The Water Rat of Wanchai, the first Ava Lee novel, won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Crime Novel last night during the awards banquet in Toronto. The awards celebrate the best crime and mystery writing in Canada.
“What a tremendous honour,” said Hamilton. “It is wonderful to receive this kind of validation from the Crime Writers of Canada and the Arthur Ellis Awards Judges.”
The novel was also named a Quill and Quire Book of the Year and an Amazon.ca Editor’s Pick. The Water Rat of Wanchai is the first in the Ava Lee series. The Disciple of Las Vegas was released in June 2011 and The Wild Beasts of Wuhan in January 2012. Hamilton, who has been described by the National Post as “prolific” has an eight-book publishing deal with House of Anansi’s Spiderline imprint. Book 4, The Red Pole of Macau, is scheduled for release in September 2012.
Arthur Ellis Awards – Judge’s Comments:
The Water Rat of Wanchaiby Ian Hamilton,
House of Anansi Press Inc.
Ian Hamilton’s The Water Rat of Wanchai is a smart, action-packed thriller of the first order, and Ava Lee, a gay Asian-Canadian forensics accountant with a razor-sharp mind and highly developed martial arts skills, is a protagonist to be reckoned with. We were impressed by Hamilton’s tight plotting; his well-rendered settings, from the glitz of Bangkok to the grit of Guyana; and his ability to portray a wide range of sharply individualized characters in clean but sophisticated prose.