The MOTIVE Books You Need to Read 

The MOTIVE Books You Need to Read 

5:05pm

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Whether it’s a spine-tingling thriller or a deep dive into the world of true crime, the MOTIVE Crime & Mystery Festival is the ultimate place for a reader in need of a new book. With over 30 authors from Canada and around the world taking centre stage with their latest books June 7–9 in Toronto, it’s the perfect chance to learn from the pros, hear the secrets behind the pages and find more books for your TBR pile.

From quirky characters to historical settings, here are 12 books from the MOTIVE programme you should check out.


Mystery

Dead Sweet by Katrín Júlíusdóttir (Orenda Books)

Dead Sweet by Katrín Júlíusdóttir book cover

In Dead Sweet by Katrín Júlíusdóttir (translated by Quentin Bates), a wealthy government official’s death starts a search for answers that spans from Iceland to Minnesota. With young police officer Sigurdís on the case, the hunt quickly turns personal as her own childhood threatens to resurface and the investigation strikes chillingly close to home. The atmospheric debut novel is full of breakneck twists and turns that uncover a world of financial crime, sinister cults and disturbing secret lives. If you love dark thrillers, don’t miss this book.

See Katrín Júlíusdóttir in the following event:

The Business of Being Bad with Katrín Júlíusdóttir and Yun Ko-eun
June 8 at 1pm, Brigantine Room

The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose (Penguin Random House Canada)

The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose book cover

In the sequel to Nita Prose’s bestselling debut novel, The Maid, The Mystery Guest finds Molly the maid in the middle of a new mess at the five-star Regency Grand Hotel. When someone from her past, who also happens to be a world-renowned mystery author, drops dead on the hotel’s tea room floor, it’s up to Molly to find the answers. A cosy mystery, this book (and series) is perfect for readers who want mystery, intrigue and a cast of interesting characters.

See Nita Prose in the following events:

Feather Dusters and Foul Play with Nita Prose
June 8 at 2pm, Harbourfront Centre Theatre

Twisted Tales of Family Secrets with Ashley Audrain and Shari Lapena (moderated by Nita Prose)
June 9 at 4:30pm, Harbourfront Centre Theatre

The Sulphur Springs Cure by Jeffrey Round  (Cormorant Books)

The Sulphur Springs Cure by Jeffery Round book cover

In Jeffrey Round’s latest novel, The Sulphur Springs Cure, the legendary Sulphur Springs Hotel attracts a diverse crowd. Some are there for the curative waters, others are seeking intangible things and, Violet quickly learns, certain people are hiding something devious behind the luxury façade. Her vacation quickly turns dark when she unwillingly becomes party to a murder. From exploring the hotel at the height of its popularity to Violet’s return when it’s in ruins 70 years later, the story is part historical mystery, part coming-of-age as Violet wrestles with her memories and the experiences that shaped her.

See Jeffrey Round in the following events:

The Legend & Her Legacy: Agatha Christie with Otto Penzler and Jeffrey Round
June 8 at 7:30pm, Studio Theatre

Stirring Up The Past with S.G. MacLean and Jeffrey Round
June 9 at 3pm, Lakeside Terrace

The Sunset Years of Agnes Sharp by Leonie Swann (Soho Press)

Sunset Years of Agnes Sharp by Leonie Swann book cover

Leonie Swann’s The Sunset Years of Agnes Sharp (translated by Amy Bojang) is a twisty, darkly funny mystery. With a group of quirky seniors in a race against the police to find who killed their neighbour (with the hope they can also pin the death of Lilith–whose body is hidden away in their shed–on the murderer), you are in for a humorous ride in this book. From sinister bakers to broken stairlifts, and inept criminals to a tortoise named Hettie, this charming book is a must for the TBR pile.

See Leonie Swann in the following events:

Murder, Mayhem & Mysteries with Leonie Swann and Antti Tuomainen
June 8 at 12pm, Lakeside Terrace

The Art of Characterization: Creating Convincing Protagonists with Leonie Swann
June 9 at 3:30pm, Main Loft

Thriller

Missing White Woman by Kellye Garrett (Little, Brown & Company)

Missing White Woman by Kellye Garrett book cover

In Kellye Garrett’s gripping thriller Missing White Woman, a romantic weekend getaway in New York City turns into a nightmare when Breanna wakes to a dead body in her rental home and her boyfriend, Ty, missing. Stranded in a new city and facing scrutiny as a Black woman, Bree must navigate through a web of secrets and lies to uncover the truth behind the mysterious death. As the stakes escalate and the pressure mounts, Bree races against time to unravel the truth, knowing that in a world where perceptions often overshadow reality, the truth may be hiding in plain sight. Missing White Woman is a gripping tale of deception, justice and the power of uncovering the truth.

