McPherson GirlsWhisperedMurder

Lynn McPherson, The Girls Whispered Murder, Black Opal Books

It's 1954 in the cozy, New England town of Twin Oaks. Murder is on the menu. Can Izzy Walsh help find the culinary killer?

Fradkin PrisonersofHope

T.E. Wilson, Wild Dogs of Mexico, Boularderie Island Press

A former aid worker stumbles into the world of exploited foreign workers when she rescues a Filipino nanny accused of murder.

Fox YeastofEden

Sarah Fox, Yeast of Eden (A Pancake House Mystery), Kensington (Lyrical)

It’s up to pancake house owner Marley McKinney to discover the waffle truth behind a rival’s murder . . .

Butler NoPlaceForWolverines

Dave Butler, No Place for Wolverines, Dundurn Press

What if someone proposed a new ski area in a national park, but things weren't as they appeared?

Whishaw SorrowfulSanctuary

Iona Whishaw, A Sorrowful Sanctuary, TouchWood Editions

When Lane Winslow finds a badly injured man in a rowboat, she gets a shocking reminder of the perils of the recent war.

Lazarus MurderbyMilkshake

Eve Lazarus, Murder by Milkshake, Arsenal Pulp Press

In 1965, radio personality Rene Castellani poisoned his wife Esther with arsenic flavoured milkshakes so he could marry Lolly.

Wilson WildDogsofMexico

T.E. Wilson, Wild Dogs of Mexico, Boularderie Island Press

Detective Sánchez investigates the Catholic Church in the desert city of Durango, and offers himself as the final sacrifice.

Wilkshire RememberTokyo

Nick Wilkshire, Remember Tokyo, Dundurn Press

In Tokyo, Charlie Hillier discovers that you can't always bank on the truth.

Yi DeathFlight

Melissa Yi, Death Flight, Windtree Press

A doctor trapped on a plane with a killer battles to save lives—and wonders if she herself might be the murderer.

Calonego StrangerontheIce thumb

Bernadette Calonego, The Stranger on the Ice, AmazonCrossing

A frozen corpse on the Ice Road near the Inuit town of Inuvik in Canada`s Arctic and a haunting death on an Arctic expedition.

Martin DarkestBeforeDawn

Mike Martin, Darkest Before the Dawn, Ottawa Press and Publishing

Darkest Before the Dawn is the latest adventure of Sgt. Winston Windflower, a Mountie who finds himself surrounded by a new family and a new life in tiny Grand Bank, Newfoundland.

Penz Sheluk PastandPresent

Judy Penz Sheluk, Past & Present, Superior Shores Press

Sometimes the past reaches out to the present...

Bell HearingVoices

E.C. Bell, Hearing Voices, Tyche Books

Marie wants the nightmares to stop. Doesn’t look like that's going to happen anytime soon.

Latest Events

Miriam Clavir - Book Launch
Tue Oct 16 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
Barbara Fradkin & Vicki Delany - Book launch
Tue Oct 16 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
Bookstore Signing with JE Barnard
Sun Oct 21 @ 1:00PM - 04:00PM
Anne Emery's Book Launch
Sun Oct 21 @ 2:00PM - 04:00PM
Sharon A. Crawford- War Between Mystery Fiction and Literary Fiction
Tue Oct 23 @ 7:00PM - 08:00PM

arthur-200The Arthur Ellis Awards

for Excellence in

Canadian Crime Writing

Submissions open 1 September, 2018.

Submission Rules will be available by 1 September.

Unhanged Arthur submissions must be postmarked or courier dated no later than October 15, 2018.

Published submissions must be postmarked or courier dated no later than December 15, 2018.

Shortlist Events - Wednesday 17 April, 2019

Awards Gala - Thursday 23 May, 2019

The Arthur Ellis Awards, established in 1984 and named after the nom de travail of Canada's official hangman, are awarded annually by the CWC in the following categories.

For published works released in 2018:

  • Best Crime Novel
  • Best Crime First Novel sponsored by Rakuten Kobo with a $1000 prize
  • The Lou Allin Memorial Best Crime Novella with a $200 prize
  • Best Crime Short Story sponsored by Mystery Weekly with a $300 prize
  • Best French Crime Book (Fiction and Nonfiction)
  • Best Juvenile or YA Crime Book (Fiction and Nonfiction)
  • Best Nonfiction Crime Book

For unpublished novels:

  • The Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished Crime Manuscript sponsored by Dundurn Press with a $500 prize

The Arthur Ellis Awards are for CRIME WRITING, and are not restricted to mystery writing. Crime-writing encompasses far more than the traditional whodunit. The crime genre includes crime, detective, espionage, mystery, suspense, and thriller writing, as well as fictional or factual accounts of criminal doings and crime-themed literary works. If you are not certain that your submission qualifies as a crime book or story, please contact us at

The Arthur Ellis Awards are open to permanent residents of Canada, or by Canadian citizens living abroad.


