April Showers Crime Fiction Awards Roundup


The Crime Writers of Canada have announced the 2024 shortlist for their annual Awards of Excellence.

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

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 FootnoteCrooked Lane Books
  • Nita Prose, The Mystery Guest, Viking
  • Iona Whishaw, To Track a TraitorTouchWood 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

2024 Grand Master Award

  • Maureen Jennings

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, 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.


Friends of Mystery logo

The winner of the 2024 Spotted Owl Award was announced on March 28 by the Friends of Mystery. The award is for a mystery published during the previous calendar year by an author whose primary residence is Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho or the Province of British Columbia. The winner is:

  • Breakneck by Marc Cameron

The runners-up were:

2. Dana Stabenow for Not the Ones Dead
3. Dana Haynes for The Saint of Thieves
4. Sam Wiebe for Sunset and Jericho
5. Jon Talton for The Nurse Murders
6. James Bryne for Deadlock
7. Haris Orkin for License to Die
8. Frank Zafiro for Hope Dies Last
9 (tie). Orlando Davidson for Baseline Road and J.A. Jance for Collateral Damage


The winners of the 2022 and 2023 Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction, awarded by the Women’s National Book Association of New Orleans, honor three women writers. The winners receive a financial award of $2,500. This year the prize winners Douaihy and Rothchild participated at the 2024 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival.

2022 Pinckley Prize for Debut Fiction

  • Sascha Rothchild for Blood Sugar

2023 Pinckley Prize for Debut Fiction

  •   Margot Douaihy for Scorched Grace

2023 Pinckley Prize for Distinguished Body of Work

  •   Alafair Burke

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