Thriller writers Thomas King, Shari Lapena, Kathy Reichs headline new crime & mystery literary festival

The Toronto International Festival of Authors have announced the Motive Crime & Mystery Festival, a new Toronto-based crime and mystery writing event to restart its in-person programming.

The inaugural Motive Crime & Mystery Festival happens in Toronto this June 3-5

From left to right: authors Thomas King, Shari Lapena and Kathy Reichs. (HarperCollins, Tristan Ostler, Marie-Raine Mattera)

Bestselling writers Thomas King, Shari Lapena and Kathy Reichs are set to headline the inaugural Motive Crime & Mystery Festival, a new Toronto-based literary event for crime and mystery writing.

Run by the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA), Motive takes place June 3 to 5, 2022 at Harbourfront Centre. It will be TIFA's first in-person event since the COVID-19 pandemic began over two years ago.

Nearly 100 writers will be featured at the event, including English novelist Mark Billingham, Norwegian writer Thomas Enger, American authors Kellye Garrett and E. Lockhart, Scottish writer Val McDermid, Canada's former chief justice Beverley McLachlin, Murdoch Mysteries creator Maureen Jennings and debut Toronto novelist Nita Prose.

Some authors, including American authors Harlan Coben, Walter Mosley and others, will be joining at virtual events.

King will be in conversation with CBC Radio's Shelagh Rogers about his craft and the latest book in his Thumps DreadfulWater mystery series Deep HouseThumps is a Cherokee ex-cop, whose plans to start a photography career in the small town of Chinook are interrupted by the discovery of a dead body.

LISTEN | Thomas King on The Next Chapter

Thomas King talks to Shelagh Rogers about Cold Skies, the latest instalment of his Dreadful Water mystery series.

King is a Canadian-American writer of Cherokee and Greek ancestry. He delivered the 2003 Massey Lectures, The Truth about Stories. His books include Truth & Bright WaterGreen Grass, Running Water, which was on Canada Reads 2004; The Inconvenient Indianwhich was on Canada Reads 2015; and The Back of the Turtlewhich won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction in 2014. 

Reichs, an American forensic anthropologist who splits her time between North Carolina and Montreal, will be presenting her new thriller Cold, Cold Bones on opening night of the festival. In the 21st instalment of the Temperance Brennan series, which was adapted for television, Temperance is taunted by a killer who enacts the most gruesome cases of her career.

Shari Lapena brings her latest thriller book, Not a Happy Familyto the festival. She'll speak with journalist Shinan Govani about the bestselling thriller, set in a rich upstate New York neighbourhood where a husband and wife have been brutally murdered after Easter dinner. Suspicion immediately falls to their three adult children who stand to inherit millions and are known to have a grudge against their parents.

LISTEN | Shari Lapena on The Next Chapter

Shari Lapena talks to Shelagh Rogers about her latest novel, Not a Happy Family.

Lapena is an internationally bestselling author of thrillers like The Couple Next DoorSomeone We Know and The End of Her. She lives in Toronto.

    Motive will also cast a light on a few emerging writers, including Newfoundland & Labrador author Emily Hepditch. Her book Alone on the Trail is about four university graduates on a backcountry hike gone wrong. Hepditch previously won the 2021 Kobo Emerging Writers' Mystery Prize for The Woman in the Attic.

    Find the full program on the Toronto International Festival of Authors website.

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