Thursday, May 3, 2012


Canada Writes Crime… Oh yeah!

The month of May began with a bang, or possibly a gunshot. It is National Crime Writing Month, and the CBC has teamed up with Crime Writers of Canada to celebrate the flourishing but under-appreciated Canadian crime scene. Check out Louise Penny’s opening blog to get a flavour of what’s to come.

Louise sets the scene with a quick who’s who of Canadian crime writers, both old and new. As an aside, I am amazed and honoured that she placed me on the list with “some of the world’s best crime writers… Giles Blunt, Maureen Jennings, Barbara Fradkin, Peter Robinson, William Deverell…” Right back at you, Louise.

Keep a bookmark in the site for the month, as there is much more to come. Short stories by some of Canada’s finest writers, writing challenges, daily writing tips by established authors, and Louise’s master class in writing. Canadian authors find it hard to compete for shelf space and ad space with the more familiar names from the US and the UK, whose publishers have bigger budgets and a longer reach. The front tables at Chapters and the book racks of drugstores, Costco and Walmart have nary a Canadian book among them. So it’s particularly thrilling that CBC and the National Post are shining a crucial spotlight on us in this month leading up to our national annual Arthur Ellis Awards for best crime writing, and our annual national mystery conference Bloody Words.

The CBC site is packed with information for readers and writers alike. Over the month, readers will meet favourites such as Gail Bowen and Mary Jane Maffini and will also discover the many new talents on offer. Crime fiction is a wonderfully diverse genre with books for every taste and mood. Whether you’re in the mood to be entertained, terrified, thrilled or moved to tears, there is a book for you. Among those new talents, of course, is the Mystery Maven herself, writing as Erika Chase and transporting us to the genteel and deceptively dangerous mansions of Alabama.

While you’re at it, why not check out and sign up for the quarterly e-newsletter Cool Canadian Crime, which contains listings and brief descriptions of new releases for that quarter. It’s a great way to keep abreast of the crimes we are plotting.

Barbara Fradkin is a child psychologist with a fascination for how we turn bad. In addition to her darkly haunting short stories in the Ladies Killing Circle anthologies, she writes the gritty, Ottawa-based Inspector Green novels which havewon back to back Arthur Ellis Awards for Best Novel from Crime Writers of Canada. The eighth in the series, Beautiful Lie the Dead, explores love in all its complications. And, her new Rapid Read from Orca, The Fall Guy, was launched last May.

1 comment:

  1. This is an inspired initiative by Melodie and the CWC gang as well as CBC, of course. Readers of all genres listen and watch CBC so this month should garner lots of interest in Canadian crime writers.