May is an exciting month for crime writers, but this year especially so for the Mesdames and Messieurs with new books and publications. Not to mention the thrill of the upcoming CWC Awards of Excellence and the Maple Leaf Mystery Conference, our new national crime writers conference!

Congratulations – and Fingers Crossed!

Melissa Yi
Melodie Campbell
Melodie Campbell

Crime Writers of Canada will announce the winners of the 2022 Awards of Excellence on Thursday, May 26th at 1 pm. Broadcast on YouTube.

Melissa Yi’s story, “Dead Man’s Hand”, published in EQMM in 2021, is a finalist for the CWC Award of Excellence for Best Short Story.

Melodie Campbell’s mentee, Delee Fromm, is nominated for CWC Award of Excellence for Best Unpublished Novel for her manuscript, The Strength to Rise.

Fingers crossed!

Congratulations to Cat Mills!

The Billboard Squad

Cat Mills’ latest film, The Billboard Squad, is a 25 minute short documentary for Al Jazeera Witness. It is scheduled to be released on May 23rd.

Dave Meslin is a 47-year-old Canadian activist in Toronto known for his campaigns to defend public space from commercial interests. For 15 years, he’s been lobbying the city to remove illegal billboards from neighborhoods across Toronto.

Dave has a team of volunteers, including his 11-year-old niece, who gather intel and strategize on how to bring down the billboards. They are prepared to do whatever it takes to reclaim a local green space. But as the Billboard Squad clashes with power, bureaucracy and inertia, Dave grapples with the emotional complexities of activism.

Cat’s documentary will be available for streaming on the Al Jazeera Witness website and on Youtube.

New Books and Publications!

Sylvia Warsh

Read Sylvia Warsh’s story, “The Natural Order of Things”, in this month’s issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (May/June).

In mid-May, Sylvia is a guest on EQMM’s blog where she reveals how she changed from a literary writer to a life of crime… writing.

Jayne Barnard
Jayne Barnard

Jayne Barnard‘s story, “Crow’s Hoard”, will be published in Nothing Without Us Too, the follow-up to the anthology, Nothing Without Us, a 2020 Prix Aurora Award finalist. The books feature stories by authors who are disabled, d/Deaf or hard-of-hearing, Blind or visually impaired, neurodivergent, Spoonie, and/or who manage mental illness.

Trapped in her small apartment after a flood forces everyone else to evacuate, chronically-ill Carmel expects to die, even welcomes it. But when she tells the crows who trade her their treasures for snacks that she won’t be there tomorrow, they bring her a choice she could have never predicted.

Release date, September 15, 2022.

Jayne has a second story in the new anthology from Sisters In Crime Canada West, Crime Wave: Women of a Certain Age. In “Midsummer Day’s Dream” our favorite sleuthing B&B hosts are juggling a Shakespeare on the Beach production and a painters’ retreat. But drug deals, old grudges, and a fire on the mountain spell Midsummer disaster for their fledgling business.

Crime Wave: Women of a Certain Age will be published Fall, 2022. We’ll be sharing the cover reveal as soon as it’s released!

On May 15th, the Crime Writers of Canada will release their 40th anniversary anthology, Cold Canadian Crime.

Stories by Melodie Campbell, Lisa De Nikolits, Blair Keetch, Rosemary McCracken, Lynne Murphy and Sylvia Warsh are included in the collection – a terrific showing by the Mesdames of Mayhem!

Exciting Events!

Rosemary McCracken
Rosemary McCracken

Rosemary McCracken was interviewed on May 5th by CWC’s Erik D’Souza as part of a series of interviews for the Cold Canadian Crime anthology.

Watch Rosemary’s interview on CWC’s Facebook page and on YouTube.

Lynne Murphy
Lynne Murphy

Lynne Murphy’s book launch for Potluck and Other Stories was a big success. She had guests from England, Jersey in the  Channel Islands, BC, Winnipeg, Ottawa. Many of the Mesdames were in attendance. You can watch the launch on YouTube here

The Maple Leaf Mystery Conference, our new national crime writers conference, takes place on Zoom from May 24 to 28th. Registration is only $25 and features interviews with internationally recognized authors, Ian Rankin and Maureen Jennings. Sign up here.

The Mesdames are an integral part of the conference with ten of us conducting interviews or moderating and participating on the panels.

Catherine Astolfo
Catherine Astolfo
Madeleine Harris Callway
M. H. Callway
Melodie Campbell
Melodie Campbell
Donna Carrick
Lisa De Nikolits
Lynne Murphy
Lynne Murphy
Rosemary McCracken
Rosemary McCracken
Madona Skaff
Jane Petersen Burfield
Jane Petersen Burfield
Caro Soles
Caro Soles

Here’s the panel schedule. Do join us!

·       Wednesday, May 25th, 8:15 pm Melodie Campbell, Lynne Murphy, Caro Soles are on the panel, Deadly Laughter

·       Friday, May 27th, 2 pm, Melodie Campbell interviews best-selling author Ian Rankin

·       Friday, May 27th, 3:15 pm, M. H. Callway, Rosemary McCracken and Jane Petersen Burfield are on the panel, The Big Short

·       Friday, May 27th,  5:45 pm, Madona Skaff is on the panel, Changing Faces in Crime/Mystery Writing

·       Saturday, May 28th  , 2 pm, Catherine Astolfo and Lisa de Nikolits are on the panel, Maple Leaf Murder East

·       Saturday, May 28th, 5:45 pm, Donna Carrick moderates the panel, Love with a Mysterious Twist

Looking Ahead to June!

June will be another crazy busy month for the Mesdames, including the Big Reveal of our cover for In the Spirit of 13.

On June 3 to 4th, The Toronto International Festival of Authors has invited members of the Crime Writers of Canada to do readings, sell books and meet readers.

On June 8th, an inaugural Queer Noir at the Bar will be held during Toronto’s Pride Week with guest reader, Caro Soles.

On June 11-12th, Word on the Street returns to Queen’s Park with Caro Soles and many Mesdames hosting a booth.

And on June 18th, Lisa De Nikolits will be reading at the CanLit AuthorFest.

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