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

More 2021 Crime Fiction Awards and Shortlists

Many crime fiction award announcements have been posted in the past few weeks.

Friends of Mystery logo


The winner of the 2021 Spotted Owl Award was announced on March 25. 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 complete list of finalists is here.

  • WINNER: The Last Agent, by Robert Dugoni (Thomas & Mercer)

Dugoni has won the Spotted Owl twice before—in 2020 for The Eighth Sister, and in 2017 for The 7th Canon.


The 2020 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 and a trip to New Orleans to accept their prizes at a ceremony at the 2021 Bouchercon.

Pinckley Prize for Distinguished Body of Work

  • C.S. Harris  

Pinckley Prize for Debut Fiction

  • Miracle Creek by Angie Kim is the winner of the

Pinckley Prize for True Crime Writing

  • Emma Copley Eisenberg  


The shortlist for the 2020 Dashiell Hammett Award for Literary Excellence in Crime Writing, which is handed out by the International Association of Crime Writers (North American Branch), has been announced. The award is given to a book, originally published in the English language in the United States or Canada, “that best represents the conception of literary excellence in crime writing.”

The finalists are:

 Murder in Old Bombay, by Nev March (Minotaur)
 The Mountains Wild, by Sarah Stewart Taylor (Minotaur)
 Three Hours in Paris, by Cara Black (Soho Crime)
 When These Mountains Burn, by David Joy (Putnam)
 Winter Counts, by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Ecco)


CrimeFest, a crime fiction con in Bristol UK, has announced the finalists for their various awards.

Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award

 The Creak on the Stairs, by Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir (Orenda)
 Summer of Reckoning, by Marion Brunet (Bitter Lemon Press)
 The Wreckage, by Robin Morgan-Bentley (Trapeze)
 The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman (Viking)
 City of Spies, by Mara Timon (Zaffre)
 The Man on the Street, by Trevor Wood (Quercus)

Audible Sounds of Crime Award

 The Sentinel, by Lee Child and Andrew Child, read by Jeff
Harding (Transworld)
 The Guest List, by Lucy Foley, read by Olivia Dowd, Aoife McMahon, Chloe Massey, Sarah Ovens, Rich Keeble, and Jot Davies (HarperFiction)
 Troubled Blood, by Robert Galbraith, read by Robert Glenister
(Little, Brown)
 Moonflower Murders, by Anthony Horowitz, read by Lesley Manville and Allan Corduner (Penguin Random House Audio)
 Find Them Dead, by Peter James, read by Daniel Weyman (Pan)
 The Invisible Girl, by Lisa Jewell, read by Rebekah Staton (Penguin Random House Audio)
 Buried, by Lynda La Plante, read by Alex Hassell and Annie
Aldington (Zaffre)
 The Catch, by T.M. Logan, read by Philip Stevens (Zaffre)
 The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman, read by Lesley Manville (Viking)
 A Song for the Dark Times, by Ian Rankin, read by James
Macpherson (Orion)

Courtesy of sponsor Audible UK, the winning author and audiobook reader(s) share the £1,000 prize equally and each receives a Bristol Blue Glass commemorative award.

H.R.F. Keating Award

 Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World, by Mark Aldridge (HarperCollins)
 Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club, edited by Martin Edwards (Collins Crime Club)
 Cover Me: The Vintage Art of Pan Books: 1950-1965,
by Colin Larkin (Telos)
 Conan Doyle’s Wide World, by Andrew Lycett (Tauris Parke)
 The Reacher Guy, by Heather Martin (Little, Brown)
 H.R.F. Keating: A Life of Crime, by Sheila Mitchell (Level Best)
 Southern Cross Crime: The Pocket Essential Guide to the Crime Fiction, Film & TV of Australia and New Zealand,
by Craig Sisterson (Oldcastle)
 The Red Hand: Stories, Reflections and the Last Appearance of Jack Irish, by Peter Temple (Riverrun)

Last Laugh Award

 False Value, by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz)
 Bryant & May: Oranges and Lemons, by Christopher
Fowler (Doubleday)
 The Postscript Murders, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
• Squeeze Me, by Carl Hiaasen (Little, Brown)
 The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman (Viking)
 The Corpse in the Garden of Perfect Brightness, by Malcolm
Pryce (Bloomsbury)
 Ride or Die, by Khurrum Rahman (HQ)
 Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Vampire Menace, by Olga
Wojtas (Contraband)

eDunnit Award

 The Hunted, by Gabriel Bergmoser (Faber)
 The Split, by Sharon Bolton (Trapeze)
 Little Boy Lost, by J.P. Carter (Avon)
 Fifty-Fifty, by Steve Cavanagh (Orion)
 Fair Warning, by Michael Connelly (Orion)
 A Private Cathedral, by James Lee Burke (Orion)
 A Song for the Dark Times, by Ian Rankin (Orion)
 The Dead Line, by Holly Watt (Raven)

Best Crime Novel for Children (Ages 8-12)

