Press Release:
For immediate release, March 22, 2004


Festival's literary award honours
Canada's crime writing pioneers

Wolfe Island's Scene Of The Crime Festival is launching the Grant Allen Award to honour Canada's crime writing pioneers -- and is pleased to announce the inaugural winner is Howard Engel, author of the Benny Cooperman series.

"Howard Engel was the obvious choice for our first award," says Wayne Grady, chair of the award's organizing committee. "He has broken ground with one of the country's first detective series, he has produced a major body of work of a clear literary quality, and his work is as Canadian as maple syrup."

Engel will receive his award at Scene Of The Crime Festival on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2004. He will participate throughout the day's events, including a panel discussion and special author interview highlighting his 24-year career as one of canada's premier crime writers.

The Scene Of The Crime Festival was launched to honour Canada's first crime writer, Grant Allen, born at his family home on Wolfe Island, the manor of the Baron de Longueuil family. The first Canadian to write crime stories, Allen invented one of the most popular plot conceits of the genre. Allen went on to become one of the most prolific writers of the Victorian period and invented a plot staple, the thief who is actually the hero of the story.

Howard Engel is best known for his highly successful Benny Cooperman series, created in 1980 and set in the fictional town of Grantham, Ont. Another of Engel's novels, Mr. Doyle And Dr. Bell and, makes him a special favorite at the Scene Of The Crime because it features Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes and a good friend and next-door neighbour of Grant Allen, when Allen lived in England.

The Grant Allen Award will take the form of a specially designed kaleidoscope, unique for each author honoured, specially crafted by Linda Sutherland, a noted stained-glass artist residing on the Island. The kaleidoscope was chosen as an award because of its unique place in the Victorian drawing rooms where Grant Allen's novels were popular. The honour also includes a cash prize of $500.

Information and tickets for the Scene of the Crime Festival are available by email at

Copyright © 2004-2012 The Wolfe Island Scene Of The Crime Festival Inc.