Sask. mystery author Anthony Bidulka headed for Festival of Words

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Lisa Goudy
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The Saskatchewan Festival of Words has added a Saskatchewan author to the festival line-up.

Anthony Bidulka, author of the popular Russell Quant mystery series, will present his work at the 2014 festival in July. In the series, the gay protagonist, like his creator, lives in a prairie city.

In 2005, Bidulka’s novel Flight of Aquavit (2004) won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Mystery Novel. Three other of his novels have been nominated for the same award — in 2008 for Stain of the Berry, in 2009 for Sundowner Ubuntu and in 2013 for Dos Equis.

Other works include Amuse-Bouche (2003), Tapas on the Ramblas (2005), Aloha, Candy Hearts (2009) and Date with a Seesha (2010).

In 2012, Bidulka began a second mystery series with a new protagonist, Adam Saint, who is a disaster recovery expert. The first installment, When the Saints Go Marching In, was published in 2013. The second book, The Women of Skawa Island, is set for release in May.

Bidulka was born near Prud’homme, Sask. and he studied psychology at the University of Saskatchewan. He received the following degrees — bachelor of arts (BA), bachelor of education (B.Ed.), bachelor of commerce (B.Comm) and a chartered accountant (CA).

In 1999, he gave up accounting to work full-time on his writing. He currently resides in Saskatoon.

In a review of Stain of the Berry, the Canadian Book Review Annual said that “there is sincerity and just a hint of sage world-weariness about the self-questioning lifestyle and relationships the author draws from his charming, vulnerable detective.”

Further, Quill & Quire said, “Bidulka touches on a variety of serious issues…while neatly weaving these strands into an engaging mystery.”

The Saskatchewan Festival of Words will take place from July 17 to 20. The festival was established in 1996 and offers 60 events over four days.

“The nation’s top writers readily accept invitations to appear in Moose Jaw each year because of the festival’s reputation for hospitality, organization, and the opportunity to read before smaller audiences in relaxed settings. For many Canadian authors the Moose Jaw event is a favourite,” said a release from the festival.

“Creative highlights include work from Canada’s current award-winning writers in fiction, non-fiction, mystery, romance, drama, film, spoken word and poetry. The nation’s hottest literary talents attend to read, from their books, conduct workshops, and answer questions from enthusiastic readers and aspiring writers.”

Early-bird passes are now available for $175. As of June 1, the pass is $200. Flex passes, which apply to individual sessions, are available for $100.

For more information, visit www.festivalofwords or call 306-691-0557.

- with files from the Saskatchewan Festival of Words

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: University of Saskatchewan, BA, Canadian Book Review Annual

Geographic location: Sask., Skawa Island, Moose Jaw Saskatoon Canada

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