 Mission Shark Bytes, by Sophie Deen (Walker)
 A Girl Called Justice: The Smugglers’ Secret, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus Children’s Books)
 Nightshade, by Anthony Horowitz (Walker)
 My Headteacher Is an Evil Genius, by Jack Noel (Walker)
 Anisha, Accidental Detective, by Serena Patel (Usborne)
 School’s Cancelled, by Serena Patel (Usborne)
 The Night Bus Hero, by Onjali Q. Rauf for (Orion Children’s Books)
 The Pencil Case, by Dave Shelton (David Fickling)

Best Crime Novel for Young Adults (Ages 12-16)

 Hideous Beauty, by William Hussey (Usborne)
 The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker, by Lauren James (Walker)
 Devil Darling Spy, by Matt Killeen (Usborne)
 Eight Pieces of Silva, by Patrice Lawrence (Hodder Children’s Books)
 Deadfall, by Simon Lelic (Hodder Children’s Books)
 Hacking, Heists & Flaming Arrows, by Robert Muchamore (Hot Key)
 Burn, by Patrick Ness (Walker)
 The Case of the Missing Marquess, by Nancy Springer (Hot Key)


The Short Mystery Society unveiled the finalists for its 2021 Derringer Awards on April 3,


  • Blackwell, C.W. “Memories of Fire.” Pulp Modern 
  • Blakey, James. “Outsourcing.” Shotgun Honey 
  • Mangeot, Robert. “Over Before It Started.” Murder Mondays 
  • Mathews, Bobby. “Quitman County Ambush.” Bristol Noir 
  • Richardson, Travis. “War Words.” Punk Noir 


  • Elwood, Elizabeth. “The Homicidal Understudy.” Ellen Hart Presents Malice Domestic: Mystery Most Theatrical 
  • Freimor, Jacqueline. “That Which is True.” EQMM: July/August 2020 
  • Jones, Eleanor Cawood. “The Great Bedbug Incident and the Invitation of Doom.” Chesapeake Crimes: Invitation to Murder.  
  • Keeline, Kim. “The Crossing.” Crossing Borders
  • Woodson, Stacy. “River.” The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell 


  • Chen, Sarah M. “Hotelin’.”Shotgun Honey: Volume #4: Recoil 
  • Mangeot, Robert. “Lord, Spare the Bottom Feeders.” AHMM: March/April: 2020 
  • Walker, Joseph S. “Chasing Diamonds.” EQMM: September/October 2020 
  • Walker, Joseph S. “Etta at the End of the World.” AHMM: May/June 2020 
  • Woodson, Stacy. “Mary Poppins Didn’t Have Tattoos.” EQMM: July/August 2020 


  • Cohen, Jeff.  “The Question of the Befuddled Judge.” AHMM: May/June: 2020 
  • Malliet, G.M. “A Murder at Morehead Mews.” EQMM: July/August 2020 
  • Taylor, Art. “The Boy Detective and the Summer of ’74.” AHMM: January/February 2020 
  • Thornton, Brian.  “Suicide Blonde.” Suicide Blonde:Three Novellas 
  • Wilson, Matthew. “The Wretched Strangers.” EQMM: January/February 2020

A vote of the SMFS membership will determine the winner in each category. 

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

2019 Crime Fiction Awards News

MCILVANNEY PRIZES. Two award winners were announced at the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival  in Stirling, Scotland on September 20.

Scottish noir is celebrated by the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year.  

And the winner of the 2019 McIlvanney Debut Prize is —

NED KELLY AWARDS. The 2019 Ned Kelly Awards, given by the Australian Crime Writing Association, were presented on September 6.

Best True Crime

  • Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee

Best First Fiction

  • The Rúin by Dervla McTiernan

Best Fiction

  • The Lost Man by Jane Harper

DAVITT AWARDS. The winners of the 2019 Davitt Awards, handed out by Sisters in Crime Australia, were named on August 31. (List obtained with an assist from crime fiction news site Shots.)

Best Adult Crime Novel

  • The Rúin by Dervla McTiernan (HarperCollins Australia)

Best Young Adult Crime Novel

  • Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein (Walker Books)

Best Children’s Crime Novel

  • Wakestone Hall by Judith Rossell (ABC Books)

Best Non-fiction Crime Book

  • The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper (Penguin Random House)

Best Debut Novel

  • Eggshell Skull by Bri Lee (Allen & Unwin)

Readers’ Choice

  • The Lost Man by Jane Harper (Pan Macmillan Australia)

PINCKLEY PRIZES. The 2019 Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction, awarded by the Women’s National Book Association of New Orleans, honor two women writers. Both winners will receive both a financial award of $2,500 and a trip to New Orleans to accept their prize at a ceremony on October 10.

The Pinckley Prize for Distinguished Body of Work 

  • Megan Abbott

The Pinckley Prize for Debut Novel

  • Sarah St. Vincent

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]