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Bloody Words convention announces finalists for inaugural “light mystery” prize

Bloody Words, Canada’s largest convention of mystery fiction, has revealed the shortlist for its first annual Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award, a prize recognizing mystery novels that soften the gore, violence, and sex typical of the genre in favour of a more lighthearted tone.

The wide-ranging shortlist includes a volume from an internationally published series, a story about a put-upon Floridian bartender, an Arthur Ellis“winning paranormal debut, a novel featuring a rogue 911 operator, and the first book in a sewing-themed series.

The nominated books are:

  • Alan Bradley, A Red Herring without Mustard (Doubleday Canada)
  • Phyllis Smallman, Champagne for Buzzards (McArthur & Company)
  • Gloria Ferris, Cheat the Hangman (Imajin Books)
  • Mary Jane Maffini, The Busy Woman’s Guide to Murder (Berkley Prime Crime)
  • Janet Bolin, Dire Threads (Berkley Prime Crime)

The jury will present writers with the $1,000 prize at the Bloody Words XII banquet in Toronto on June 2.