See Kellye Garrett in the following event:

Protagonists Push Back with Conor Kerr and Kellye Garrett
June 8 at 12pm, Studio Theatre

The Bookseller of Inverness by S.G. Maclean (Hodder)

The Bookseller of Iverness by S.G. MacLean book cover

If you love historical thrillers, The Bookseller of Inverness by S.G. MacLean is a book you should definitely be adding to your reading list. Set in the wake of the 1746 Battle of Culloden, survivor Iain MacGillivray now leads a quiet life as a bookseller in Inverness. But when a mysterious stranger is found dead in his shop, he is drawn into a dangerous game of secrets, betrayal and revenge. With its rich historical detail and suspenseful plot, the novel is a captivating tale that will transport you back in time and keep you guessing until the very end.

See S.G. MacLean in the following events:

Setting the Scene: Bringing Your World to Life with S.G. MacLean
June 8 at 6:30pm, Main Loft

Stirring Up The Past with S.G. MacLean and Jeffrey Round
June 9 at 3pm, Lakeside Terrace

Hunted by Abir Mukherjee (Little, Brown & Company)

Hunted by Abir Mukherjee book cover

Prepare for a heart-pounding journey through the tangled webs of conspiracy and danger with Hunted by Abir Mukherjee. As the police storm Heathrow Airport in London to interrogate a father about his missing daughter and a mother in Florida fears her son has been radicalized by a bomber, an unknown organization’s sinister plot unfolds in Oregon, threatening to plunge America into chaos. On the run from the authorities, these desperate parents find themselves thrust together in a race against time to save their children and prevent a catastrophic disaster that could alter the course of the nation’s future. Mukherjee’s novel delivers an enthralling blend of suspense, intrigue and high-stakes action that will keep you glued to the edge of your seat.

See Abir Mukherjee in the following events:

Mastering Plot: Crafting Compelling Narratives with Abir Mukherjee
June 7 at 5pm, Main Loft

The Fear Within Us with Rick Mofina and Abir Mukherjee
June 8 at 3:30pm, Studio Theatre

The Beaver Theory by Antti Tuomainen (Orenda Books)

The Beaver Theory by Antti Tuomainen book cover

Embark on a rollercoaster ride of humour, suspense and unexpected twists with The Beaver Theory by Antti Tuomainen (translated by David Hackston), the thrilling conclusion to the acclaimed Rabbit Factor Trilogy. Henri Koskinen, an insurance mathematician turned adventure-park entrepreneur, is navigating the challenges of blending families and dealing with the antics of local dads when he becomes embroiled in a dangerous game involving a competing adventure park with questionable ethics. With a mounting body count, Henri must venture far beyond his comfort zone to untangle the web of deceit and danger. While a nail-biting thriller, this novel is also warmly funny, quirky and touching.

See Antti Tuomainen in the following event:

Murder, Mayhem & Mysteries with Leonie Swann and Antti Tuomainen
June 8 at 12pm, Lakeside Terrace

True Crime

The Great Canadian Art Fraud Case: The Group of Seven and Tom Thomson Forgeries by Jon S. Dellandrea (Goose Lane)

Jon S. Dellandrea's The Great Canadian Art Fraud Case book cover

Step into the captivating world of art and deception with The Great Canadian Art Fraud Case by Jon S. Dellandrea, a riveting exploration of one of Canada’s most intriguing art scandals. Dellandrea unveils the fascinating story of forgeries plaguing the works of iconic artists like Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. Through rich storytelling and lavish illustrations, this book brings to life the investigation that rocked the Canadian art world, shedding light on both the intricate web of deceit and the potential alternate path of a talented artist.

See Jon S. Dellandrea in the following event:

Caught in the Frame: Revealing Canada’s Art Fraud with Jon S. Dellandrea and Charles Reeve
June 8 at 5:30pm, Brigantine Room

The Furies: Women, Vengeance, and Justice by Elizabeth Flock (HarperCollins)

The Furies by Elizabeth Flock book cover

The Furies: Women, Vengeance, and Justice by Elizabeth Flock is a compelling exploration of the often overlooked and controversial topic of female-led violence in response to systems that fail to protect women. Through the immersive narratives of three real-life women—Brittany Smith, Angoori Dahariya and Cicek Mustafa Zibo—Flock explores the complex issues surrounding their use of lethal force as a means of gaining power, safety and freedom in the face of institutional failure. This thought-provoking book challenges readers to reconsider conventional notions of vengeance, justice and gender equality, making it a top pick for readers who are looking for an engaging and informative read.

