Link: Click to return to the Scene of the Crime home page Link: Contact Us
Link: Contact Us
Link: About the festival Link: About the festival
Link: About Grant Allen Link: About Grant Allen
Link: This year's event Link: This year's event

2008 A Year of Firsts for Scene of the Crime!

  • Our first female Grant Allen Award recipient: Joy Fielding!
  • Our first community outreach projects!
  • Our first mugs! Okay, well maybe that's not so important (but we like them!)

The weather was perfect, a grand sunny day with just the right amount of breeze: enough to keep us cool, and not enough to blow the books away. Brian and Sherry Fenlon of Kingston's As the Plot Thickens Mystery Bookshop were there as usual with a marvelous selection of books by our guest authors, Linwood Barclay, José Latour (our first Cuban-Canadian!) Mary Jane Maffini, Louise Penny, and of course our Grant Allen Award recipient, Joy Fielding. Brian and Sherry ran out of books for the first time at this year's event! No ... we won't tell you which author it was.

As usual, lunch at the United Church Hall was great, and we had — you guessed it — another first! This year board members Ken Keyes and Chris Carr helped us auction off a baseball cap signed by the whole cast of the CBS hit show, COLD CASE. One of our own Board members was lucky enough to snag the item at the bargain price of $60. (Don't tell anyone, but her husband was willing to go as high as $75)

Board member Barbara Fradkin moderated our panel discussion this year, with the theme "Cozy vs. Noir". The panelists got right to it by establishing the parameters: "cozies" are more cheerful, more optimistic, set in a close-knit community, where justice will triumph in the end, while "noir" is more fatalistic, and justice may be a relative thing. José Latour brought an interesting perspective to the question when he pointed out that in Cuba, and other Latin American cultures, it's the government and the police who are the villains — giving a rather disturbing twist to the whole idea of the noir thriller.

The 2008 event was certainly not the first time we've had a lecture on Grant Allen. David Skene-Melvin, Scene of the Crime's literary historian and benefactor, gave the inaugural lecture, and our own Chris Carr has had a few words to say from time to time. But this year we had noted Sherlockian and Baker Street Irregular Peter Calamai come to give us the skinny on the friendship between our Festival patron Grant Allen and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

It was a real pleasure for us to give the 2008 Grant Allen Award for pioneering work in Canadian crime fiction to Joy Fielding. Born in Toronto, Joy is best known for her bestselling thrillers and novels of suspense.

All we're going to say about the Joy Fielding interview is ... you had to be there. Orland French did his usual 'no-holds-barred' grilling, and Joy was still laughing about it on the ferry hours later. "I'll be telling people about this for years," she said. Now that's an interview.


It's always been part of our mandate at Scene of the Crime that we give back to the community of Wolfe Island, in recognition of their constant support. In the past, we started The Grant Allen Collection, books donated to the Wolfe Island Library by the authors who were invited to Scene of the Crime every year. David Skene-Melvin generously donated a first edition Grant Allen novel, and funds to build a display case for the collection. This case, known as The Grant Allen Crime 'Triangle', holds a rotating display of Canadian crime fiction.

2008 marked the first year that we at the Festival have been in a position to give our own tangible support to the project. In addition to books donated by this year's authors, we were able to give $500 to the Wolfe Island Branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library.

The donation will be used to actively increase the Grant Allen Collection of Canadian Crime and Mystery Books. These books can be requested by any library, but will have the Wolfe Island Library as their home branch.

We also set aside funds to begin a creative writing project in area schools. The project will begin in January of 2009, in the Marysville Public School on Wolfe Island.


Image: Photo of Joy Fielding

Joy Fielding

Image: Photo of outreach project

Our first community outreach projects

Image: Photo of the new mugs

New mugs

Image: Photo of the book sale

Book sale — As the Plot Thickens Mystery Bookshop

Image: Photo of the auction

Ken Keyes & Chris Carr auction off a baseball cap

Image: Photo of the panelists

The panelists

Image: Photo of the panelists

Peter Calamai

Image: Photo of the panelists

Joy Fielding receives Grant Allen Award

Image: Photo of the panelists

Joy Fielding and Chris Carr

Image: Photo of the panelists

Orland French interviewing Joy Fielding

Image: Photo of the panelists

The Grant Allen Crime 'Triangle' Library Plaque

Image: Photo of the panelists

Violette and Librarian Sharon Hogan are standing in front of the Grant Allen Crime Triangle