2019 Arthur Ellis Awards Shortlists

The 2019 Arthur Ellis Awards Shortlists for Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing were released on April 18. Presented by Crime Writers of Canada, the awards recognize the best in mystery, crime, and suspense fiction and crime nonfiction by Canadian authors. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in Toronto on May 23.  

The Arthur Ellis Awards are not named after a writer, but after the official pseudonym of Canada’s hangman and the trophy is a jumping jack type wood figure on a gallows, which must certainly be one of the more disturbing award trophies out there.


  • Cape Diamond by Ron Corbett, ECW Press, 
  • Though the Heavens Fall by Anne Emery ECW Press
  • The Winters by Lisa Gabriele, Doubleday Canada
  • Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny, Minotaur Books
  • The Girl in the Moss by Loreth Anne White, Montlake Romance 

BEST FIRST CRIME NOVEL (Sponsored by Rakuten Kobo)

  • Cobra Clutch by A.J. Devlin NeWest Press
  • Operation Wormwood by Helen C. Escott, Flanker Press, 
  • Full Disclosure by Beverley McLachlin, Simon & Schuster Canada  
  • Why Was Rachel Murdered? By Bill Prentice, Echo Road, 
  • Find You in the Dark by Nathan Ripley, Simon & Schuster Canada 

BEST CRIME NOVELLA – The Lou Allin Memorial Award, 

  • The B-Team: The Case of the Angry First Wife, by Melodie Campbell Orca Book Publishers
  • Blue Water Hues by Vicki Delany Orca Book Publishers
  • Murder Among the Pines by John Lawrence Reynolds Orca Book Publishers

BEST CRIME SHORT STORY (Sponsored by Mystery Weekly Magazine) 

  • A Ship Called Pandora by Melodie Campbell, Mystery Weekly Magazine
  • The Power Man, Baby It’s Cold Outside by Therese Greenwood Coffin Hop Press 
  • Game by Twist Phelan Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
  • Terminal City by Linda L. Richards, Vancouver Noir, Akashic Books, 
  • Wonderful Life by Sam Wiebe, Vancouver Noir, Akashic Books 


  • Un dernier baiser avant de te tuer, by Jean-Philippe Bernié, Libre Expression 
  • Adolphus – Une enquête de Joseph Laflamme, by Hervé Gagnon Libre Expression 
  • Ces femmes aux yeux cernés by André Jacques, Éditions Druide
  • Deux coups de pied de trop, by Guillaume Morissette , Guy Saint-Jean Éditeur  
  • Rinzen la beauté intérieure, by Johanne Seymour, Expression noir 


  • Escape by Linwood Barclay, Puffin Canada
  • The House of One Thousand Eyes by Michelle Barker, Annick Press 
  • Call of the Wraith by Kevin Sands, Aladdin 
  • The Ruinous Sweep by Tim Wynne-Jones, Candlewick Press
  • The Rumrunner’s Boy by E.R. Yatscoff, TG & R Books 


  • Dying for a Drink: How a Prohibition Preacher Got Away With Murder by Patrick Brode, Biblioasis 
  • The King of Con: How a Smooth-Talking Jersey Boy Made and Lost Billions, Baffled the FBI, Eluded the Mob, and Lived to Tell the Crooked Tale by Thomas Giacomaro and Natasha Stoynoff, BenBella Books, Inc, 
  • The Boy on the Bicycle: A Forgotten Case of Wrongful Conviction in Toronto by Nate Hendley, Five Rivers Publishing
  • Murder by Milkshake: An Astonishing True Story of Adultery, Arsenic, and a Charismatic Killer by Eve Lazarus, Arsenal Pulp Press, 
  • The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman, Alfred A. Knopf Canada 

BEST UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT – aka The Unhanged Arthur (Sponsored by Dundurn Press) 

  • Hypnotizing Lions by Jim Bottomley, 
  • Omand’s Creek by Don Macdonald
  • The Scarlet Cross by Liv McFarlane 
  • One for the Raven Darrow Woods, The Book of Answers by Heather McLeod,

Derrick Murdoch Award

The 2019 Derrick Murdoch Award recipient is Vicki Delany. The Derrick Murdoch Award is a special achievement award for contributions to the crime genre. 

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

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