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Press Release:
For immediate release, June 17, 2004


Top Canadian Crime Writers
To Attend Wolfe Island Festival

A Who's Who of top mystery authors are filling the line-up for this summer's Scene of the Crime Festival on Wolfe Island, Ont.

Topping the list at the Saturday, August 14, event will be Howard Engel, inaugural recipient of the festival's Grant Allen Award honouring Canada's crime writing pioneers. Author of the Benny Cooperman series, Engel will participate throughout the day's events, including a panel discussion and special author interview highlighting his 24-year career as Canada's premier crime writer.

Introducing Engel will be his good friend and fellow top crime writer Alison Gordon, well-known to mystery fans as the creator of tough amateur sleuth Kate Henry, and to sports fans as the first female reporter in the American Leagues when she covered the Toronto Blue Jays for the Toronto Star.

Sharing the stage with Engel and Gordon are more of Canada's finest crime writers, including:

James Powell, an award-winning writer who has published over 120 short stories of a mysterious and humorous sort since 1967, appearing in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Playboy, The Best Detective Stories of the Year and The Year's Best Fantasy And Horror anthology series.

Barbara Fradkin, incoming president of Crime Writers of Canada. Her novels featuring Ottawa Police Inspector Michael Green, have been short-listed for Crime Writers' of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award.

H. Mel Malton, who has published in the Toronto Star, Chatelaine, The Malahat Review and Grain. Her novels featuring amateur sleuth Polly Deacon have been short-listed for an Arthur Ellis Award.

Returning to the Scene of the Crime for the third time is writer Peter Sellers, winner of the prestigious Ellery Queen Readers Award, and editor of the award-winning "Hard Boiled" series of Canadian anthologies.

Also returning is David Skene-Melvin, the recognized authority on Canadian crime fiction. Skene-Melvin will officially present a walking map of Wolfe Island's crime-writing history, being produced with the generous assistance of the Community Foundation of Greater Kingston.

The Scene Of The Crime Festival was launched to honour Canada’s first crime writer, Grant Allen, born at his family home on Wolfe Island, the manor of the Baron de Longueuil family. The first Canadian to write crime stories, Allen invented one of the most popular plot conceits of the genre. Allen went on to become one of the most prolific writers of the Victorian period and invented a plot staple, the thief who is actually the hero of the story. The walking map will highlight Grant Allen's Wolfe Island.

The Grant Allen Award, being launched with the generous assistance of the Davies Charitable Foundation, will take the form of a specially designed kaleidoscope, unique for each author honoured. The kaleidoscope was chosen as an award because of its unique place in the Victorian drawing rooms where Grant Allen's novels were popular. The honour also includes a cash prize of $500.

Full-day events include lunch and a talk on footprints by Const. Jim Eadie., the leading footprint expert with the Ontario Provincial Police. His detailed presentation, designed to be of interest to the general public, will include real exhibits, slides and expert testimony. The day caps off with a supper including roast beef, home-made pie and the chance to schmooze with Canada's top-drawer crime writers.

Visitors can take the ferry from Kingston and walk to all events from the Island dock.