Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Excuse me...Canada calling! by Cathy Ace

The crime and mystery fiction we tend to read can be very US and Europe centric. Where else in the world would you like to see a crime fiction novel set and why?

Good question…but, rather than saying where I’d like to see crime fiction set, I’m going to focus on some places that aren’t the USA or Europe where it’s already set – and hope you find my choices appealing.

Let’s start with me noting that I’m the only Canadian blogger here at 7CM who gets to answer this question (our two other Canadian fellow-bloggers, Brenda Chapman and Dietrich Kalteis, blog on next week’s rotation, where they’ll be addressing a different topic). 

So, I get to fly the flag, and blow the trumpet, for Canadian crime writing…and you already know three Canadian crime writers “intimately” via this blog…so you could do worse than start out by reading our books. Canadian alumni of this blog include Robin Harlick, RM Greenaway and Sam Wiebe…so there are three more – just like that! 😊

(FULL DISCLOSURE: I was chair of Crime Writers of Canada [CWC] for two years from 2016-2018 and did the best I could during that period to promote and support crime writers in Canada, as well as promoting Canadian crime writers’ work both within and beyond Canada…so this could turn into a loooooog blog post! LOL!)

My hope is that you take at least this one key thing away from this post: there is a WEALTH of fabulous crime writing available by Canadian authors, much set in Canada, some set elsewhere. 

Now I understand you might think you want to read the “purest” form of Canadian crime writing (ie: a Canadian writing stories set in Canada), but don’t forget that:

a) not every Canadian author sets every book they write in Canada, and...

b) Canada is a land enriched by its immigrants, so please don’t discount the Canadians who (like me, an immigrant) set their books in places other than where they now live.

The next thing I’ll do is tell/remind you that each year there are awards given for the best in Canadian crime writing (which is defined as being written by a Canadian-born author wherever in the world they live, or by an author now living in Canada, wherever in the world they might have been born – there are no caveats about where the book is set). 

These awards are The Arthur Ellis Awards. They are run by the Crime Writers of Canada, but the entries are not restricted to those who are able to/choose to pay to be members of that association…which I think is just as it should be. So, the judges are able to read entries from as wide a range of Canadian writers as possible. 

If you visit the CWC website you can access the shortlists and winners of these prizes since they began 36 years ago: click here to access the CWC Arthur Ellis Awards.

This alone provides a veritable treasure trove of fabulous authors’ names. Some you’ll know (for example: Louise Penny, Linwood Barclay, Peter Robinson, Maureen Jennings, Vicki Delany, Gail Bowen…who rank amongst the Canada’s “star” authors…many of whom have also been past-chairs or board members of CWC, supporting fellow Canadian crime writers) but there are so many other authors who are writing good books – quite literally – to suit all tastes, that’s it’s well worth your time noodling around the website to find a few who write the sort of books you enjoy reading.

The CWC website is set up to help you in this search: you can search by region, by type of book, by author etc. It really is a great resource! Please, check it out?

You can find just the sort of book you're looking for at the CWC website!

And, when you’ve found some new Canadian authors whose work tickles your fancy, dive in…and enjoy a fresh take on crime fiction, courtesy of a Canadian 😊

If you'd like to find out more about this Canadian's books you can click here to access my website. 


Paul D. Marks said...

That's a good website to know about. Thanks, Cathy.

Cathy Ace said...

You're welcome, Paul :-)

Anonymous said...

There are so many great Canadian crime / mystery writers! I am proud to call many personal friends and I look forward to "discovering" more, whose books I haven't yet read. Great blog today Cathy. Love your Cait Morgan series. Thanks from the ever-anonymous Nancy Reid in Ottawa

Cathy Ace said...

Thanks for the support -anonymous Nancy x