Cool Canadian Crime is financially supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage.



Once a year in the spring, Crime Writers of Canada presents the Arthur Ellis Awards for the best in Canadian crime writing of the previous year. The awards competition is open to any writer living in Canada, regardless of nationality, and to Canadian writers living outside Canada.

There are six categories:

· Best crime novel

· Best first crime novel

· Best non-fiction crime writing

· Best juvenile crime book

· Best crime short story

· Best crime book in the French language


The CWC would like to express our gratitude to Sleuth of Baker Street mystery book store in Toronto for donating the cash prize for Best Novel and to Book City in Toronto for donating the cash prize for Best First Novel.

And now the envelopes have been opened and we have our winners...


Best Novel

William Deverell, April Fool

As this sequel to Trial of Passion opens, Arthur is married to Margaret, happily – except she is 50 feet up on a platform on an old-growth Douglas fir, saving the rain forest. Meantime, Arthur must journey to Vancouver to defend his long-time and quirkily engaging client, Nick (the Owl) Faloon, ex-jewel thief (once ranked number seven in the world), accused of murdering an attractive Ann Landerish pop-therapist.


McClelland & Stewart
ISBN: 0-7710-2711-7

October 2005
$39.00 (US$27.00)



Best First Novel

Louise Penny, Still Life
“Three Pines is made up of good people, but one is us is festering.” The discovery of a dead body in the woods on Thanksgiving weekend brings Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his colleagues from the Sûreté du Quebec to a small village in the Eastern Townships. Gamache cannot understand why anyone would want to deliberately kill well-loved artist Jane Neal, especially any of the residents of Three Pines a place so free from crime it doesn't even have its own police force. But Gamache knows that evil is lurking somewhere behind the white picket fences and that, if he watches closely enough, Three Pines will start to give up its dark secrets...


Trade paperback
McArthur & Company (Headline)
ISBN: 0-7553-2889-2
October 2005

Best Non-Fiction

Rebecca Godfrey, Under the Bridge:
The True Story of the Murder of Reena Virk

It has been a long road to justice for Reena Virk, beaten and murdered at the hands of her teenage peers. The murder of this girl is one of the most notorious and heartbreaking cases in Canadian history. Here, for the first time, acclaimed author Rebecca Godfrey reveals the stunning truth about a Canadian tragedy that captured international headlines.


HarperCollins Canada
August 2005

Best Juvenile

Vicki Grant, Quid Pro Quo

Quid Pro Quo is a high-stakes, fast-moving legal thriller about real people, and funny people at that. Cyril MacIntyre’s mother is a twenty-eight-year-old ex-street kid who drags her son to all her law school classes, then proceeds to get herself kidnapped. Cyril’s life isn’t too different from that of other thirteen-year-olds. He has all the usual adolescent issues to deal with. He just has legal problems too. And he’s got to solve them if he wants to save his mother’s life.


Orca Book Publishers
May 2005
$19.95 (US$16.95)

Trade paperback
ISBN: 1-55143-370-2
May 2005
$8.95 (US$7.95)

Best Short Story

Rick Mofina, “Lightning Rider” in Murder in Vegas
Las Vegas. Lost Wages. Sin City. An artificial oasis of pleasure, spectacle, and entertainment, the gambling capital of America has reinvented itself so many times that it's doubtful that anyone knows for sure what's real and what isn't in the miles of neon and scorching heat. Now the International Association of Crime Writers and New York Times-bestselling author Michael Connelly have gathered twenty-two crime and mystery stories about the ultimate playground, Las Vegas, and what can happen behind the glitz and glamour.


Forge Books

ISBN: 0765307391

February 2005


Best Crime Writing in French

Gérald Galarneau, Motel Riviera

Un soir de pluie torrentielle et de grand brouillard, Pierre Vaugeois rentre d’un séjour à Québec pour affaires. Seul au volant, il aperçoit soudain la Ford Tempo de sa femme qui passe devant lui sur la route 116. Par curiosité malsaine, il décide de la suivre, mais il n’arrive pas à bien identifier la conductrice.

La Ford Tempo ne roule pas longtemps. Elle tourne dans le parking du motel Riviera. Un homme en descend et court jusqu’à la réception. Il ouvre la porte et fait des signes pour qu’on le rejoigne. La femme descend de la Ford Tempo, attrape un parapluie. Il n’y a plus aucun doute: Ce parapluie est celui que Vaugeois a lui-même offert à sa femme pour son anniversaire de naissance. Il est cocu. Lui, Pierre Vaugeois, est trompé.

Brouillard, pluie, rage démente: cocktail puissant pour une nuit fatale…

Livre broche
Les Editions JCL
Le mai 2005

The award, the Arthur, is an articulated wooden jumping-jack figure on a scaffold with a noose around his neck. Arthur "dances" when the string is pulled a fitting tribute to Canada's former official hangman, Arthur Ellis, after whom the award was named.

Every Arthur is hand-carved from hard maple by artisan Barry Lambeck. The award is based on a design and prototype by artist Peter Blais.

These Arthur Ellis winners can usually be found at or ordered online from our Crime Writers of Canada member bookstores:

· Almark & Co. Booksellers (Toronto, ON)
Phone: (905) 764-2665

· As the Plot Thickens (Kingston, ON)
Phone: (613) 548-4664

· Chronicles of Crime (Victoria, BC) Phone: (250) 721-2665

· The Mysterious Affair at Waterloo (Waterloo, ON)
Phone: (519) 747-8050

· The Poisoned Pen (Scottsdale, AZ)
(480) 947-2974
Toll-free: 1 888 560-9919

· Prime Crime Books (Ottawa, ON)
Phone: (613) 238-CLUE



· Scene of the Crime (Oakville, ON)
Phone: (
905) 469-6731

· Sleuth of Baker Street (Toronto, ON)
Phone: (
416) 483-3111

· Well Read Books (Calgary, AB)
Phone: (
403) 541-0050

· Whodunit? Mystery Bookstore (Winnipeg, MB)
Phone: (204) 284-9100
Toll-free: 1 800 468-4216