Former Citizen and Sun columnist's mystery nominated for prestigious Edgar Award

 

 
 
 
 
A former columnist for the Ottawa Citizen and Sun, Ron Corbett built his mystery novel, Ragged Lake, around a murder that takes place in Algonquin Park.
 

A former columnist for the Ottawa Citizen and Sun, Ron Corbett built his mystery novel, Ragged Lake, around a murder that takes place in Algonquin Park.

Photograph by: Julie Oliver, Ottawa Citizen

Mystery writers occasionally encounter mysteries in their personal life.

Consider Ottawa author Ron Corbett, who had to pick himself off the floor Friday afternoon when he discovered he’d been nominated for a prestigious Edgar Allen Poe Award.

The Edgar Awards are presented by the Mystery Writers of America. Corbett’s Ragged Lake, published by Toronto’s ECW Press in October, was among six nominees in the Best Paperback Original category.

“This is a complete surprise,” Corbett said. “I still don’t know how it came to be. I guess ECW must have submitted it, and I didn’t even know of it.”

Corbett was working on some final edits of his second book in the trilogy when he stopped around noon and checked his emails. There he found a note from the publisher linking to the Edgar nominations.

“Oh, my God, I’m just blown away, it was totally unexpected,” Corbett said. “I’m still trying to get my head around it.”

A former columnist for the Ottawa Citizen and Sun, Corbett built his mystery novel around a murder that takes place in Algonquin Park.

Despite the quintessentially Canadian setting, the book seems to be a bigger hit in the United States, where Corbett has received strong reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Book Reviews.

A bookstore in Manhattan, the Mysterious Bookshop, is the oldest and biggest mystery bookstore in America. It not only carries Corbett’s book, but Ragged Lake was also chosen as a December staff pick and was on display in the store window. Corbett hasn’t seen the display but someone sent him a photograph.

He will, however, be in New York soon. The Edgar Awards will be presented to the winners at the 72nd Gala Banquet at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on April 26.

Some of Corbett’s favourite mystery writers, including Stephen King and James Lee Burke, have won Edgars. Now he may be rubbing elbows with them.

“I wonder if I’m going to get a chance to meet him,” Corbett says of Burke. “I’m just about as excited to think that he might be there.”

Corbett expects to finish the edits on his second mystery of the series next week. It will be published in October. Meanwhile, he has a moment to take a bow for his first book of fiction after writing seven non-fiction books.

“Hopefully this gets people reading the book,” he said. “I quite like Ragged Lake, and I hope it draws attention to the book and more and more people read it.”

wscanlan@postmedia.com

 
 
 
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A former columnist for the Ottawa Citizen and Sun, Ron Corbett built his mystery novel, Ragged Lake, around a murder that takes place in Algonquin Park.
 

A former columnist for the Ottawa Citizen and Sun, Ron Corbett built his mystery novel, Ragged Lake, around a murder that takes place in Algonquin Park.

Photograph by: Julie Oliver, Ottawa Citizen

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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