|Best Crime Novel|
Before the Poison by Peter Robinson, McClelland and Stewart
The Jury reached a unanimous but very close decision among the five final nominations. Each nominated novel demonstrated many of the inherent qualities that make up an Ellis award winning best novel. Clear, concise story telling, compelling characters shaped by dialogue and action, all carefully drawn in settings that supported the action and plot. In each case the climaxes were exciting and satisfying. The chosen novel, Before the Poison by Peter Robinson was our choice in a photo finish.
|Best First Novel|
The Water Rat of Wanchai by Ian Hamilton, House of Anansi Press Inc.
Ian Hamilton's The Water Rat of Wan Chai is a smart, action-packed thriller of the first order, and Ava Lee, a gay Asian-Canadian forensics accountant with a razor-sharp mind and highly developed martial arts skills, is a protagonist to be reckoned with. We were impressed by Hamilton's tight plotting; his well-rendered settings, from the glitz of Bangkok to the grit of Guyana; and his ability to portray a wide range of sharply individualized characters in clean but sophisticated prose.
|Best Crime Book in French|
La chorale du diable by Martin Michaud, Les Editions Guélette
In this well-written crime novel, two main plotlines are intertwined with so many twists and turns that it becomes almost impossible to predict any outcome. The characters are complex and interesting, and we hope to see many of them continue to develop in other stories. Michaud, in only his second novel, shows a lot of maturity and confidence in his writing. He takes the reader on a ride across the province, from one era to another, with the utmost respect for chronology and history but mostly with a vivid depiction of “his” city, Montreal.
|Best Juvenile or Young Adult Crime Book|
Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones, Candlewick Press
Rich characterization, well-crafted language, intriguing use of voice, and a compelling plot make Blink & Caution an intense yet enjoyable story that’s hard to put down. Pacing and tension build steadily through the first half of the book, creating a strong connection with the reader. An uplifting conclusion gives us hope for the future of the two main characters, Blink and Caution.
|Best Crime Nonfiction|
Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives Through the Secret World of Stolen Art by Joshua Knelman, Douglas & McIntyre
Hot Art is a very readable, extremely well researched and written look at the world of art theft full of well drawn colourful characters of art thieves and cops who specialize art theft cases. Knelman succeeds in spades in presenting an inside look as how and why art is stolen and how it is then disposed of through a complex network of dealers (some in the know as to its origins; some not) and criminals. Joshua Knelman is an excellent story teller and Hot Art is a pleasure to read from page one to the end.