See Elizabeth Flock in the following event:

Resilience Rewritten: Women’s Stories of Justice and Survival with Elizabeth Flock and Sarah Weinman
June 8 at 3:30pm, Brigantine Room

Lay Them to Rest: On the Road with the Cold Case Investigators Who Identify the Nameless by Laurah Norton (Hachette Book Group)

Lay Them to Rest by Laurah Norton book cover

Prepare to embark on a gripping journey into the heart of forensic science with Lay Them to Rest: On the Road with the Cold Case Investigators Who Identify the Nameless by Laurah Norton. Dive into the dark world of unsolved mysteries as Norton explores the evolving techniques used by cold case investigators to unearth the identities of unknown victims. Through real-life cases and her own experiences working alongside experts, Norton sheds light on the tireless efforts of those dedicated to bringing closure to the families of the missing. Engrossing, informative, and ultimately hopeful, this book offers a compelling glimpse into the past, present and future of forensic investigation.

See Laurah Norton in the following events:

Podcasting Pro: Constructing Stories for the Ear with Laurah Norton
June 8 at 4pm, Main Loft

To Speak For The Dead with Laurah Norton and Sarah Weinman
June 9 at 2pm, Brigantine Room

Evidence of Things Seen: True Crime in an Era of Reckoning, edited by Sarah Weinman (HarperCollins)

Evidence of Things Seen by Sarah Weinman book cover

Prepare to have your perspective on true crime forever changed with Evidence of Things Seen: True Crime in an Era of Reckoning, edited by Sarah Weinman. This collection brings together 14 innovative crime writers, shining a light on the overlooked cases that offer crucial insights into our society’s systemic injustices. With incisive cultural examinations and brilliant storytelling, this anthology doesn’t just entertain—it serves as a catalyst for social change, prompting readers to question what true justice should look like.

See Sarah Weinman in the following event:

Resilience Rewritten: Women’s Stories of Justice and Survival with Elizabeth Flock and Sarah Weinman
June 8 at 3:30pm, Brigantine Room

To Speak For The Dead with Laurah Norton and Sarah Weinman
June 9 at 2pm, Brigantine Room


Looking for more? Check out the full list of books being featured at MOTIVE, here.

Whether it’s a spine-tingling thriller or a deep dive into the world of true crime, the MOTIVE Crime & Mystery Festival is the ultimate place for a reader in need of a new book. With over 30 authors from Canada and around the world taking centre stage with their latest books June 7–9 in Toronto, it’s the perfect chance to learn from the pros, hear the secrets behind the pages and find more books for your TBR pile.

From quirky characters to historical settings, here are 12 books from the MOTIVE programme you should check out.


Mystery

Dead Sweet by Katrín Júlíusdóttir (Orenda Books)

Dead Sweet by Katrín Júlíusdóttir book cover

In Dead Sweet by Katrín Júlíusdóttir (translated by Quentin Bates), a wealthy government official’s death starts a search for answers that spans from Iceland to Minnesota. With young police officer Sigurdís on the case, the hunt quickly turns personal as her own childhood threatens to resurface and the investigation strikes chillingly close to home. The atmospheric debut novel is full of breakneck twists and turns that uncover a world of financial crime, sinister cults and disturbing secret lives. If you love dark thrillers, don’t miss this book.

See Katrín Júlíusdóttir in the following event:

The Business of Being Bad with Katrín Júlíusdóttir and Yun Ko-eun
June 8 at 1pm, Brigantine Room

The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose (Penguin Random House Canada)

The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose book cover

In the sequel to Nita Prose’s bestselling debut novel, The Maid, The Mystery Guest finds Molly the maid in the middle of a new mess at the five-star Regency Grand Hotel. When someone from her past, who also happens to be a world-renowned mystery author, drops dead on the hotel’s tea room floor, it’s up to Molly to find the answers. A cosy mystery, this book (and series) is perfect for readers who want mystery, intrigue and a cast of interesting characters.

See Nita Prose in the following events:

Feather Dusters and Foul Play with Nita Prose
June 8 at 2pm, Harbourfront Centre Theatre

Twisted Tales of Family Secrets with Ashley Audrain and Shari Lapena (moderated by Nita Prose)
June 9 at 4:30pm, Harbourfront Centre Theatre

The Sulphur Springs Cure by Jeffrey Round  (Cormorant Books)

The Sulphur Springs Cure by Jeffery Round book cover

In Jeffrey Round’s latest novel, The Sulphur Springs Cure, the legendary Sulphur Springs Hotel attracts a diverse crowd. Some are there for the curative waters, others are seeking intangible things and, Violet quickly learns, certain people are hiding something devious behind the luxury façade. Her vacation quickly turns dark when she unwillingly becomes party to a murder. From exploring the hotel at the height of its popularity to Violet’s return when it’s in ruins 70 years later, the story is part historical mystery, part coming-of-age as Violet wrestles with her memories and the experiences that shaped her.

