26 April 2024 – For immediate release

April 26, 2024

Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) is pleased to announce the Shortlists for the 2024 Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing. Since 1984, Crime Writers of Canada has recognized the best in mystery, crime, suspense fiction, and crime nonfiction by Canadian authors, including citizens abroad and new residents.

On behalf of CWC, Hyacinthe Miller, Board Chair, wishes to congratulate all the finalists.

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, May 29th, 2024.

Maureen Jennings is this year’s recipient of the 2024 Grand Master Award.

Established in 2014, the Grand Master (GM) Award recognizes a Canadian crime writer with a substantial body of work that has garnered national and international recognition.

Maureen Jennings is not only just about the best crime novelist in Canada, she’s among the best writers anywhere - a national and international treasure. —LONDON FREE PRESS

Maureen Jennings, a long-time Crime Writers of Canada member, is a prolific author of non-fiction, short stories and book series featuring Christine Morris, Detective Murdoch, and D.I. Tom Tyler. The Detective William Murdoch television series, set in Victorian era Toronto, was optioned in 2003 by Shaftesbury Films. Murdoch Mysteries are shown in over 120 countries and feature innovative crime-solving techniques, social justice subplots and surprise guest appearances.

In 2011, she was awarded the Grant Allen award for her on-going contribution to Canadian crime writing. Maureen has received eight Award of Excellence nominations from CWC for best novel and short story. In 2014, the 180th anniversary of the city of Toronto, the Toronto Star named her one of 180 people whose influence has raised the city’s profile.

Published by Cormorant Books, her latest project The Paradise Café series is set in Depression-era Toronto and features Private Investigator Charlotte Frayne.

She is an exceptional talent, a generous mentor and strong supporter of Canadian crime and mystery writers. CWC is proud to honour Maureen Jennings with the 2024 Grand Master Award.


The Peter Robinson Award for Best Crime Novel sponsored by Rakuten Kobo, with a $1000 prize
Robyn Harding, The Drowning Woman, Grand Central Publishing
Shari Lapena, Everyone Here is Lying, Doubleday Canada
Scott Thornley, Middlemen, House of Anansi Press
Sam Wiebe, Sunset and Jericho, Harbour Publishing
Loreth Anne White, The Maid's Diary, Montlake

Best Crime First Novel, sponsored by Melodie Campbell, with a $1000 prize

Jann Arden, The Bittlemores, Random House Canada
Lisa Brideau, Adrift, Sourcebooks
Charlotte Morganti, The End Game, Halfdan Press
Amanda Peters, The Berry Pickers, Harper Perennial
Steve Urszenyi, Perfect Shot, Minotaur

The Howard Engel Award for Best Crime Novel Set in Canada, sponsored by Charlotte Engel and Crime Writers of Canada, with a $500 prize

Gail Anderson-Dargatz, The Almost Widow, Harper Avenue/HarperCollins
Renee Lehnen, Elmington, Storeyline Press
Cyndi MacMillan, Cruel Light, Crooked Lane
Joan Thomas, Wild Hope, Harper Perennial/HarperCollins
Melissa Yi, Shapes of Wrath, Windtree Press

The Whodunit Award for Best Traditional Mystery sponsored by Jane Doe, with a $500 prize

Gail Bowen, The Legacy, ECW Press
Vicki Delany, Steeped in Malice, Kensington Books
Vicki Delany, The Game is a Footnote, Crooked Lane Books
Nita Prose, The Mystery Guest, Viking
Iona Whishaw, To Track a Traitor, TouchWood Editions

Best Crime Short Story

M.H. Callway, Wisteria Cottage, Wildside Press (for Malice Domestic)
Marcelle Dubé, Reversion, Mystery Magazine
Mary Keenan The Canadians (Killin' Time in San Diego), Down & Out Books
donalee Moulton, Troubled Water, Black Cat Weekly (Wildside Press)
Zandra Renwick, American Night, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

The Best French Language Crime Book (Fiction and Nonfiction)

Jean-Philippe Bernié, La punition, Glénat Québec
Chrystine Brouillet, Le mois des morts, Éditions Druide
Catherine Lafrance, Le dernier souffle est le plus lourd, Éditions Druide
André Marois, La sainte paix, Héliotrope
Jean-Jacques Pelletier, Rien, Alire

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

Kelley Armstrong, Someone is Always Watching, Tundra Books
Cherie Dimaline, Funeral Songs for Dying Girls, Tundra Books
Rachelle Delaney, The Big Sting, Tundra Books
Clara Kumagai, Catfish Rolling, Penguin Teen Canada
Kevin Sands, Champions of the Fox, Puffin Canada

The Brass Knuckles Award for Best Nonfiction Crime Book sponsored by David Reid Simpson Law Firm (Hamilton), with a $300 prize

Josef Lewkowicz and Michael Calvin, The Survivor: How I Survived Six Concentration Camps and Became a Nazi Hunter, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.
Michael Lista, The Human Scale, Véhicule Press
David Rabinovitch, Jukebox Empire, Rowman & Littlefield
Bill Waiser and Jennie Hansen, Cheated, ECW Press
Carolyn Whitzman, Clara at the Door with a Revolver, UBC Press, On Point Press

Best Unpublished Crime Novel manuscript written by an unpublished author

Tom Blackwell, The Patient
Craig H. Bowlsby, Requiem for a Lotus
Sheilla Jones and James Burns, Murder on Richmond Road: An Enquiry Bureau Mystery
Nora Sellers, The Forest Beyond
William Wodhams, Thirty Feet Under

Winners will be announced on the Crime Writers of Canada website on May 29th, 2024.

CWC is grateful for the support of Our Award Sponsors

  • Toronto-based Rakuten Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s fastest-growing e-Reading services, offering more than 5 million eBooks and magazines to millions of users around the world. It also offers a variety of e-Readers and top-ranking apps, enabling people to read more—on any device they choose.
  • Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television, film, and digital. Building on a library of award-winning children’s programs, Shaftesbury has an extensive slate of new child and family programming.
  • David Simpson, a lawyer in Hamilton and the Districts of Brant, Halton, Haldimand and Niagara, has a tradition of over fifty years of legal services. He sponsors “The Brass Knuckle” Award for Best Nonfiction Crime Book in memory of true-crime author Robert Gordon Knuckle (1935-2019).
  • Melodie Campbell is the author of 17 books, 60 short stories, and is the recipient of ten awards, including the Crime Writers of Canada Award of Excellence. She has taught fiction writing since 1992 and maintains a special interest in encouraging new writers.
  • Jane Doe chooses to remain anonymous.

About Crime Writers of Canada

Crime Writers of Canada was founded in 1982 as a professional organization designed to raise the profile of Canadian crime writers. Our members include authors, publishers, editors, booksellers, librarians, reviewers, and literary agents as well as many developing writers. Past winners of the Awards have included well-recognized names in Canadian crime writing such as Mario Bolduc, Gail Bowen, Stevie Cameron, Howard Engel, Barbara Fradkin, Louise Penny, Peter Robinson and Eric Wright. We would like to thank our sponsors and volunteers, and the many participating publishers, authors and contest judges for their continued support.


Full details about the competition can be found on the Crime Writers of Canada’s website: www.crimewriterscanada.com

For more information about the Awards of Excellence, contact Ludvica Boota at awards@crimewriterscanada.com

To enquire about becoming an Award sponsor, contact the CWC Chair, Hyacinthe Miller, at board-chair@crimewriterscanada.com