Press Release – Action-packed debut YA steampunk murder mystery re-imagines 1893 Toronto


“A nimble, inventive steampunk romp — complete with clockwork cats, daring escapes, beguiling romance and shadowy mysteries — that you’ll rip through in one sitting and beg for the next.”

-Matthew Bright, author of THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS


“I lost track of the boxes this novel checked for me. Alternate reality? Set at the turn of the 19th century? During a World’s Fair? With a murder mystery; clockwork monsters; a wonderfully genuine and familiar family dynamic; and romance? Pair all that with beautiful and evocative writing, and you’ve got a stunning debut.”

-KD Edwards, author of the THE LAST SUN and THE HANGED MAN.


TORONTO, ONTARIO, May 4 – An action-packed tale of wondrous technologies, homicidal automatons, airship chases and pistol-wielding women’s dress reformists, this debut by young Canadian science fiction author MJ Lyons, MURDER AT THE WORLD’S FAIR (Renaissance, June 8, 2019), is sure to capture the imaginations of a new generation of readers while reinventing the past.


The year is 1893 and airships cloud the skies over the bustling metropolis of Toronto, the Dominion of Canada’s crown jewel. The city is set to host the “New World Exhibition” thanks in no small part to the work of two fantastical inventors. On the day of the grand opening, young Norwood Quigley, scion of a world-famous airship magnate, stumbles onto the scene of a murder; the victim: a Prussian Ambassador; the perpetrator: a Chinese assassin, or so the powers-that-be say. Concerned by the would-be assassin’s claim of innocence and his assumed guilt by higher powers, Norwood is thrown into a grand intrigue that hinges on Toronto’s world fair.


MURDER AT THE WORLD’S FAIR soars into Canada’s summer reads just in time for the Pride season. Chock-full of LGBTQ characters and diverse themes this inventive debut examines Canada’s historical relationship to colonization and imperialism, all through the lens of a page-turning, steam-powered, clockwork contraption.


About the Author:

MJ LYONS is a writer, game maker and bookstore professional. He manages the bookstore side of Glad Day Bookshop, the world’s oldest surviving LGBTQ bookstore and lives in Toronto, Canada with his goblin of a cat. Murder at the World’s Fair is his debut novel.


Published in: on May 12, 2019 at 8:38 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Sounds like a fun read. I wish you much success and many fans.

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