Plotting a murder in L.A? You’ve worked out most of the kinks: Cardinal Mahoney; impaled; atop the Walt Disney Concert Hall; Gary Coleman takes the rap. The only problem is, how to make a clean getaway? Run your M.O. and alibis by the likes of murder-mystery writers Lee Child (the Jack Reacher series) and Jan Burke (the Irene Kelly series) at Booked in L.A., the Left Coast Crime Mystery Convention . During the four days of murderous mayhem, experts will offer writing tips and book collecting info, as well as lecture on L.A.’s mystery noir lit, including pulp fiction, Raymond Chandler and the Black Dahlia. The convention highlight — a tour of the California Forensic Science Institute at Cal State L.A. — is sold out, so get on the waiting list for a chance to visit an operating crime lab, where pros will discuss fingerprinting, DNA analysis, blood and other types of gooey evidence. Or take a walking tour with James Scott Bell (author of the Ty Buchanan series) and see classic noir L.A., which features Angels Flight, the Bradbury building, the site of the city’s first sensational murder (the Jay Hunter killing) and the Biltmore Hotel (the last place the Black Dahlia was seen alive). “In downtown L.A., the past is still present if you know where to look,” says Bell. “We’ll hear Chandler’s footsteps, dodge a trolley or two, and see where down-on-their-luck PIs went for chop suey.”
March 11-14, 2010

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