Cool Canadian Crime thanks the Department of Canadian Heritage for its support.


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 for published books and stories:

· 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


This year saw the creation of a new category -- Best unpublished first crime novel (aka the Unhanged Arthur). Part of the CWC's mandate is to encourage developing new crime writing in Canada, and what better way to do it than to have an award for the best unpublished manuscript.


For a list of past winners, go to


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, to Book City in Toronto for donating the cash prize for best first novel, and to McArthur & Company for donating the cash prize for the Unhanged Arthur and for reading the winning manuscript with an eye to possibly publishing it.

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


Best Novel

Barbara Fradkin, Honour Among Men: An Inspector Green Mystery

A dead woman, a Halifax train ticket, and a Medal for Bravery from a 1993 peacekeeping mission in Yugoslavia draw Inspector Green into the murky past of a peacekeeping unit as well as the high-stakes present of a federal election race. Fifth Son, the previous book in this series, won the 2005 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel.


Trade paperback
Rendezvous Press
ISBN: 978-1-894917-36-

September 2006



Best First Novel

Anne Emery, Sign of the Cross
In his twenty years defending the underclass, Monty Collins has often wished for an intelligent, articulate client and now he has one. Father Brennan Burke, an acerbic Catholic priest, is the prime suspect in the mutilation and killing of a young woman and Collins must defend him.


ECW Press
May 2005
$28.95 (US$24.95)

Best Non-Fiction
Brian O'Dea,
High: Confessions of a Pot Smuggler

This funny, perceptive, and alarming book traces how a favoured son of Newfoundland became one of the world's most efficient marijuana traffickers -- and survived to know a better life.

Random House Canada

April 2006

Trade paperback
April 2007

Best Juvenile
Sean Cullen,
Hamish X and the Cheese Pirates
Hamish X is the scourge of orphanages everywhere -- he's never found one that can hold him. He's busy breaking out when the orphanage is attached by the dreaded pirate Cheeseboard, leading to a fantastic and deadly adventure.

Penguin Canada

March 2006

Trade paperback
March 2007

Best Short Story
Dennis Richard Murphy, "Fuzzy Wuzzy"
in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (August 2006)
"Fuzzy Wuzzy" takes crime off the streets and into the hidden residential ravines of a city in which no one, including the homeless, is who they seem in an unknown underground where jealousies threaten exposure and revelation results in murder.


Best Crime Writing in French

No award this year


Best Unpublished First Crime Novel (the Unhanged Arthur)
Phyllis Smallman, Margarita Nights


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

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



· 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