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Mystery festival to return

Mystery will be the genre of the day at the third annual Suffolk Mystery Authors Festival on Aug. 13, but it won’t be the only page in the book.

This year’s festival is still mostly mystery, but it has expanded to include a few writers of suspense, paranormal, romance and women’s fiction, said Kathleen Kelley, a tourism development specialist with the Suffolk Division of Tourism.

The genres remain interwoven together, just like a good mystery.

“A lot of women’s fiction incorporates suspense and mystery themes to it,” Kelley said, adding that romance does the same thing.

There are also one or two authors coming that do “what I would call low-grade horror,” Kelley added.

“It’s not just straight cozy mysteries like the first year,” Kelley said. “We’re trying to appeal to a broader base now.”

After featuring 11 authors in 2014, the festival continues to grow. It had two dozen authors last year and will feature about 30 this year.

Also new this year is a new author expo during the event, which will allow fans of the genre to discover the next generation of writers and snap up their books before everyone else discovers them.

Kelley said the authors are always gracious to fans.

“You kind of feel like you’re meeting a famous person, but they’re so down to earth,” she said. “They don’t act like famous people.”

The one-day festival lasts from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts. The event is free, except for a VIP meet-and-greet from noon to 1 p.m., which is limited to the first 100 reservations. The meet-and-greet costs $20 and includes light refreshments and a swag bag. Reservations can be made by calling 514-4130.

Workshops and panels are planned on such fun themes as culinary and animal themes in mysteries, anatomy of a mystery and reading like a writer.

“You can take a look at the schedule and decide what appeals to you,” Kelley said. “You’re not beholden to going to every single one of the events.”

Kelley said the partnership among Tourism, Suffolk Public Library and the cultural arts center has been successful.

“It’s been a tremendous partnership between us and the cultural arts center and the library,” Kelley said. “The other two entities really help a lot.”

Kelley said she hopes the event will continue to grow in future years.

“We have high hopes for this growing into something even bigger,” she said.

For more information, visit www.suffolkmysteryauthorsfestival.com.