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Press Release:
For immediate release, June 23, 2003


Canada's top authors at Wolfe
Island crime writing festival

Some of Canada's top mystery authors will be in the line-up at this summer's Scene of the Crime Festival on Wolfe Island, Ont.

Among the award winners at the August 23 event will be Rick Mofina, who picked up the country's top crime-writing award on June 4 from the Crime Writers of Canada. Mofina took home this year's Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel for Blood of Others, the third in a popular series featuring San Francisco crime reporter Tom Reed and homicide detective Walt Sydowski. His latest book, released in June, is No Way Back. It is receiving rave reviews across Canada. For more information, visit

Sharing the stage with Mofina is Best Novel runner-up Lou Allin, a northern Ontario writer whose cleverly titled Blackflies Are Murder will bring chuckles of recognition from southern Ontario residents, too.

The festival also welcomes Merilyn Simonds, author of The Convict Lover, nominated for both the Arthur Ellis and Governor General's awards. Her book The Sower's Rhyme will be published by McClelland and Stewart in the spring of 2004.

The festival's author panel discussion — "Does Crime Pay?" — will be moderated by Wayne Grady, author of eight books and countless articles for Canadian magazines, mainly in the fields of science and nature. A long-time fan of crime fiction, Wayne recently published his first short mystery story.

Returning to the Scene of the Crime is writer and editor Peter Sellers, whose short story "Avenging Miriam" won last year's prestigious Ellery Queen Readers Award. Sellers will be presenting his most recent anthology, Hard Boiled Love.

Another highlight of the weekend is a public lecture by David Skene-Melvin, the recognized authority on Canadian crime fiction. Skene-Melvin has edited several important anthologies, including Canadian Crime Fiction, the most comprehensive bibliography of Canadian crime writing ever compiled.

Skene-Melvin will speak on Grant Allen, who was born on Wolfe Island in the mid-19th century and became the first Canadian to write crime fiction. Allen invented one of the most popular plot conceits of the genre, the thief who is the hero of the tale, and was a good friend of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes. The lecture is being held at Trinity Anglican Church, where Allen's father was the founding pastor.

The festival's literary lunch, panel discussion and opening paragraph supper will also include appearances by former Kingston Whig-Standard publisher and first-time novelist Jake Doherty, as well as local authors Therese Greenwood and Violette Malan. Local celebrities and community leaders will also be among those celebrating Wolfe Island's heritage as the birthplace of Canada's first crime writer.