The Derrick Murdoch Award
The Derrick Murdoch is a special achievement award for contributions to the crime genre. It is awarded at the discretion of the Board Chair of Crime Writers of Canada. Known as the Chairman’s Award when first presented in 1984, it was later renamed in honour of its first recipient, Derrick Murdoch.
Murdoch, “the driving force behind the creation of Crime Writers of Canada,” reviewed crime literature for The Globe and Mail for over twenty years—a career he took up in 1963, according to a 1983 interview in the Ottawa Citizen, after failing spectacularly in door-to-door sales and real estate. In addition to his column, he published two books of crime nonfiction. His biography of Agatha Christie, The Agatha Christie Mystery (1976), was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award. Disappearances: True Accounts of Canadians Who Have Vanished (1983) appeared when he was 74. Murdoch served as first president of the Sherlock Holmes Society of Toronto, which also offers an award named in his honour. Born in England in 1909, he immigrated to Canada in 1950 and died in 1985.
Like the man for whom it is named, past winners of the Derrick Murdoch Award have contributed greatly to the development of crime writing in Canada through their work as writers, editors, producers, publicists, and organizers.
The award is presented biennially, alternating with the Grand Master Award.