Murder at the World's Fair
The year is 1893, and airships cloud the skies over the bustling metropolis of Toronto. The city is set to host the world's fair thanks in no small part to the work of two fantastical inventors. The New World Exhibition is to be a celebration of cultural and technological marvels; roving automatons, clockwork contraptions, the world's biggest steam-powered paddle boat, all to be fully lit by the wonder of electricity!
On the day of the grand opening, young Norwood Quigley, aspiring journalist, photographer and scion of a world-famous airship magnate, stumbles onto the scene of a murder; the victim: a Prussian Ambassador; the perpetrator: a Chinese assassin, or so the powers-that-be say. In truth, the suspect is Jing, a roguish but amiable youthful delinquent.
Concerned by Jing's claim of innocence and his assumed guilt by higher powers, including the British Empire's military, Norwood is thrown into a grand intrigue that hinges on Toronto's world fair. As chaos consumes the celebrations, he fears that his influential family is being manipulated in a plot to create an international incident that will lead to a war that spans the world. (From Renaissance)
MJ Lyons is a writer and journalist from Toronto. His debut book, Murder at the World's Fair, a steampunk murder mystery, was a finalist for the 2020 Prix Aurora Award for best YA novel. He's also published short stories in the anthology Clockwork Cairo and the fanzine Chaos Theory.
From the book
I find it strange that something as simple as a picture, a portrait of a small, frail, cagey, scowling old man accompanied by a little less than 500 words can so drastically change the course of events. Had I not been assigned to photograph the great inventor, Mr. Darius Tinker, I wouldn't have been present for the events that unfolded over the next few days. I would have ascertained no knowledge of the grave injustices being committed, and the men who do so. I would have been unable to play my small part in sparing the lives of countless innocents... but I get ahead of myself.
From Murder at the World's Fair by MJ Lyons ©2019. Published by Renaissance.