Howard Engel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Howard Engel
Engel in 2007
Engel in 2007
Born(1931-04-02)2 April 1931
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
OccupationWriter, producer
GenreDrama, crime fiction
Notable worksBenny Cooperman series
SpouseMarian Engel
(m. 1962; div. 1978)
Janet Hamilton
Children3 (Charlotte and William Engel, born 1965 by first marriage, and Jacob Engel, born in 1989 by second marriage)

Howard Engel CM (born April 2, 1931) is a Canadian mystery writer and CBC producer who resides in Toronto, Ontario. He is well known to Canadian readers for his series of Benny Cooperman detective novels, set in the Niagara Region in and around the city of Grantham, Ontario (which strongly resembles the real city of St. Catharines, Ontario, where Engel was born). Engel is a founder of Crime Writers of Canada.[1]

Personal life[edit]

From 1962 to 1978 he was married to Marian Engel, a noted Canadian writer of literary fiction who died in 1985. They had two children, twins Charlotte and William, born in 1965. Charlotte currently is an independent television producer, and William who did not see eye to eye with his father until a final falling out later in life. Engel subsequently married Canadian novelist Janet Hamilton. The couple have one son, Jacob Engel, born in 1989.

In 2000, Engel suffered a stroke that left him with alexia sine agraphia, a condition that prevents him from being able to read written words without a major effort, while not affecting his ability to write.[2] He was later able to write a new novel, Memory Book (2005), in which his character Benny Cooperman suffers a blow to the head and is similarly affected. The book is largely based on personal experience. He later published The Man Who Forgot How To Read (2007), a memoir of the time he spent recovering from the stroke, with an afterword by Oliver Sacks (who wrote about Engel's reading problems in the book The Mind's Eye), and another novel, East of Suez, in 2008. [3]

In February 2007, Engel was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada, receiving it at the 100th investiture. In 2013, Engel received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal.


Benny Cooperman novels[edit]

  • The Suicide Murders (1980), ISBN 0-7720-1304-7 (Adapted as a TV movie starring Saul Rubinek)
  • The Ransom Game (1981), ISBN 0-7720-1364-0
  • Murder on Location (1982), ISBN 0-7720-1384-5
  • Murder Sees the Light (1984), ISBN 0-670-80304-9 (Adapted as a TV movie starring Saul Rubinek)
  • A City Called July (1986), ISBN 0-670-81268-4
  • A Victim Must Be Found (1988), ISBN 0-670-82298-1
  • Dead and Buried (1990) ISBN 0-670-83116-6
  • the Whole Megillah (1991) publisher BOOKCITY Bookmasters Limited 501 Bloor Street West Toronto
  • There Was an Old Woman (1993), ISBN 0-670-85259-7
  • Getting Away With Murder (1995), ISBN 0-670-86078-6
  • My Brother's Keeper (2001), ISBN 1-55278-327-8 (with Eric Wright)
  • The Cooperman Variations (2001), ISBN 0-14-029744-8
  • Memory Book (2005), ISBN 0-14-301665-2
  • East of Suez (2008), ISBN 978-0-14-305333-0

Other Novels[edit]



  • Criminal Shorts: Mysteries by Canadian Crime Writers (1992), ISBN 0-7715-9160-8 (ed. with Eric Wright)


External links[edit]