A Dbex Crime Spree Tea

On Tuesday, May 28th we played host to “A Dbex Crime Spree Tea”. We served NovelTea’s Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime & Punishment Inspired- Vanilla Bean Black Tea. We had 3 local crime writers and 15 attendees join us for an evening of suspense, deceit, murder, the justice system and a healthy amount of discussion about the history of hangings in Nova Scotia.

Vanilla Bean Black Tea. Yum Vanilla… and is that a hint of coconut?

Donalee Moulton introduced her new historical crime novel Conflagration set in Montreal, Quebec in 1754 when a fire raged through Montreal’s merchant quarters. When the flames finally died, 46 buildings had been destroyed, and within hours, rumors ran rampant that Marie-Joseph Angélique, an enslaved Black woman fighting for her freedom, had started the fire. She also spoke about her novel Hung Out To Die which is set in Elmsdale. The lead character is Riel Brava, CEO of the Canadian Cannabis Corporation, a confessed psychopath who could also pose for the cover of GQ Magazine, with an addiction to rare gourmet coffees and donairs. Reluctantly, he must team up with Detective Lin Raynes to catch a killer.

CP Daly spoke about her new suspense stand-alone crime thriller Bloody Water set in Halifax. Marti Ross and her best friends attend a once-in-a-lifetime concert in their teens. While at the concert Marti witnesses the brutal beating of the man she has a crush on. After being threatened by the attackers Marti flees, not returning until 12 years later. She also spoke about her Kelsey Woods trilogy, inspired by a case in Texas where prison staff were discovered bringing in prostitutes to service inmates.

Laura Churchill Duke spoke about her historical creative nonfiction true crime novels Two Crows Sorrow and Rooted in Deception, both set in rural Nova Scotia in the early 1900s. Two Crows Sorrow is about the murder of Theresa McAuley Robinson by William Robinson on North Mountain, a story of domestic abuse with violent ends. Rooted in Deception is a story that centers around an Irish immigrant who was a master liar and storyteller. Suspicion falls on him when crime spikes in his adopted small town, is he guilty of his crimes or was it pinned on him because of his outsider status?

CP Daly, Laura Churchill Duke, Sue Slade and donalee Moulton

Each author presented one of their novels and then proceeded to do a 3-minute reading that involved either a crime or a punishment in that novel that did not spoil their story. Following this, Sue, as the moderator asked the panel of crime writers several thought-provoking questions regarding their books, writing process, inspirations and what put them on the road to becoming an author.

For her latest book, Conflagration, donalee explained that she was approached to do this novel as part of a series of Canadian Historical Mysteries. She said that she had never been to Montreal, does not typically write historical fiction, and does not speak a word of French, so naturally, she accepted the contract. This set the night’s tone with our conversations being light-hearted and surprisingly funny considering the serious topics of crime, murder, and punishment.

One of our attendees asked how they came up with the titles for their books. Surprisingly, this part of their writing process is often their least favourite, according to our crime authors. Turns out that their titles were either chosen by their editors or sometimes even family members. Once chosen, one of the authors proceeded to add the title to the book’s text in various places.

Several interesting facts about the History of Nova Scotia hangings were discussed. Proper terminology was discussed, clarifying the uses of “hanged” vs. “hung”, and as a judge would’ve said to either Robinson or Kavanagh, that they’d be “hanged from the neck until dead.” We discussed the differences in the hangings and proceedings of the true stories of that occurred in Kentville in 1904 of William Robinson and that of the man known as John Kavanagh just one year later Windsor. To prepare for the hanging in Kentville they built a tall privacy fence around the gallows, doubling as a barricade. Spectators knocked down the fence after the hanging to make sure William was dead, going as far as kicking his body and removing items from his body as souvenirs. Public opinion about spectator behaviour was heavily divided between disgust and agreeance. For the hanging of John Kavanagh, much of the public removed themselves from the event.

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime & Punishment

What people had to say about the evening:

Thanks for hosting the event, I have books from all authors but so far I have read only 2, will read the last one this weekend. So interesting to hear their stories of how it all started. Again, thanks- Lynn Surette

It was an extraordinarily entertaining event.- Lyn Thompson

Tonite was a lot of fun!! Would never have thought we’d have so many chuckles over murder!!- Sylvia Mannette

Such a fun night at Dartmouth Book Exchange who hosted a Crime Spree Tea. Thank you, it was so nice to meet everyone.- CP Daly

It was indeed an interesting evening! Congratulations to the amazing local Authors and the Dartmouth Book Exchange for hosting a most enjoyable evening!- Brenda Murphy-Jollymore

Thanks everyone for a fabulous evening. Inspired to write — and to read- donalee Moulton

Was an awesome night at the Dartmouth Book Exchange for their Crime and Punishment local author night featuring delicious tea from @Noveltea coffeehouse and Bakery in Truro! Thank you for hosting this great event!- Laura Churchill Duke