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County author Janet Kellough’s Wishful Seeing on Arthur Ellis Award shortlist

Janet Kellough’s book ‘Wishful Seeing’ has been short-listed for a Crime Writers of Canada’s 2017 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel.

The award honours excellence in Canadian crime writing. Finalists are announced late April and winners are honoured at the annual awards banquet in late May or early June.

“Well, that was an interesting day. I was treated to lunch, booked two gigs, got new rubber boots and was nominated for a major book award,” said Kellough. “I’m quite honestly, flabbergasted. It’s just such a wonderful validation of what is, essentially, slow and lonely work.”

‘Wishful Seeing’ is the fifth book in the Prince Edward County author’s Thaddeus Lewis mystery series published by Dundurn Press. In it, itinerant saddlebag preacher Thaddeus Lewis uncovers murder and conspiracy in Northumberland County.

After a body is discovered on an isolated island in Rice Lake, Lewis embarks on a desperate hunt for the truth when a woman for whom he feels a guilty attraction stands accused of the murder. Meanwhile, railway mania grips the county: everyone expects to get rich off the Cobourg–Peterborough rail line — some at the expense of others.

Wishing Seeing follows The Burying Ground, 47 Sorrows, Sowing Poison and On the Head of a Pin. Visit Janet Kellough’s website for details on each one.

Janet Kellough

“It’s wonderful to get this kind of support from my peers,” said Kellough. “Crime Writers of Canada carefully selects a judging panel of experienced writers and reviewers who make the selections based on a number of criteria, so I’m incredibly honoured that they felt that Wishful Seeing belonged on the short-list.”

Maureen Jennings, creator of the Murdoch Mysteries, was also nominated for her new book “Dead Ground in Between” and as it happens, she will be in Picton Sept. 1-2.

Kellough, with partner in crime Vicki Delany, are hosting “Women Killing It”, a new Crime Writers’ Festival that will spotlight some of Canada’s best women writers who work in the crime/mystery genre.

Kellough and Delany, with David Sweet, of Books & Co., and community activist Christine Renaud decided to do something to address the issue of women crime and mystery writers who often get reviewed less often and are taken less seriously than their male counterparts.

“There’s going to be lots of fun, lots of food, and we are honoured that the festival is being presented in cooperation with Macaulay Heritage Park and Picton Library. It’s lovely that the inaugural festival is happening in a year when so many female authors are on the Arthur Ellis short-list.”

A showcase of events – with food and wine and fun – will unfold through unique formats that let readers meet and talk with the authors.

Attendees can meet all nine of the celebrated crime writing authors Friday night in a “table-hopping” format were each author will take five minutes to tell one table about her book.

Saturday events include “The Body in the Library” writers’ workshop at the Picton Branch Library; “Murder at the Vicarage” light mystery and romantic supsense at Macaulay House and “Appointment with Death (and Dessert), on the topics of murder, motives and MOs, at Books & Co.

Full schedule and details here:

Nominated for Best Novel are:
Kelley Armstrong, City of the Lost, Penguin Random House of Canada
Michael Helm, After James, McClelland & Stewart
Maureen Jennings, Dead Ground in Between, McClelland & Stewart
Janet Kellough, Wishful Seeing, Dundurn Press
Donna Morrissey, The Fortunate Brother, Viking Canada

Short-lists have also been made for Best First Novel, Best Novella, Best Short Story, Best Book in French, Best Juvenile/YA Book and Best Nonfiction Book.

Crime Writers of Canada was founded in 1982 as a professional organization designed to raise the profile of Canadian crime writers from coast-to-coast. Members include authors, publishers, editors, booksellers, librarians, reviewers and literary agents, as well as many developing authors.

Past winners of the “Arthurs” have included Canadian crime authors Howard Engel,
Eric Wright, Peter Robinson, Gail Bowen, Louise Penny, Stevie Cameron, Barbara Fradkin and Mario Bolduc.

Ryan Aldred

UPDATE: Ryan Aldred, who lives in Picton, was also thrilled to learn his debut novel ‘Rum Luck’ was chosen as a finalist for an Ellis award for Best First Novel and a Bony Blithe award for Best Light Mystery.

‘Rum Luck’ is a story of three Canadian travellers who find themselves running a Costa Rican beach bar and are tangled up in the murder of the bar’s former owner. It was published by Thorndike Press in the U.S., and was previously a finalist for the 2015 Arthur Ellis award for best unpublished crime novel.

“I’ve been amazed by the way that County and Quinte residents go out of their way to support local artists and authors,” said Aldred, who also recently wrote a one-act play (‘Home’) that was chosen for the first ‘Sharpen the Acts’ performance at the Old Church Theatre in Trenton this July. “This is a great place to be a writer.”

For more info about the Arthur Ellis Awards and the shortlists, or for contact information about the finalists, visit

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  1. Judy Fraser says:

    Wow, Janet! That is such an amazing honour, for a very deserving author. So proud of you. Can’t wait to read this one. Thaddeus seem like an old friend.

  2. Thanks Cheryl! Thaddeus has taken on a life of his own (again)!

  3. Cheryl Anderson says:

    Congratulations Janet. I have enjoyed reading all the Thaddeus Lewis books. I am also learning a lot of history reading them. Had no idea about the Cobourg to Peterborough rail line for instance. I am looking forward to the next installment in the interesting life of Pastor Lewis.

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