It's a Crime: How The Arthur Ellis Awards Ate My Book Review

There's a lot of great Canadian crime fiction out there. I know. A lot of it is stacked on and around my dining room table.

I have the honour, the pleasure and sometimes the headache of being the Administrative Assistant for the Arthur Ellis Awards. All the submissions for 2009 have been unpacked, checked, sorted by category, resorted by judge and are in the process of being shipped out to their relative destinations.

I'm behind on my dishes. Clean clothes for the next work week? Oops. Worse, this state of affairs is likely to last a while.

Why? Because my reading list just expanded exponentially.

I won't pretend that every title that has gone by me at least four times appeals to me. No doubt they are all fine works but I'm not usually into spy thrillers and, since becoming a mother I've stayed away from anything involving children (or puppies) being harmed. I have to be in the mood for procedural crime fiction, police, forensic or otherwise.

I can appreciate the stories drawn from the news -- but usually I want a break from reality. I enjoy getting intimate with small town or big city Canada or travelling the world with sophisticated private investigators. I love finding books I can share with my kids. However, my secret vice is the cozy-comedy-crime-caper.

All of the sub-genres are there (or were until it got packed for the mail) on my dining room table.

Once my dining room is empty, I'll start filling up my nightstand with the books on my expanded must-read list.

I'll let you know it goes.