Thursday, May 25, 2023

Captivating Canadian Criminalities

Earlier today, the Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) announced the winners of its 2023 Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing. (Yeah, I understand there’s a lot of repetition in that sentence.) There were 10 categories of contestants.

Best Crime Novel:
Going to Beautiful, by Anthony Bidulka (Stonehouse)

Also nominated: Take Your Breath Away, by Linwood Barclay (HarperCollins Canada); An Unthinkable Thing, by Nicole Lundrigan (Viking Canada); Please Join Us, by Catherine McKenzie (Simon & Schuster Canada); and Daughters of the Occupation, by Shelly Sanders (HarperCollins Canada)

Best Crime First Novel:
Citizens of Light, by Sam Shelstad (TouchWood Editions)

Also nominated: The Pale Horse, by T. Lawrence Davis (Friesen Press); Killer Time, by Bill Edwards (Friesen Press); The Damned Lovely, by Adam Frost (Down & Out); and The Man from Mittlewerk, by M.Z. Urlocker (Inkshares)

The Howard Engel Award for Best Crime Novel Set in Canada: A Snake in the Raspberry Patch, by Joanne Jackson (Stonehouse)

Also nominated: Five Moves of Doom, by A.J. Devlin (NeWest Press); Blood Atonement, by S.M. Freedman (Dundurn Press); Cold Snap, by Maureen Jennings (Cormorant); and The Foulest Things, by Amy Tector (Keylight)

The Whodunit Award for Best Traditional Mystery: Deep House, by Thomas King (HarperCollins Canada)

Also nominated: Knight in the Museum, by Alice Bienia (Cairn Press); Fenian Street, by Anne Emery (ECW Press); Death Plans a Perfect Trip, by Mary Jane Maffini (Beyond the Page); and Framed in Fire, by Iona Whishaw (Touchwood Edition)

Best Crime Novella: “The Man Who Went Down Under,” by Alexis Stefanovich-Thomson (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, July 2022)

Also nominated: “Amdur’s Ghost,” by M.H. Callway (from In the Spirit of 13; Carrick); Dangerous to Know: A Grifter’s Song, Vol. 28, by Hilary Davidson (Down & Out); Dead End Track, by Julie Hiner (Julie Hiner); and The Emir’s Falcon, by Matt Hughes (Shadowpaw Press Premiere)

Best Crime Short Story: “The Girl Who Was Only Three Quarters Dead,” by Craig H. Bowlsby (Mystery Magazine, April 2022)

Also nominated: “Must Love Dogs—or You’re Gone, by M.H. Callway (from Gone, edited by Stephen J. Golds; Red Dog Press); “To Catch a Kumiho,” by Blair Keetch (from In the Spirit of 13; Carrick); “The Natural Order of Things, by Sylvia Maultash Warsh (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, May/June 2022); and “Swan Song,” by Donalee Moulton (from Cold Canadian Crime, edited by Talia Morgan; Crime Writers of Canada)

Best French Crime Book (Fiction and Non-fiction): Monsieur Hämmerli, by Richard Ste-Marie (Éditions Alire)

Also nominated: Le Mouroir des anges, by Geneviève Blouin (Éditions Alire); Chaîne de glace, by Isabelle Lafortune (Éditions XYZ); Le dernier manège, by Guillaume Morrissette (Guy Saint-Jean); and Modus operandi, by Suzan Payne (Éditions Perce-Neige)

Best Juvenile or YA Crime Book (Fiction and Non-fiction): Heartbreak Homes, by Jo Treggiari (Nimbus)

Also nominated: Lark Steals the Show, by Natasha Deen (Orca); Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Seaside Corpse, by Marthe Jocelyn (Tundra); Wrong Side of the Court, by H.N. Khan (Penguin Teen); and Butt Sandwich & Tree, by Wesley King (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

The Brass Knuckles Award for Best Non-fiction Crime Book: The Betrayal of Anne Frank: A Cold Case Investigation, by Rosemary Sullivan (HarperCollins Canada)

Also nominated: How to Solve a Cold Case: And Everything Else You Wanted to Know About Catching Killers, by Michael Arntfield (HarperCollins Canada); The Castleton Massacre: Survivors’ Stories of the Killins Femicide, by Sharon Anne Cook and Margaret Carson (Dundurn Press); Lost in the Valley of Death: A Story of Obsession and Danger in the Himalayas, by Harley Rustad (Knopf Canada); and Scoundrel: How a Convicted Murderer Persuaded the Women Who Loved Him, the Conservative Establishment and the Courts to Set Him Free, by Sarah Weinman (Knopf Canada)

The Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript:
Snowed, by Mary Keenan

Also nominated: No Safe House, by Jan Garnett; Two Knots, by Joanne Kormylo; The Broken Detective, by Joel Nedecky; and The Peaks, by Michael Pennock

In addition, Jack Batten, “an acclaimed freelancer and award-winning author of dozens of fiction and non-fiction books for adults and young people,” received this year’s Derrick Murdoch Award. A press release explains that the Murdoch “is issued every two years to recognize a member of Crime Writers of Canada who has made significant contributions to the crime/mystery/thriller genre.”

Previous winners of these literary commendations (formerly known as the Arthur Ellis Awards) can be found here.

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