Tuesday, 02 June 2020 13:42

No gala, no gathering in the bar afterward to celebrate, no standing ovation. But that is the way of announcing award winners during this pandemic.

What hasn't changed is that the authors are indeed winners.

The annual Arthur Ellis Awards by Crime Writers of Canada recognizes the best in mystery, crime, and suspense fiction and crime nonfiction by Canadian authors.

The winners of the Arthur Ellis Awards are in bold with the ** in front of name. Mystery Scene congratulates all the winners and nominees.

Best Crime Novel sponsored by Rakuten Kobo with a $1000 prize
**Michael Christie, Greenwood, MacClelland & Stewart
Ian Hamilton, Fate, House of Anansi Press
Nicole Lundrigan, Hideaway, Penguin Random House Canada
Marissa Stapley, The Last Resort, Simon & Schuster Canada
Loreth Anne White, In the Dark, Montlake Romance

The Angela Harrison Memorial Award for Best Crime First Novel sponsored by Maureen Jennings with a $500 prize
**Philip Elliott, Nobody Move, Into the Void Press
Denis Coupal, Blindshot, Linda Leith Publishing
Nicole Bross, Past Presence, Literary Wanderlust

Best Crime Novella sponsored by Mystery Weekly with a $200 prize
**Wayne Arthurson, The Red Chesterfield, University of Calgary Press
Barbara Fradkin, Blood Ties, Orca Book Publishers
Brenda Chapman, Too Close to Home, Grass Roots Press
Melodie Campbell, The Goddaughter Does Vegas, Orca Book Publishers
Devon Shepherd, The Woman in Apartment 615, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

Best Crime Short Story sponsored by Mystery Weekly with a $300 prize

**Peter Sellers, Closing Doors, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
Y.S. Lee, In Plain Sight, Life is Short and Then You Die, Macmillan Publishers
Zandra Renwick, The Dead Man's Dog, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine

Best French Crime Book
**Andrée Michaud, Tempêtes, Éditions Québec Amériques
Louis Carmain, Les offrandes, VLB Éditeur
Martin Michaud, Ghetto X, Libre Expression
Guillaume Morrissette, Le tribunal de la rue Quirion, Guy Saint-Jean Éditeur
Félix Ravenelle-Arcouette, Le cercle de cendres, Héliotrope

Best Juvenile or YA Crime Book sponsored by Shaftesbury with a $500 prize
**Tom Ryan, Keep This to Yourself, Albert Whitman & Company
Liam O'Donnell & Mike Dean, Tank & Fizz: The Case of the Tentacle Terror, Orca Book Publishers
Jo Treggiari, The Grey Sisters, Penguin Teen
David A. Robertson, Ghosts, HighWater Press

Best Nonfiction Crime Book
**Charlotte Gray, Murdered Midas: A Millionaire, His Gold Mine, and a Strange Death on an Island Paradise, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Katie Daubs, The Missing Millionaire: The True Story of Ambrose Small and the City Obsessed with Finding Him, MacClelland & Stewart
Kevin Donovan, The Billionaire Murders, Penguin Random House
Debra Komar, The Court of Better Fiction, Dundurn Press
Vanessa Brown, The Forest City Killer: A Serial Murderer, a Cold-Case Sleuth, and a Search for Justice, ECW Press

The Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished Crime Manuscript sponsored by Dundurn Press with a $500 prize
**Liz Rachel Walker, The Dieppe Letters
B.L. Smith, Bert Mintenko and the Serious Business
K.P. Bartlett, Henry's Bomb
Max Folsom, One Bad Day After Another
Pam Barnsley, The River Cage

Grand Master
The Grand Master Award is presented biennially to recognize a Canadian crime writer with a substantial body of work who has garnered national and international recognition.

This year, the Grand Master Award was presented to Peter Robinson.

For more information, visit the Canadian writers website and the website for the Arthur Ellis awards.

Crime Writers of Canada was founded in 1982 as a professional organization designed to raise the profile of Canadian crime writers. Our members include authors, publishers, editors, booksellers, librarians, reviewers, and literary agents as well as many developing authors. Past winners of the “Arthurs” have included such major Canadian authors as Gail Bowen, Stevie Cameron, Howard Engel, Louise Penny, Peter Robinson and Margaret Atwood.

2020 Arthur Ellis Winners
Oline H Cogdill
Saturday, 30 May 2020 16:47

As most of us have been working at home, a new reality has emerged: Many couples have no idea what their partner does.


You may know that the other person goes to work every day.