See Jeffrey Round in the following events:

The Legend & Her Legacy: Agatha Christie with Otto Penzler and Jeffrey Round
June 8 at 7:30pm, Studio Theatre

Stirring Up The Past with S.G. MacLean and Jeffrey Round
June 9 at 3pm, Lakeside Terrace

The Sunset Years of Agnes Sharp by Leonie Swann (Soho Press)

Sunset Years of Agnes Sharp by Leonie Swann book cover

Leonie Swann’s The Sunset Years of Agnes Sharp (translated by Amy Bojang) is a twisty, darkly funny mystery. With a group of quirky seniors in a race against the police to find who killed their neighbour (with the hope they can also pin the death of Lilith–whose body is hidden away in their shed–on the murderer), you are in for a humorous ride in this book. From sinister bakers to broken stairlifts, and inept criminals to a tortoise named Hettie, this charming book is a must for the TBR pile.

See Leonie Swann in the following events:

Murder, Mayhem & Mysteries with Leonie Swann and Antti Tuomainen
June 8 at 12pm, Lakeside Terrace

The Art of Characterization: Creating Convincing Protagonists with Leonie Swann
June 9 at 3:30pm, Main Loft

Thriller

Missing White Woman by Kellye Garrett (Little, Brown & Company)

Missing White Woman by Kellye Garrett book cover

In Kellye Garrett’s gripping thriller Missing White Woman, a romantic weekend getaway in New York City turns into a nightmare when Breanna wakes to a dead body in her rental home and her boyfriend, Ty, missing. Stranded in a new city and facing scrutiny as a Black woman, Bree must navigate through a web of secrets and lies to uncover the truth behind the mysterious death. As the stakes escalate and the pressure mounts, Bree races against time to unravel the truth, knowing that in a world where perceptions often overshadow reality, the truth may be hiding in plain sight. Missing White Woman is a gripping tale of deception, justice and the power of uncovering the truth.

See Kellye Garrett in the following event:

Protagonists Push Back with Conor Kerr and Kellye Garrett
June 8 at 12pm, Studio Theatre

The Bookseller of Inverness by S.G. Maclean (Hodder)

The Bookseller of Iverness by S.G. MacLean book cover

If you love historical thrillers, The Bookseller of Inverness by S.G. MacLean is a book you should definitely be adding to your reading list. Set in the wake of the 1746 Battle of Culloden, survivor Iain MacGillivray now leads a quiet life as a bookseller in Inverness. But when a mysterious stranger is found dead in his shop, he is drawn into a dangerous game of secrets, betrayal and revenge. With its rich historical detail and suspenseful plot, the novel is a captivating tale that will transport you back in time and keep you guessing until the very end.

See S.G. MacLean in the following events:

Setting the Scene: Bringing Your World to Life with S.G. MacLean
June 8 at 6:30pm, Main Loft

Stirring Up The Past with S.G. MacLean and Jeffrey Round
June 9 at 3pm, Lakeside Terrace

Hunted by Abir Mukherjee (Little, Brown & Company)

Hunted by Abir Mukherjee book cover

Prepare for a heart-pounding journey through the tangled webs of conspiracy and danger with Hunted by Abir Mukherjee. As the police storm Heathrow Airport in London to interrogate a father about his missing daughter and a mother in Florida fears her son has been radicalized by a bomber, an unknown organization’s sinister plot unfolds in Oregon, threatening to plunge America into chaos. On the run from the authorities, these desperate parents find themselves thrust together in a race against time to save their children and prevent a catastrophic disaster that could alter the course of the nation’s future. Mukherjee’s novel delivers an enthralling blend of suspense, intrigue and high-stakes action that will keep you glued to the edge of your seat.

