About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

2014 Arthur Ellis Awards Shortlists

Tonight, as has become tradition, in a series of events across Canada the shortlists for the Arthur Ellis Awards sponsored by the Crime Writers of Canada were announced. For the second year in a row I have not read any of the books listed in any of the categories. The shortlists are:

Best Novel
 John Brooke, Walls of a Mind, Signature Editions
Seán Haldane, The Devil’s Making, Stone Flower Press
Lee Lamothe, Presto Variations, Dundurn
Howard Shrier, Miss Montreal, Vintage Canada
Simone St. James, An Inquiry into Love and Death, Penguin Books
Best First Novel
E.R. Brown, Almost Criminal, Dundurn
A.S.A. Harrison, The Silent Wife, Penguin Books Canada
Axel Howerton, Hot Sinatra, Evolved Publishing
J. Kent Messum, Bait, Penguin Canada
S.G. Wong, Die on Your Feet, Carina Press
Best Novella
Melodie Campbell, The Goddaughter’s Revenge, Orca Books
Brenda Chapman, My Sister’s Keeper, Grassroots Press
James Heneghan, A Woman Scorned, Orca Books
Best Short Story
Donna Carrick, Watermelon Weekend, Thirteen,
Carrick Publishing
Jas. R. Petrin, Under Cap Ste. Claire, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, October 2013,
Dell Magazines
Twist Phelan, Footprints in Water, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, July 2013,
Dell Magazines
Sylvia Maultash Warsh, The Emerald Skull, Thirteen,
Carrick Publishing  
Sam Wiebe, The Third Echo, Girl Trouble: Malfeasance Occasional,
MacMillan/St Martin’s Press
Best Book in French
Chrystine Brouillet, Saccages, La courte échelle
Jacques Côté, Et à l'heure de votre mort, éditions Alire
Maureen Martineau, L’enfant promis, La courte échelle
Jacques Savoie, Le fils emprunté, Éditions Libre Expression
Best Juvenile/YA
 Karen Autio, Sabotage, Sono Nis Press
Gail Gallant, Apparition, Doubleday Canada
Elizabeth MacLeod, Bones Never Lie: How Forensics Helps Solve History’s Mysteries,
Annick Press
Ted Staunton, Who I’m Not, Orca Books
Unhanged Arthur
L.J. Gordon, Death at the Iron House Lodge
Rachel Greenaway, Cold Girl
Charlotte Morganti, The Snow Job
Kristina Stanley, Descent
Kevin Thornton, Coiled
The winners will be announced at
Arthur Ellis Awards Gala at the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto.


  1. Bill, leave alone read the books, I haven't even heard of these writers. Now I do, thanks to you.

    1. Prashant: Thanks for the comment. I do not know the authors for Best Novel beyond Howard Shrier.

  2. eeek...I haven't read any either. I did have The Silent Wife home from the library but didn't get to reading it before the due date.

    1. Bernadette: Thanks for the comment. I am thinking about whether to order any of the Best Novel contenders.

  3. Bill - Thanks for sharing these lists. So many of these I've not read, but it gives me some good things to add to my list.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I am going to write my next post about the books I did read on the long lists that did not make the short lists.

  4. I had the pleasure of editing HOT SINATRA by Axel Howerton (let that be a disclosure), but simply as a reader, I absolutely love that book. It's a truly character-rich story, and a real blast!

    I'll look forward to checking out some of the other books listed - love great crime fiction.

    Thanks for the post.

    1. Lane: Thanks for the comment. I will consider Hot Sinatra.

  5. My novel The Devil's Making has just won the Arthur Ellis 2014 Best Novel Award. I'm one of the unknowns mentioned in previous blogs. I live in London UK and I don't have a high profile in Canada, to say the least... For some more see
    I'm happy to discuss any aspect of the novel -
    Best wishes to all -

  6. Seán: Congratulations! It is a great achievement to win the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel. Your comment was timely as I am working my way through the five finalists. I just finished Miss Montreal.

    Not able to find your book in Saskatchewan bookstores I ordered your book from the Sleuth of Baker Street bookstore. They advised me they expect to ship it west to me tomorrow. As soon as I have read the book I will be putting up a review and expect to take you up on asking some questions concerning the book.

    Best wishes.