You may even know the name of the business where person works. Probably even the address.

But do you actually know what he or she does?

How they fill up those hours? Who do they interact with? What constitutes a job well done? Even do they go to work?

This was the subject of a recent New York Times article in which several couples mentioned that, while they know their partner so well, they can’t really say what their job is.

I don’t think that is uncommon. I was talking with my favorite cousin a few weeks ago and he mentioned that his daughters’ husbands were still working. But he wasn’t quite sure what those jobs entailed.

I remember a conversation with neighbors when I was just a couple years into my career as a journalist. What do you do all day, they asked. When I explained that I interviewed people, wrote articles, thought up story ideas, well, let’s just say they still didn’t get it.

Chris Pavone took this idea and turned it into his debut The Expats, which won the 2013 Edgar Award for best first novel. In The Expats, Kate Moore resigns her job to follow her husband Dexter from Washington, D.C., to Luxembourg where he has a lucrative job offer.

A financial systems expert, Dexter’s skills are in high demand. But Kate’s skills are even more valuable—she’s a CIA operative, though her husband knows nothing about that.

In Luxembourg, Kate plans to leave her spying days behind and concentrate on her family, which includes their two sons.

But Kate isn’t the only with secrets. Dexter may be a thief who has stolen millions through online banking transactions, drawing Kate back to her old job.

Pavone mixes the spy novel with a tense domestic drama, keeping his character believable. The reader totally buys into how they have kept their double lives secrets.

Granted, most of us don’t have a spy or a thief for a partner.

At least I hope we don’t.

But what The Expats pinpoints is that we get so caught up with just the daily details it is easy to neglect or even ignore the big picture.

Just getting out the door—when we could get out the door—is a trial in itself, one which I think each of us would welcome again.

Secret lives have been the foundation of many a mystery. Maybe that’s why they are called mysteries!

Imagine going to a psychiatrist like Hannibal Lecter.

Blood expert Dexter Morgan’s side hobby made perfect sense, especially in the Showtime series Dexter.

Breaking Bad’s Walter White hid his sideline of making meth for a long time, at least six years, trying to justify making poison to support his family.

In True Lies, Jamie Lee Curtis had no idea that her husband, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, was a secret agent.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent had a plot in which a man told his family he worked at the United Nations when, in fact, he spent much of his days in the park. Those secrets, of course, led to murder.

So many secrets—the details of a job just seem mild.

And fiction never trumps reality.

How often do we learn that killers have kept their proclivities from their family, friends and neighbors. Think BTK or Ted Bundy. Remember the phrase we hear so often—“but he was such a nice guy,” who, of course, always kept to himself.

Many husbands or wives keep their affairs secret or drain the family bank accounts to cover their undetected gambling habit.

For the record, I know exactly what my husband does since he also is a journalist. And he knows what I do, too.

My husband is now a theater critic. Although theaters are on hiatus, he is finding many things to write about theater, like a true journalist.

Either that, or he is a CIA operative.

You Do What at Work?!
Oline H. Cogdill
Tuesday, 26 May 2020 18:50

The #SaveIndieBookstores campaign isn’t quite over.

New York Times bestselling authors and journalists Michael Connelly, left, and CNN’s Jake Tapper, below left, will be in conversation beginning at 7 pm ET/ 4 pm PT on Thursday, May 28, via Crowdcast at https://www.crowdcast.io/e/MichaelConnellyandJakeTapper/register.

The conversation will cover both authors’ new books, the craft of writing, how journalism informs fiction, their move from journalism to fiction writing, and the importance of supporting independent bookstores now and always.

Should be an exciting conversation.

Connelly's newest novel is Fair Warning; Tapper's novel is The Hellfire Club.

The special, one-time event will benefit Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) and #SaveIndieBookstores.

The event is free and open to the public via Crowdcast.

During the event, viewers will be encouraged to donate to Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc.) to a general fund that will go toward helping booksellers, their businesses and their families as they navigate this difficult time.

#SaveIndieBookstores campaign was a partnership of James Patterson, who donated $500,000, the American Booksellers Association and the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc).

To date, the campaign, which began April 2, 2020, and was to end April 30 but was extended to May 5, raised $1,239,595 to support independent bookstores, Bookselling This Week reported.

For previous essays on this campaign, visit the Mystery Scene blog and on Connelly’s T-shirt fundraiser.

Photos: Michael Connelly photo by Mark DeLong; Jake Tapper photo courtesy CNN.

Michael Connelly and Jake Tapper in Conversation
Oline H Cogdill