Peterborough Speakers Series – John Moss

An unstoppable passion for experiencing life ... and writing about death

John Moss
John Moss

John Moss writes mysteries because nothing brings life into focus like the murder of strangers.

Professor emeritus at the University of Ottawa, John was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2006, in recognition of his career as a professor of Canadian literature with over a score of books in his field. He has been a major force in shaping Canadian literary criticism and in advancing the understanding of Canada’s literary culture.

Over the past few years, John has moved progressively away from literary criticism to creative writing. His Quin and Morgan mystery series now occupies his writing efforts full time.

The books are set in Toronto and feature detectives Miranda Quin and David Morgan who, after having working together in the homicide division for 10 years, become a virtual couple who could not possibly live together but are incomplete being apart.

Besides writing fiction, John enjoys endurance sports and outdoor adventures. He participated in the original Ironman, swam the Hellespont, and ran the Boston Marathon eleven times. He has dived in wondrous places, ranging from the Red Sea and the Great Barrier Reef to Tahiti, Easter Island, and numerous sites in the Caribbean. He has trekked through the Barren Lands on his own for 28 days, then with his brother Steve, and then again with his wife Beverly Haun across major portions of Baffin Island.

As a boy, John declared he wanted to live a life of adventure. “Whether running marathons or writing mysteries, reaching the end is always just the beginning of something new,” says John.

At different times in his life, John has raised horses, bred dogs, kept swans, and cultivated bees. He remains astonished at being alive, a sentient self-conscious part of the universe. Writing mysteries is the best way he has found yet of exploring the breadth of a full life — and its inevitably ominous end.

He and his wife Beverly share a stone farmhouse “with numerous ghosts” in Peterborough. They have three grown daughters — Beatrice Winny (a registered graphic designer in Guelph), Laura Moss (Associate Professor of Literature at the University of British Columbia), and Julia Zarb (CEO of Zarb Consulting in Toronto) — and seven grandchildren.


The Peterborough Speaker Series takes place on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at The Market Hall

Have you ever wondered how some people go the distance — and beyond? Find out at the Peterborough Speakers Series, an unforgettable evening of thought-provoking entertainment featuring seven acclaimed speakers.

This year’s speakers are Ashley Brzozowicz (2012 Olympic Silver Medalist), Ted Higgins (President, Peterborough Lakers), Shannon McNevan (Partner, Boots and Hearts Music Festival), John Moss (Mystery Writer), Bill and Barb Johnston (Dynamic Duo Motivational Speakers), Dr. Tom Phillips (Trent University, Economic Commentator), and Derek McGrath (Actor/Musician).

The Greater Peterborough Health Services Foundation presents Unstoppable, the third annual Peterborough Speakers Series, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at The Market Hall (140 Charlotte St., Peterborough). Doors open at 6 p.m. with speakers presenting at 7 p.m. Each guest will speak for 10 to 15 minutes, and there will be a cocktail reception following the speeches where attendees can meet and mingle with the speakers. Tickets are $50, with proceeds from the event supporting the Health Services Foundation.

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