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Female crime spree in Prince Edward County

An eight-woman crime spree is about to hit Prince Edward County this Labour Day weekend as some of Canada’s finest authors – and readers – congregate for the 2019 Women Killing It Crime Writers’ Festival.

Authors who write everything from cozies to police procedurals to thrillers and domestic suspense will headline this year’s festival.

“This is the festival’s third year,” says organizer Janet Kellough, “and once again we’ve had an enthusiastic response from the crime-writing community. We sent out a few preliminary inquiries last fall and everybody booked within minutes – so we’ve ended up with a truly stellar line-up.”

New York Times best-selling author Joy Fielding joins a stellar line-up of crime and mystery writers at this year’s Women Killing It Festival.

Readers will have a chance to meet New York Times best-selling author Joy Fielding as well as author Ausma Zehanat Khan, whose new book made the CBC summer reading list; authors Ginger Bolton, Iona Whishaw, Brenda Chapman and Hannah Mary McKinnon will join local author S.M. Hurley and best-selling author and festival co-organizer Vicki Delany as they share murder, method and motive with reading fans.

“As in past years, the festival kicks off with our table-hopping night,” says Kellough. “Each author gets five minutes to tell a table of readers about her book. When we bang the gong, they have to stop talking, get up and move to the next table of readers to do it all over again. It’s sort of a cross between speed-dating and musical chairs, but the beauty of it is that every single reader gets to meet, and talk with, every single author. The laughter level gets pretty high – it’s a great way to start an event.”

This year the Aug. 30th Friday night hop, entitled “One Corpse Too Many” takes place at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

Readers will return to St. Andrew’s on Saturday, Aug. 31st at 2 p.m. for tea and a talk at “The Sanctuary Sparrow”, where specific elements of writing will be addressed by Iona Whishaw, Ginger Bolton, Vicki Delany and S.M. Hurley. Tea will be served up by The Friends of Rose House Museum.

Saturday night’s “A Morbid Taste for Bones” offers a unique setting for Joy Fielding, Hannah Mary McKinnon, Ausma Zehanat Khan and Brenda Chapman. The 7 p.m. event is being held in the chapel at Glenwood Cemetery.

“Someone at last year’s festival suggested it as a venue,” Kellough says. “We went and had a look and realized that it’s a perfect place to talk about death and retribution.”

As well as a wide-ranging discussion about method, murder, motive and mayhem, Saturday evening also features an auction, the proceeds of which will benefit Alternatives for Women, the local agency that supports victims of domestic abuse.

“Vicki Delany and I will be auctioning off character names in our next novels,” says Kellough, who is also an author. “We did this last year and it was a great success. One person chose to honour her late father, which was lovely. Another chose to immortalize her cat. There are all sorts of slants you could take on this – revenge jumps to mind, but that could just be because we’re crime writers. Whatever your reason for choosing the name, all you have to do is make the winning bid.”

And for those wanting to manufacture a little murder of their own, Women Killing It also features two workshops – one on plotting with Vicki Delany on Saturday morning, a second on point of view on Sunday morning with Brenda Chapman. Both workshops take place at Picton Library, with part of the proceeds going to the Library Building Fund.

Event info and ticket links are available on-line at or at the Women Killing It page on Facebook and in person at Books & Company on Main St., Picton.

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