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News Highlights

Congratulations to CWC member Phyllis Smallman, for winning the Royal Palm Literary award, for the mystery Martini Regrets. This award is presented by The Florida Writers Association, Inc.



Remembering Eric Wright

It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Eric Wright, one of the founding members of CWC. His funeral will be held on Sat. Oct 17 at 10 am, at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto.

We received the following press release from Cormorant Books, today, Oct. 14, 2015:

For Immediate Release

Eric Wright, one of the “pioneering Canadian crime writers” has died. The author of the beloved Inspector Charlie Salter Mysteries, the Lucy Trimble Brenner Mysteries, the Mel Pickett Mysteries, and the Joe Barley Mysteries, died on Friday, October 9, 2015. He had been recently diagnosed with cancer of the kidneys.

Wright was best known for his police procedurals, including the Inspector Charlie Salter Mysteries, the first of which, The Night the Gods Smiled, won the Arthur Ellis Award, the John Creasey Memorial Award for best crime drama (Britain), and the City of Toronto Book Award. Three of his subsequent novels also won the Arthur Ellis Award; The Kidnapping of Rosie Dawn was nominated for an Edgar Award; and in 1998 Wright received the Derrick Murdoch Award for lifetime contributions to Canadian crime writing. He had served as one of the early presidents of the Crime Writers of Canada.

His memoir, Always Give a Penny to a Blind Man, was a finalist for the inaugural Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. The first chapter had been published in The New Yorker in 1957. Born in South London, England in 1929 to a seamstress and carter, into a family of 10 children, Wright immigrated to Canada in 1951. He completed his B.A. at the University of Manitoba (1957), and his M.A. at the University of Toronto (1963). He taught English at Ryerson Polytechnic University from 1958 to 1989, and served both as Chair of the English Department and as Dean of Arts.

Although published by several presses in Canada and abroad, his longtime Canadian publisher, Anna Porter, remembers him as “a wonderful man and a terrific writer. I first met him when we were both on the Ryerson Board. His way of enduring unbelievably long meetings was to write his first mystery. He used to hand me chunks of the manuscript as we both sat there, bored and distracted. That’s how I ended up voting against one of my own motions. Though I enjoyed reading all Eric’s books, my favourite is the memoir, Always Give a Penny to a Blind Man. It was a story he had been wanting to tell for many years and, finally, the time was right. We’ll miss him.”

In many of his books, the Toronto plays a significant role; he rendered various neighbourhoods in the city beautifully – from apartments off of Avenue Road to the area around Ryerson University. He worked to the end of his life; in his final weeks, he was attending to the line edits for his novella, The Land Mine, which was scheduled to be published in the coming months. “He was a gentleman and a professional; lovely to work with and as thorough as any editor or publisher could hope an author to be. He handled everything with great good humour,” said Marc Côté, his current publisher.

He is survived by his wife Valerie, daughter Jessica, daughter Tory, son-in-law Richard and granddaughter Poppy.

For Immediate Release
P: 416.925.8887 x203 • E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Works by Eric Wright

Charlie Salter Mysteries
The Night the Gods Smiled (1984)
Smoke Detector (1984)
Death in the Old Country (1985)
The Man Who Changed His Name, also published as A Single Death (1986)
A Body Surrounded by Water (1987)
A Question of Murder (1988)
A Sensitive Case (1990)
Final Cut (1991)
A Fine Italian Hand (1991)
Death by Degrees (1993)
The Last Hand (2001)

Lucy Trimble Brenner Mysteries
Death of a Sunday Writer (1996)
Death on the Rocks (1999)
Mel Pickett Mysteries
Buried in Stone (1996)
Death of A Hired Man (2001)

Joe Barley Mysteries
The Kidnapping of Rosie Dawn (2000)
The Hemingway Caper (2003)
A Likely Story (2010)

Always Give a Penny to a Blind Man (1999)
Literary Fiction
Moodie’s Tale (1994)
Twins (2001)
Finding Home (2007)
Dempsey’s Lodge (2013)
The Land Mine (2015)


Congratulations to CWC member Phyllis Smallman, for winning the Royal Palm Literary award, for the mystery Martini Regrets. This award is presented by The Florida Writers Association, Inc.

Arthur Ellis Awards are now open for entries!

For Rules and Entry Forms, go to:

AWARDS in the menu above, and then SUBMISSIONS. 

Deadline for the Unhanged Arthur:  October 15. 

Deadline for all published categories:  December 15.




Arthur Gala Slide Presentation

Also check out the 2015 Arthur Photo Album on Facebook.



Announcing the 2015 Arthur Ellis Award Winners for Crime Writing

Best Novel

C.C. Humphreys, Plague, Doubleday Canada

Best First Novel

Steve Burrows, Siege of Bitterns, Dundurn Press

Best Novella *

Jas. R. Petrin, A Knock on the Door, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine

Best Short Story 

Margaret Atwood, Stone Mattress, McClelland & Stewart

Best Book in French

Andrée Michaud, Bondrée, Editions Québec Amérique

Best Juvenile/YA Book

Sigmund Brouwer, Dead Man's Switch, Harvest House

Best Nonfiction Book

Charlotte Gray, The Massey Murder, HarperCollins

Unhanged Arthur for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel

Strange Things Done by Elle Wild

*CWC announces the Lou Allin Memorial Award of $200 for the Arthur Ellis Novella Category

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.


Many thanks to artist and CWC member Don Graves for donating a Canadian landscape painting as a prize for Best Novel.



CWC announces the 2015 Derrick Murdoch Award Winner,

Sylvia McConnell

In 1998, Sylvia McConnell began RendezVous Crime, a publishing house with the mandate to publish crime novels written by Canadians set in Canada. Over the next thirteen years she published 80 works of crime fiction, many of which were nominated for or won prestigious awards.  For her belief in the value of Canadians telling Canadian stories, for her encouragement of new Canadian authors, and for her recognition of talent with staying power, we are proud to present Sylvia McConnell with the Derrick Murdoch award for 2015.



Crime Writers of Canada's

November Author Events

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Click on the Events and News Button above and choose Author Events or click on the CWC LOGO on the left to take you right there. Alternatively, open this downloadable pdf, Current Author Events.  Also, check out the Latest Events (Home Page top right) to see whose doing what now.