Ann Shortell's Celtic Knot among 2019 Whistler Independent Book Awards winners

The Whistler Independent Book Awards celebrate self-published fiction and nonfiction in Canada.
Celtic Knot is a novel by Ann Shortell. (Oliver Salathiel)

Toronto writer Ann Shortell has won the fiction category of the 2019 Whistler Independent Book Awards for her historical mystery novel Celtic Knot.

The Whistler Independent Book Awards annually celebrate self-published fiction and nonfiction in Canada.

The nonfiction winner was artist Tina Martel for her memoir Not in the Pink.

Shortell's book was inspired by the assassination of Canadian politician D'Arcy McGee in 1868.

Celtic Knot follows McGee's housemaid Clara Swift, as she works with the prime minister's investigator to solve her employer's murder.

 "In addition to its compelling heroine, I was engaged by the polished writing and the finely chosen details of the period… a skillfully constructed historical mystery," said jury member Evelyn Lau in a press release.

Not in the Pink is a comic that documents Martel's breast cancer treatment through photos, sketches and paintings.

The artist shares her daily frustrations in the process of recovery, as well as her experiences with the ridiculousness of medical bureaucracy.

"It's an honest, rough-around-the-edges graphic memoir of a creator and, more notably, a survivor," said jury member J.J. Lee.

The winners receive a number of prizes, including a one-year subscription to Write magazine, a reading event and package of promotional materials.