Crime Writers of Canada would like to thank our award sponsors.

   Kobo Open Up  
  Mystery Weekly  

Crime Writers of Canada would also like to thank everyone in the Canadian publishing community

for making the Arthur Ellis Awards such a success through the years.

Judging Process

Judging Process


Crime Writers of Canada recruits twenty-one volunteers from among the large body of award-winning writers, reviewers, booksellers, librarians, academics and avid crime fiction fans across Canada. The judges are not required to be CWC members, and many are not. The judges, therefore, represent a broad and knowledgeable cross-section of the reading public. Three judges read and evaluate the entries in each of the seven prize categories. Finalists in all categories are announced at Canada-wide Arthur Ellis Awards Shortlist Events late in April, and winners are announced at the annual Arthur Ellis Awards Gala in late May.

If you would like to volunteer as an Arthur Ellis Awards judge, please contact


The Crime Writers of Canada – How it all began

By Tony Aspler, founding President

In the summer of 1982 seven men with criminal intent met in Dooley’s bar, a suitably insalubrious downtown Toronto watering hole for what we had in mind. The co-conspirators were the late Derrick Murdoch, mystery reviewer for The Toronto Star, British novelist Tim Heald, book reviewer, the late Doug Marshall, editor John Pearce, authors Howard Engel, Larry Morse and myself. The noise in the establishment was such that we were driven out to the more lofty and salubrious surroundings of the rooftop bar in the Park Plaza.

The purpose of the meeting was to form an association of crime writers modeled on the Crime Writers of Great Britain. Although my genre at the time was political thrillers (I co-wrote three with Gordon Pape – ‘Chain Reaction’, ‘The Scorpion Sanction’ and ‘The Music Wars’) I was voted by default, to be the first President of the fledgling Crime Writers of Canada.

For the first year we met monthly in a room at the Toronto Reference Library, a fitting venue since it houses one of the world's foremost collections of library materials devoted to the life and works of Arthur Conan Doyle. At those early meetings we would invite an expert in different aspects of crime – cops, forensic scientists, criminal lawyers, etc. Eddie Greenspan was one of our guests whom we subsequently co-opted into presenting the Arthur Ellis Awards. These awards were named after the nom de travail of Canada’s hangmen. The wooden statuettes (a condemned man on a gibbet whose arms and legs flail when you pull a string – considered by some to be in execrable taste) were designed under the supervision of Tim Wynn-Jones, who subsequently retreated from the crime fold to write children’s books. (See note below)

The first recipient of the Arthur Ellis Award, in those days a single prize for the best novel published the previous year, was won by Eric Wright for ‘The Night The Gods Smiled,’ beating out works by William Deverell and Ted Wood. Next year it was Howard Engel for his second Benny Cooperman novel, ‘The Ransom Game.’ Both Eric and Howard would in turn ascend the throne of the Presidency of the Crime Writers of Canada. We used to publish a quarterly newsletter called ‘Fingerprints’ and the first item was the President’s letter, titled ‘Speech from the Throne.’

For my part, I returned to pure crime fiction with ‘Titanic’ and a series of Ezra Brant wine murder mysteries, ‘Blood Is Thicker Than Beaujolais’, ‘The Beast of Barbaresco’ and ‘Death on the Douro.’ I’m currently working on ‘Nightmare in Napa.’

A note on Arthur by Tim Wynn-Jones

I'm happy to clarify Arthur's history. It was my job to head the committee, as Tony said. And my big contribution, as far as I'm concerned, was in realizing that a book prize is kind of a stage prop. The darn thing should look good in somebody's hands as well as on their mantel. So I thought to go to a stage designer, Peter Blais, who happened also to be a wonderful actor, and who happened to be someone I had acted with and knew to have a wicked sense of humour. He got it! He understood what I was trying to say and came up with the jumping jack. So Peter very much deserves the kudos for Arthur and I'm just pleased to have got him on board. It's the best prize around, as far as I'm concerned. I'm lucky enough to have won one and also to have won an Edgar and Arthur beats Edgar all to heck!

CWC announces the Lou Allin Memorial Award of $200 for the Arthur Ellis Novella Category (April 2015)

Sponsored by the 2011 Bloody Words Conference Committee, this award will be given in honour of Lou Allin.  Lou was a board member of CWC, a co-chair of the 2011 Bloody Words Conference, an award-winning writer, and a mentor to many.  This award is particularly fitting, as she was the winner of the first Arthur Ellis Novella Award.  We miss you dearly, Lou.

Books by Members