Oline Cogdill

This year, the Crime Writers of Canada adds a new aspect to its annual Arthur Ellis Awards—a Grand Master.

This is the inaugural year of the Crime Writers of Canada’s Grand Master Award, intended to recognize Canadian crime writers who have a substantial body of work that has garnered national and international recognition.

Howard Engel, left, the author of the award winning Benny Cooperman detective series, has the honor of being the group’s first Grand Master. In its announcement, the Crime Writers of Canada stated “A mainstay of the Canadian crime writing scene for many years, Mr. Engel helped put Canadian crime writing on the map at a time when few mysteries were set in this country.”

The Crime Writers of Canada was established by Derrick Murdoch, a prolific Canadian crime fiction reviewer, in 1982, and has sponsored the Arthur Ellis Awards for Crime and Mystery Writing for 30 years. Engel is among the group’s seven founding members.

And in case you are wondering where the name Arthur Ellis came from, here’s a bit of history. “Arthur Ellis” was the pseudonym for the man who became Canada’s hangman in 1912. Among the various categories, the organization annually awards the Unhanged Arthur Award, which recognized and promotes the careers of emerging crime writers.

All awards will be announced during the group’s annual banquet, scheduled to be June 5, 2014.

The 2014 Arthur Ellis Shortlists for Excellence in Crime Writing

Best Novel
John Brooke, Walls of a Mind, Signature Editions

Seán Haldane, The Devil’s Making, Stone Flower Press

Lee Lamothe, Presto Variations, Dundurn

Howard Shrier, Miss Montreal, Vintage Canada

Simone St. James, An Inquiry into Love and Death, Penguin Books

Best First Novel
E.R. Brown, Almost Criminal, Dundurn

A.S.A. Harrison, The Silent Wife, Penguin Books Canada

Axel Howerton, Hot Sinatra, Evolved Publishing

J. Kent Messum, Bait, Penguin Canada

S.G. Wong, Die on Your Feet, Carina Press

Best Novella
Melodie Campbell, The Goddaughter’s Revenge, Orca Books

Brenda Chapman, My Sister’s Keeper, Grassroots Press

James Heneghan, A Woman Scorned, Orca Books


Best Short Story
Donna Carrick, Watermelon Weekend, Thirteen, Carrick Publishing

Jas. R. Petrin, Under Cap Ste. Claire, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, October 2013, Dell Magazines

Twist Phelan, Footprints in Water, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, July 2013, Dell Magazines

Sylvia Maultash Warsh, The Emerald Skull, Thirteen, Carrick Publishing

Sam Wiebe, The Third Echo, Girl Trouble: Malfeasance Occasional, MacMillan/St Martin’s Press

Best Book in French
Chrystine Brouillet, Saccages, La courte échelle

Jacques Côté, Et à l'heure de votre mort, éditions Alire

Maureen Martineau, L’enfant promis, La courte échelle

Jacques Savoie, Le fils emprunté, Éditions Libre Expression

Best Juvenile/YA
Karen Autio, Sabotage, Sono Nis Press

Gail Gallant, Apparition, Doubleday Canada

Elizabeth MacLeod, Bones Never Lie: How Forensics Helps Solve History’s Mysteries, Annick Press

Ted Staunton, Who I’m Not, Orca Books

Unhanged Arthur
L.J. Gordon, Death at the Iron House Lodge

Rachel Greenaway, Cold Girl

Charlotte Morganti, The Snow Job

Kristina Stanley, Descent

Kevin Thornton, Coiled