The Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) has announced the guest lineup and programming for the second annual MOTIVE, Canada’s largest crime and mystery writing festival. Bibliophiles can come together to enjoy over 40 in-person events at Harbourfront Centre and three free virtual offerings.
MOTIVE will welcome some of the world’s leading masters of mystery to participate in readings, conversations, book signings, masterclasses, musical performances and more.
TIFA’s director Roland Gulliver and I sat down to discuss all things MOTIVE.
Here is a sample of the events my conversation with Gulliver discussed; you can choose from cosy crime to police procedural, psychological thriller to true crime.
Conversations and Readings
Former FBI director James Comey introduces his debut novel, Central Park West. Drawing from his decades in federal law enforcement and years in Manhattan as a mob prosecutor, the story follows a murder investigation that reveals deadly connections between high-ranking politicians and the mafia.
Prolific UK writer Anthony Horowitz, known for creating some of the most beloved TV series including Midsomer Murders, and has continued the careers of Ian Fleming with the third in his Bond series, With a Mind to Kill, recently published. He will take the stage to discuss his fourth book in the Detective Hawthorne series, The Twist of a Knife.
Canadian bestselling author Shari Lapena and the “Queen of Icelandic crime” Yrsa Sigurdardottir will discuss chilling family secrets in their thrillers.
YA writer Sheena Kamal and Ghanaian-American novelist Kwei Quartey will speak on their newest stories, featuring brave, bold women on a search.
Human rights activist and author Ausma Zehanat Khan joins writer and war veteran Kevin Powers on how crime fiction can be used to explore global issues.
South Asian authors Vaseem Khan and Harini Nagendra will discuss the vibrant Indian cities featured in their latest work and how the political climate plays into their stories.
Bearing Witness, with legal scholar Kent Roach and journalist Tamara Cherry on complexities, issues and realities of reporting crime.
True Crime Histories, with Canadian authors Susan Goldenberg, Sharon Ann Cook and Margaret Carson, exploring how class, gender representation and prejudice lead to miscarriages of justice.
Newfoundland Noir: The Toronto launch of Perry Chafe’s Closer By Sea with his long-time creative collaborator, and fellow Newfoundlander, Allan Hawco (Republic of Doyle). This dual interview and kitchen party-style jam session includes live musical performances by Maureen Ennis of The Ennis Sisters, and special guests.
Anthony Horowitz on James Bond: internationally bestselling author will do a deep dive into the rich history behind the iconic James Bond series, including his own latest Bond novel, With A Mind to Kill.
Tea, Cake and Murder, with Jessa Maxwell and Amy Stuart: an afternoon tea and cake served with a delicious slice of murder as they dig into their latest books.
TIFA will feature a special event for elementary and middle school students on June 2 to meet, hear and learn from UK author Anthony Horowitz about his bestselling YA series, Alex Rider, now in its third series on Amazon Prime. Ideal for grades 5–8.
Free Festival Experiences
Lunchtime Taster with Ryan Gattis, Johanna Gustawsson and Harini Nagendra: bring your lunch and enjoy a picnic with a taste of suspense with these celebrated authors.
Ask the Expert, with Margaret Cannon, Karen Sullivan and Bjarni Þorsteinsson about how to write and publish a crime novel.
Outdoor readings from numerous authors including Roxanne Bouchard (Whisper of the Seal), Daniel Kalla (Fit to Die), Marcie R. Rendon (Sinister Graves) and Jonathan Whitelaw (The Bingo Hall Detectives).
Be sure not to miss the MOTIVE Bookstore and browse the specially curated bookstore for your next favourite read, presented in partnership with Indigo and digital bookseller Rakuten Kobo.
MOTIVE will take place June 2 – 4, 2023. Tickets and passes are available on the MOTIVE website and through the Harbourfront Centre Box Office by phone at 416-973-4000.
TIFA’s flagship festival will take place September 21 – October 1, 2023.