See Abir Mukherjee in the following events:

Mastering Plot: Crafting Compelling Narratives with Abir Mukherjee
June 7 at 5pm, Main Loft

The Fear Within Us with Rick Mofina and Abir Mukherjee
June 8 at 3:30pm, Studio Theatre

The Beaver Theory by Antti Tuomainen (Orenda Books)

The Beaver Theory by Antti Tuomainen book cover

Embark on a rollercoaster ride of humour, suspense and unexpected twists with The Beaver Theory by Antti Tuomainen (translated by David Hackston), the thrilling conclusion to the acclaimed Rabbit Factor Trilogy. Henri Koskinen, an insurance mathematician turned adventure-park entrepreneur, is navigating the challenges of blending families and dealing with the antics of local dads when he becomes embroiled in a dangerous game involving a competing adventure park with questionable ethics. With a mounting body count, Henri must venture far beyond his comfort zone to untangle the web of deceit and danger. While a nail-biting thriller, this novel is also warmly funny, quirky and touching.

See Antti Tuomainen in the following event:

Murder, Mayhem & Mysteries with Leonie Swann and Antti Tuomainen
June 8 at 12pm, Lakeside Terrace

True Crime

The Great Canadian Art Fraud Case: The Group of Seven and Tom Thomson Forgeries by Jon S. Dellandrea (Goose Lane)

Jon S. Dellandrea's The Great Canadian Art Fraud Case book cover

Step into the captivating world of art and deception with The Great Canadian Art Fraud Case by Jon S. Dellandrea, a riveting exploration of one of Canada’s most intriguing art scandals. Dellandrea unveils the fascinating story of forgeries plaguing the works of iconic artists like Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. Through rich storytelling and lavish illustrations, this book brings to life the investigation that rocked the Canadian art world, shedding light on both the intricate web of deceit and the potential alternate path of a talented artist.

See Jon S. Dellandrea in the following event:

Caught in the Frame: Revealing Canada’s Art Fraud with Jon S. Dellandrea and Charles Reeve
June 8 at 5:30pm, Brigantine Room

The Furies: Women, Vengeance, and Justice by Elizabeth Flock (HarperCollins)

The Furies by Elizabeth Flock book cover

The Furies: Women, Vengeance, and Justice by Elizabeth Flock is a compelling exploration of the often overlooked and controversial topic of female-led violence in response to systems that fail to protect women. Through the immersive narratives of three real-life women—Brittany Smith, Angoori Dahariya and Cicek Mustafa Zibo—Flock explores the complex issues surrounding their use of lethal force as a means of gaining power, safety and freedom in the face of institutional failure. This thought-provoking book challenges readers to reconsider conventional notions of vengeance, justice and gender equality, making it a top pick for readers who are looking for an engaging and informative read.

See Elizabeth Flock in the following event:

Resilience Rewritten: Women’s Stories of Justice and Survival with Elizabeth Flock and Sarah Weinman
June 8 at 3:30pm, Brigantine Room

Lay Them to Rest: On the Road with the Cold Case Investigators Who Identify the Nameless by Laurah Norton (Hachette Book Group)

Lay Them to Rest by Laurah Norton book cover

Prepare to embark on a gripping journey into the heart of forensic science with Lay Them to Rest: On the Road with the Cold Case Investigators Who Identify the Nameless by Laurah Norton. Dive into the dark world of unsolved mysteries as Norton explores the evolving techniques used by cold case investigators to unearth the identities of unknown victims. Through real-life cases and her own experiences working alongside experts, Norton sheds light on the tireless efforts of those dedicated to bringing closure to the families of the missing. Engrossing, informative, and ultimately hopeful, this book offers a compelling glimpse into the past, present and future of forensic investigation.

See Laurah Norton in the following events:

Podcasting Pro: Constructing Stories for the Ear with Laurah Norton
June 8 at 4pm, Main Loft

To Speak For The Dead with Laurah Norton and Sarah Weinman
June 9 at 2pm, Brigantine Room

Evidence of Things Seen: True Crime in an Era of Reckoning, edited by Sarah Weinman (HarperCollins)

Evidence of Things Seen by Sarah Weinman book cover

Prepare to have your perspective on true crime forever changed with Evidence of Things Seen: True Crime in an Era of Reckoning, edited by Sarah Weinman. This collection brings together 14 innovative crime writers, shining a light on the overlooked cases that offer crucial insights into our society’s systemic injustices. With incisive cultural examinations and brilliant storytelling, this anthology doesn’t just entertain—it serves as a catalyst for social change, prompting readers to question what true justice should look like.

See Sarah Weinman in the following event:

Resilience Rewritten: Women’s Stories of Justice and Survival with Elizabeth Flock and Sarah Weinman
June 8 at 3:30pm, Brigantine Room

To Speak For The Dead with Laurah Norton and Sarah Weinman
June 9 at 2pm, Brigantine Room


Looking for more? Check out the full list of books being featured at MOTIVE, here.

5:05pm

Saturday, May 18

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