The Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence


Best Crime Novel
sponsored by Rakuten Kobo, with a $1000 prize

Marjorie Celona, How a Woman Becomes a Lake, Hamish Hamilton Canada; Penguin Canada

Cecilia Ekbäck, The Historians, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Will Ferguson, The Finder, Simon & Schuster Canada

Thomas King, Obsidian, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Roz Nay, Hurry Home, Simon & Schuster Canada


Best Crime First Novel
sponsored by Writers First, with a $500 prize

Raye Anderson, And We Shall Have Snow, Signature Editions

Chris Patrick Carolan, The Nightshade Cabal, Parliament House Press

Guglielmo D’Izza, The Transaction, Guernica Editions

Russell Fralich, True Patriots, Dundurn Press

Emily Hepditch, The Woman in the Attic, Flanker Press


The Howard Engel Award for Best Crime Novel Set in Canada
sponsored by The Engel Family with a $500 prize

Randall Denley, Payback, Ottawa Press and Publishing

Helen Humphreys, Rabbit Foot Bill, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Ann Lambert, The Dogs of Winter, Second Story Press

Kevin Major, Two for The Tablelands, Breakwater Books

Katrina Onstad, Stay Where I Can See You, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.


Best Crime Novella
sponsored by Mystery Weekly with a $200 prize

C.C. Benison, The Unpleasantness at the Battle of Thornford, At Bay Press

Vicki Delany, Coral Reef Views, Orca Book Publishers

Winona Kent, Salty Dog Blues, Sisters in Crime - Canada West

Sam Wiebe, Never Going Back, Orca Book Publishers


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

Marcelle Dubé, Cold Wave, Sisters in Crime - Canada West

Twist Phelan, Used to Be, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

Zandra Renwick, Killer Biznez, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

Sylvia Maultash Warsh, Days Without Name, Carrick Publishing

Sarah Weinman, Limited Liability, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine


Best French Crime Book (Fiction and Nonfiction)

Roxanne Bouchard, La mariée de corail, Libre Expression

Stéphanie Gauthier, Inacceptable, Éditions Québec Amérique

Christian Giguère, Le printemps des traîtres, Héliotrope NOIR

Guy Lalancette, Les cachettes, VLB éditeur

Jean Lemieux, Les Demoiselles du Havre-Aubert, Éditions Québec Amérique


Best Juvenile or YA Crime Book (Fiction and Nonfiction)
sponsored by Shaftesbury with a $500 prize

Frances Greenslade, Red Fox Road, Puffin Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House

Janet Hill, Lucy Crisp and the Vanishing House, Tundra Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House

Sheena Kamal, Fight Like a Girl, Penguin Teen, an imprint of Penguin Random House

Kelly Powell, Magic Dark and Strange, Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Inc.

Tom Ryan, I Hope You're Listening, Albert Whitman & Co.


The Brass Knuckles Award for Best Nonfiction Crime Book
sponsored by Simpson & Wellenreiter LLP, Hamilton, with a $300 prize

Jeff Blackstock, Murder in the Family: How the Search For My Mother's Killer Led to My Father, Viking Press

Norm Boucher, Horseplay: My Time Undercover on the Granville Strip, NeWest Press

Silver Donald Cameron, Blood in the Water: A True Story of Revenge in the Maritimes, Viking Press

Justin Ling, Missing From the Village: The Story of Serial Killer Bruce McArthur, the Search for Justice, and the System That FailedToronto's Queer Community, McClelland & Stewart

Michael Nest with Deanna Reder and Eric Bell, Cold Case North: The Search for James Brady and Absolom Halkett, University of Regina Press


The Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript
sponsored by ECW Press with a $500 prize

The Future by Raymond Bazowski

Predator and Prey by Dianne Scott

Notes on Killing your Wife by Mark Thomas

A Nice Place to Die by Joyce Woollcott

Cat with a Bone by Susan Jane Wright

The winners will be announced across Canada on Thursday, 27 May 2021.  


EN Finalist GenBadge



Sincere thanks to our sponsors.

2021 Award Sponsors

 And thank you to the publishers and authors that support the CWC Awards of Excellence.

  Click here for past finalists and winners

View the Shortlist Presentation on YouTube.