High Chicago Wins Best Novel Award

May 28, 2010

My second Jonah Geller book, High Chicago, was named Best Novel of 2009 at the Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Awards in Toronto May 27.

It’s the first time in the history of the awards that an author has won Best First Novel and Best Novel in consecutive years. Given the quality of people writing crime fiction in Canada these days--Linwood Barclay, Giles Blunt, Louise Penny, Peter Robinson and many others--that’s an incredible honour.

It’s also great publicity for my work. As of May 31, the award has been mentioned in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Hamilton Spectator, Winnipeg Free Press and other newspapers in every province. CBC, CTV, Qull and Quire and Macleans magazine have all featured it on their websites.

It was also carried in all the Metro papers given out at transit stations across Canada, crime and mystery blogs, news radio stations, a Russian publication I can’t begin to understand, French-language papers in Quebec, where I am described as an “ecrivain d’origine montrealaise,” and--my personal favourite--the India Times!

With the statue comes a cash award from Toronto’s famed mystery bookshop, Sleuth of Baker Street, which I fully intend to spend on books (like I need more).

I owe a great debt of thanks to my agent, Helen Heller, who serves as my first editor; to Anne Collins, my publisher and editor at Random House Canada; Marion Garner, publisher of Vintage Canada and the wonderful World of Crime series; publicist Catherine Whiteside and the sales and marleting staff.

Thanks also to my wife Harriet Wichin and to my sons Aaron and Jesse. It was Aaron’s 13th birthday the night of the awards, so I owe him special thanks for letting me out of the house to accept mine.

Congratulations to the other nominees: Anthony Bidulka, R.J. Harlick, Lee Lamothe and James W. Nichol.