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 21, 2016

2016 Arthur Ellis Awards Shortlists

For lovers of Canadian mysteries late April is a great time of the year as the Shortlists for the Arthur Ellis Awards are announced. The Crime Writers of Canada held a series of events across Canada tonight to announce the Shortlists.

For the first time in four years I have already read one of the books on the shortlist. Earlier this year I read The Night Bell. I regret to say it was not one of my top Canadian reads of the last year.

Once again it is my intention to read and review and rank the books on the shortlist for Best Novel.

One good thing about not having read most of the Shortlist for Best Novel means I am introduced to some new Canadian mystery writers.

Of the remaining nominees I am glad to see Jayne Barnard on the Shortlist for Best Unpublished Novel. She is a Facebook friend and a true devotee of crime fiction.

The full shortlists are:

Best Novel

Peggy Blair, Hungry Ghosts, Simon & Schuster
John Farrow, The Storm Murders, Minotaur
Andrew Hunt, A Killing in Zion, Minotaur
Peter Kirby, Open Season, Linda Leith Publishing
Inger Ash Wolfe, The Night Bell, McClelland & Stewart
Best First Novel

J. Mark Collins, Hard Drive, iUniverse
David Hood, What Kills Good Men, Vagrant Press
Ausma Zehanat Khan, The Unquiet Dead, Minotaur
Alexis Koetting, Encore, Five Star
Brian R. Lindsay, Old Bones, Volumes Publishing
Best Novella

Jeremy Bates, Black Canyon, Dark Hearts
Alison Bruce, Deadly Season, Imajin Books
M.H. Callway, Glow Glass, Carrick Publishing
Barbara Fradkin, The Night Thief, Orca Book Publishers
Brian Harvey, Beethoven’s Tenth, Orca Book Publishers
Best Short Story

Karen Abrahamson, With One Shoe, The Playground of Lost Toys, Exile Press
Hilary Davidson, The Seige, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine
Sharon Hunt, The Water Was Rising, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine
Scott Mackay, The Avocado Kid, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine
S. G. Wong, Movable Type, AB Negative Anthology, Coffin Hop Press
Best Book in French

Luc Chartrand, L'Affaire Myosotis, Québec Amérique
Jean-Louis Fleury, L'affaire Céline, Éditions Alire
André Jacques, La bataille de Pavie, Druide        
Jean Lemieux, Le mauvais côté des choses, Québec Amérique
Guillaume Morrissette, L'affaire Mélodie Cormier, Guy Saint-Jean éditeur
Best Juvenile/YA Book

Robert Hough, Diego’s Crossing, Annick Press
Jeff Ross, Set You Free, Orca
Kevin Sands, The Blackthorn Key, Aladdin
Allan Stratton, The Dogs, Scholastic
Stephanie Tromley, Trouble is a Friend of Mine, Kathy Dawson Books
Best Nonfiction Book

Gary Garrison, Human on the Inside: Unlocking the Truth about Canada’s Prisons, University of Regina Press
Dean Jobb, Empire of Deception, Harper Collins Publishers
Debra Komar, The Bastard of Fort Stikine: The Hudson’s Bay Company and the Murder of John McLoughlin Jr., Goose Lane Editions
Jerry Langton, Cold War, Harper Collins Publishers
The Dundurn Unhanged Arthur for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel

Jayne Barnard, When the Flood Falls
Alice Bienia, Knight Blind
Pam Isfeld, Brave Girls
J.T. Siemens, Better the Devil You Know
J.G. Toews, Give Out Creek


  1. Oh, yes, Bill, I remember your reaction to The Night Bell. There are ots of interesting-sounding choices in the different categories, and it'll be very interesting to see who wins. I'll really be looking forward to your reviews of the contenders for Best Novel.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. The Arthur Ellis Awards highlight the work of many Canadian writers. There are 40 different writers on the shortlists.

  2. I have nothing to contribute on the nominations, but I look forward to reading your reviews. It's always good to learn about new authors.

    I am impressed that both English and French mysteries are nominated and that there are separate awards for each category.

    That is so forward-thinking, wish some other countries would do the same thing.

  3. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comment. I had not thought about the inclusion of a French category as being different from other countries with more than one official language. I equally think it is worth recognizing talented writing in the major languages of a country.

  4. I also look forward to your reviews of the books on the short list that you have not read.

    1. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. I have ordered paper copies of the books I have not read.

  5. None of these are familiar to me - I look forward to finding out more via your reviews.

    1. Moira: Thanks for the comment. I regret to say I have not read anything by any of the quintet on the shortlist other than Wolfe.