Shakespeare, Lily Langtry, Edwin Booth, Lillian Russell, and Samuel Clemens. Following our tour we will enjoy a hosted lunch at the historic Werrin Building, originally a grocery store and rooming house. After lunch we travel to St. Mary’s Art Center built in 1876, the Grand Dame of Virginia City and a National Historic Landmark. Originally a hospital for Comstock miners, was left empty and abandoned for many years after the Gold Rush decline. It was saved in 1964 by Father Meinecke, creating what is now the St. Mary’s Art Center. There will be time to walk the downtown area and take the Ponderosa Mine Tour before returning to the Nugget.
Time: 9:00 AM departure, return approximately 5:00 PM (Board Motorcoach 15 mins prior to departure.)
Cost: $139 per person, lunch included
Tickets: contact Patty’s Tours at 775-453-1794 or email

Donner Party Historic Site

Wednesday, March 21, 2018, from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Depart from the Nugget in the morning and travel through the Sierra Nevada mountains to the historical town of Truckee. We arrive at Donner Memorial State Park where we will be joined by Frank Mullen Jr., author of The Donner Party Chronicles. The walking tour will feature the Donner Museum, Memorial, and campsites of the Donner Party, the wagon train pioneers who were trapped in the high camps during the terrible winter of 1846-1847. At the very sites of horror and heroism Mr. Mullen will explain Manifest Destiny and the myths and mysteries of this iconic story. We will also visit the Alder Creek campsite and Donner Summit, the top of the barrier that doomed the pioneers. See the China Wall built for the transcontinental railroad and the magnificent view of Donner Lake and surrounding Sierras. Lunch will be hosted in the historic Truckee Hotel, with time to walk the old downtown.
Time: 9:00 AM departure, return approximately 5:00 PM (Board Motorcoach 15 mins prior to departure.)
Cost: $149 per person, lunch included
Tickets: contact Patty’s Tours at 775-453-1794 or email

The History of Brothels in Nevada

Monday, March 26, 2018 from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Nevada’s history is strongly rooted in what was called the “Wild West.” Gold and silver were the enticements that produced the major influx of people heading west during the mid-1800s. This was also the time when early brothels and prostitution thrived. Yet, even though the “Wild West” was really noted for its lawlessness, there were local and public laws in place that loosely governed how working brothels operated. Some welcomed this type of “business” action; some not so much. Have you ever wondered what went on behind closed doors at the world-famous brothels? We will visit a working brothel and hear about the inner workings of the Mustang Ranch. Questions are welcome! Enjoy this unique opportunity to visit a legal, working brothel. Lunch will be included, with time to shop and browse in the gift shop.
Time: 10:00 AM departure, return approximately 3:00 PM (Board Motorcoach 15 mins prior to departure.)
Cost: $99 per person, lunch included
Tickets: contact Patty’s Tours at 775-453-1794 or email

Advertise in the Crime on the Comstock Program Book

Attention Authors! Please encourage your publisher to advertise in the Left Coast Crime Program Book. There are sizes and prices for every budget. Don’t be left out!

Are You Registered for Crime on the Comstock?

Not sure if you are registered for LCC 2018? Check our Crime on the Comstock List of Attendees. Visit the LCC 2018 Registration Page to register for Left Coast Crime 2018.

Left Coast Crime 2019:
Whale of a Crime

March 28–31, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Lifetime Achievement Honouree: Sue Grafton
Guests of Honour: C.J. Box & Maureen Jennings
Fan Guests of Honour: Don & Jen Longmuir
Toastmaster: Cathy Ace
Visit the Whale of a Crime website for all the details and to register.