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Crime Writers of Canada announce ‘whodunit’ best this year

John McKinney, Kaitlin Kiss, J.D. Carpenter, Janet Kellough and Melodie Campbell with the 'Arthur' Canada's premier mystery writing award named for Arthur Ellis, the pseudonym of Canada's official hangman. This year's nominees were announced in five major cities - and Picton - at Crime Writers of Canada Short List even

Nominations for the nation’s best crime writing were unveiled simultaneously in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal – and Picton – as the Crime Writers of Canada released this year’s Arthur Ellis Short List.
Canada’s premier mystery writing awards are named for Arthur Ellis, the pseudonym of Canada’s official hangman.
Crime Writers of Canada teamed with the Prince Edward County Authors’ Festival to celebrate the mysterious and mellifluous use of words in an array of contexts, Thursday night at Books & Company.

J.D Carpenter

County author and poet J.D. Carpenter launched his new CD “Jazz Suite”, a recording of his well-known jazz poetry in a fusion with musician John McKinney’s jazzy bass backbeat. The duo became a trio as singer Kaitlin Kiss thrilled the audience joining in for an innovative
round of singing, playing and reading of selections from “Jazz Suite.”
“It was like travelling back into the 50s and becoming part of the beat generation,” says County author and storyteller Janet Kellough, “but with a new millennium flare and attention to the interplay of words and music. It was one of the most innovative things I’ve ever seen/heard.”

Janet Kellough

Kellough, one of the event’s organizers, read from her next novel, “Sowing Poison” to be published by Dundurn Press this fall and also delighted the audience with her hilarious bird imagery story of  Will and Myrtle.
Mystery writer and humourist Melodie Campbell read from her soon-to-be-released “Rowena Through the Wall” and delighted her new County fans with a story about a woman who was so bored that she welcomed a burler and made him stay.

Melodie Campbell

Campbell has won three awards for fiction and has served as a judge for Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Awards and the City of Mississauga Literary Awards. Not content with impressive credentials as a mystery writer, she also has a parallel career as a humorist and teaches writing courses at Sheridan College.
The Arthur Ellis Short List Event in Picton was preceded by an afternoon writing workshop led by Campbell.
“It was an incredible opportunity for both beginning and seasoned writers to examine some of the technical aspects of writing dialogue”, said Kellough, author of On the Head of a Pin. “In some cases, I discovered that I had been doing things right, but I’d never been sure why. In other areas I was aware of a need to go back through some of the things I’ve written and see what traps I’d fallen into. I wish I had been able to attend a workshop like this when I first started writing – it  would have saved me a lot  of grief.”

The Arthur Ellis Awards nominees are:

Best Crime Novel

A Criminal to Remember, Michael Van Rooy, Turnstone Press
Bury Your Dead, Louise Penny, Little, Brown UK
In Plain Sight, Mike Knowles, ECW Press
Slow Recoil, C.B. Forrest, RendezVous Crime
The Extinction Club, Jeffrey Moore, Penguin Group

Best First Crime Novel

The Damage Done, Hilary Davidson, Tom Doherty Associates
The Debba, Avner Mandelman, Random House of Canada
The Penalty Killing, Michael McKinley, McClelland & Stewart
The Parabolist, Nicholas Ruddock, Doubleday Canada
Still Missing, Chevy Stevens, St. Martin’s Press

Best French Crime Book
Cinq secondes, Jacques Savoie, Libre Expression
Dans le quartier des agités, Jacques Côté, Éditions Alire
La société des pères meurtriers, Michel Châteauneuf, Vent d’Ouest
Quand la mort s’invite à la première, Bernard Gilbert, Québec Amerique
Vanités, Johanne Seymour, Libre Expression

Best Crime Nonfiction
Northern Light, Roy MacGregor, Random House
On the Farm, Stevie Cameron, Alfred A. Knopf Canada
Our Man in Tehran, Robert Wright, HarperCollins Canada

Best Juvenile/YA Crime Book
Borderline, Allan Stratton, HarperCollins
Pluto’s Ghost, Sheree Fitch, Doubleday Canada
The Vinyl Princess, Yvonne Prinz, HarperCollins
The Worst Thing She Ever Did, Alice Kuipers, HarperCollins
Victim Rights, Norah McClintock, Red Deer Press

Best Crime Short Story

In It Up To My Neck, Jas R. Petrin, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine
So Much in Common, Mary Jane Maffini, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
The Big Touch, Jordan McPeek,
The Piper’s Door, James Powell, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
The Bust, William Deverell, Whodunnit: Sun Media’s Canadian Crime Fiction Showcase
Best First Unpublished Novel
(Unhanged Arthur)
Better Off Dead, John Jeneroux
Uncoiled, Kevin Thornton
When the Bow Breaks, Jayne Barnard

The awards banquet  is set for June 2 in Victoria, BC.

Prince Edward County Author’s Fest begins May 11

Meet well-known authors and emerging Canadian writers during the County’s four-day literary celebration.
The festival begins at 6:30p.m. on Wednesday, May 11 with the popular Fundraising Author Festival Dinner at Portabella Restaurant in Picton, with Charles Foran and Noah Richler.
Charlie Foran     Charles Foran is the winner of the 2011 Charles Taylor Prize for non-fiction and will be reading from his biography of Mordecai Richler,
Mordecai: A Life Following the reading, Mordecai’s son, Noah Richler, will join in conversation with his father’s biographer.

Visit for all the details.

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  1. Thank you so much for a great article! This is winging its way across the country as it’s being passed on by other members of Crime Writers of Canada. Countylive rocks!

  2. Alison Bruce says:

    This is great coverage for the event. Love the photos. Congratulations everyone!

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