Mystery Writers Unite! A peek into the Maple Leaf Mystery Conference.


The week of May 24 to May 28, I had the honor and priviledge to be a part of the Maple Leaf Mystery Conference! I'm happy to say it was all online because we had mystery writers not only from all over Canada, but from around the world! Panels that discussed True Crime, Cozy Mystery, Comedy in Mystery, Romance in Mystery, Thrillers, Short Mystery Stories... Sixteen sessions in all! WHEW!

We got to hear one on one interviews with accomplished mystery writers Maureen Jennings, Ian Rankin, Rick Mofina, Iona Whishaw, and Vicki Delaney. We were also introduced to new novels by Mike Martin (one of the organizers) as well as Mary Jane Maffini.

Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) also announced the winners for the 2022 Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing. Started in 1984, the annual Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence, then known as the Arthur Ellis Awards, recognizes the best in mystery, crime, and suspense fiction, and crime nonfiction by Canadian authors. The presentation of the winners can be viewed on YouTube:

Here is the link from this past conference should you want to take a peek!

Backstage during Mike and Mary Jane's book launches!

I was a part of the Cozy Corner Panel and found it interesting when our moderator, Lynn McPherson, read a definition of mysteries condensed from the Bookends Literary Agency blog :

Cozy mysteries can be defined by the word used to describe them. They are cozy and everything that word conjures in your mind. Think of warm tea, comfy chairs, cuddly pets, a soft newly knitted blanket and warm, freshly baked pasteries. That's a cozy. When you read one, you feel like you're being embraced by a world you want to be in. A cozy is almost always and amateur sleuth, but an amateur sleuth isn't always cozy.

In an Amateur sleuth, a regular citizen (non-professional detective) decides to find the real killer (the hallmark of any good amateur sleuth.)

Traditional mysteries probably have the broadest definition. They can be amateur sleuths or official investigators, they can be a little darker or light and funny. What they aren't is suspense or cozy. They tend to fall somewhere in between. Typically and amateur sleuth who is not cozy will fall into the area of traditional mystery. In traditional mystery, you'll also see a faster pace and maybe a little more blood and guts, but nothing that would compare to what a suspense might offer.

By definition, my Wild Blue Mysteries walk the line between cozies and more traditional mystery. While there are detectives involved, it's usually the amateur detectives (Katie and Lucy) who dig in to help solve the mysteries.

If you haven't read any of the Wild Blue Mysteries, why not get started? They're great summertime reads!!

The Low Down on my WildBlue Mystery Series

The ladies of Packham are going to drive the sleuths of Wild Blue Detective Agency to drink -- if they don't get them killed first.

Book 1: The Bookstore Lady

Danny Walker is tracking Paulina Chourney who is lucky to get out a bad situation before her boyfriend kills her. She arrives in a small town, changes her name, buys a bookstore and joins a local writing group to fade into anonymity. Until Danny Walker shows up and figures out who she is. When Danny disappears, she has to choose between spending her life on the run or standing up to face her past. Hopefully before the quirky townsfolk turn her death into a spectacle. 

Book 2: The Mystery Lady

Wanna-be writer Lucy Stephen never wrote about murder until her husband moves out and she thinks some man in a blue car is stalking her, namely Danny Walker. When her husband and his girlfriend take her kids on vacation, Lucy discovers a hidden package of jewelry he desperately wants. The more she learns about the assorted pieces, the more Lucy realizes she may never see her kids again and needs to fight back with the help of the man who stalks her.

Book 3: The Bakery Lady

From the moment Leo Blue meets the tattoo artist 's sister Christina, he's drawn into a web of bread dough and lies. Christina Davidson has returned to Packham with a duffle bag full of secrets. Leo soon discovers her biggest secret is Christina's alter ego and her husband who stands accused of murdering an up-and-coming artist. He promises to help set things straight and plans to bring husband and wife together for Christmas—even if it costs him his sanity and the love of his life. 

Book 4: The Painted Lady

Leo Blue can't escape Packham nor the life of a private detective no matter how hard he tries. Six months after the murder of artist DJ Gage, the prices of Gage's paintings soar. When a woman winds up dead and a forgery is discovered in the local art gallery, Leo has to find a murderer and a forger. When people from Christina Davidson’s past turn up, her carefully constructed walls begin to crumble and the only one who can help her now is Leo.

Book 5: The Conned Lady

Eccentric romance novelist Mimsy Lexington has a secret. When she approaches Katie Mullins to help find details around her late husband’s death, Katie and her boyfriend Danny Walker are drawn into a web of lies and deceit. The deeper they dig, the more they realize the biggest dangers may lurk close to home and need to suspect everyone—including Mimsy.

Find ALL of my books HERE!

Thanks for joining me!



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