Crime Writers of Canada’s (CWC) rather long – shortlist – of nominees for the 2015 Arthur Ellis Awards announced last night in Toronto includes Margaret Atwood.
Atwood’s Stone Mattress, published by McClelland & Stewart, is among a list of four other works by individual writers – Melodie Campbell, Peter Clement, Madona Skaff, and Kevin P. Thornton – in the Best Short Story category. This is just one of eight categories that consists of about five nominees each.
CWC added the first ever Lou Allin Memorial Award for the Arthur Ellis Novella Category with a prize of $250 . The award honours Allin, a former CWC board member, and co-chair of the 2011 Bloody Words Conference, who recently died of cancer. She was the recipient of the first award in the novella category.
A dozen or so writers stepped from the audience of about 70 people onto the podium to read short sections from their work – about a high school dropout who was put in charge of a gang’s grow op, hairy balls, geezer dating, recognizable places like the Don River, the old age home by the former Riverdale Hospital, Queen Street West, Canadian wildlife, gambling and the northern countryside.
An audience favourite was Julie Downie’s novel that involves island witches and imaginary vampires. It’s an adventure set on the Channel Island of Geurnsey based on the lead characters Detective Inspector Ed Moretti and his partner Liz Falla. This time, they look into the supposed suicide of a billionaire hermit on the island. Blood Will Out, her third novel in the series, follows A Grave Waiting, where they investigate the murder of an international arms dealer on his yacht and involves an “ex-Folies Bergere dancer, a former espionage agent and a wealthy sax-playing financier”. Daggers and Men’s Smiles is about attacks on a film company.
SiriusXM Radio host Allison Dore read the Best Novel category of names and announced that she will host the gala awards event on May 28 at the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto.
Some of the finalists are listed below. To see the full list, visit the Crime Writers Canada website.
Brenda Chapman, Cold Mourning, Dundurn Press
Barbara Fradkin, None so Blind, Dundurn Press
C.C. Humphreys, Plague, Doubleday Canada
Maureen Jennings, No Known Grave, McClelland & Stewart
Alen Mattich, Killing Pilgrim, House of Anansi
Best First Novel
Janet Brons, A Quiet Kill, Touchwood Editions
Steve Burrows, Siege of Bitterns, Dundurn Press
M.H. Callway, Windigo Fire, Seraphim Editions
Eve McBride, No Worst, There Is None, Dundurn Press
Sam Wiebe, Last of the Independents, Dundurn Press
Best Nonfiction Book
Bob Deasy (with Mark Ebner), Being Uncle Charlie, Penguin Random House
Charlotte Gray, The Massey Murder, HarperCollins
Joan McEwen, Innocence on Trial: The Framing of Ivan Henry, Heritage House
Bill Reynolds, Life Real Loud: John Lefebvre, Neteller and the Revolution in Online Gambling, ECW Press
Paula Todd, Extreme Mean, McClelland & Stewart
Unhanged Arthur for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel
Rum Luck by Ryan Aldred
Full Curl by Dave Butler
Crisis Point by Dwayne Clayden
Afghan Redemption by Bill Prentice
Strange Things Done by Elle Wild
by Cherryl Bird
Toronto, Ontario, Canada