New Brunswick Author Portal

Anne  Emery
Categories: Female AuthorsAnglophone AuthorsNovelistsSoutheast


Anne Emery grew up in Moncton (and Belliveau/Parlee Beach in the summers) and attended Queen Street (St Bernardís) School, Hillcrest and Harrison Trimble High. She obtained a BA from St. F.X. University, an MA from Dalhousie and an LL.B. from Dalhousie Law School. She has worked as a lawyer, legal affairs reporter and researcher. She is the author of six books in the Collins-Burke mystery series, featuring Monty Collins and Father Brennan Burke: Sign of the Cross, Obit, Barrington Street Blues, Cecilian Vespers, Children in the Morning, and Death at Christy Burkeís. She lives in Halifax with her husband and daughter.

How has New Brunswick influenced your work?

My upbringing in Moncton, particularly my early school years, has had a strong influence on my work. I attended St. Bernardís Church, known as "the Irish church" and the Catholic school beside it, which unfortunately no longer exists. The emphasis at the church and school was on music and stage productions, operettas, and St. Patrickís Day celebrations. Definitely an influence on my books, in which Irish Catholicism is the background shared by many of the characters. And the two main characters are musicians. St. Bernardís Church, architecturally intact but bearing another name, appears in New York in my second book, Obit. And old Monctonians may see some familiar names; I find myself giving minor characters the names of my parentsí friends and acquaintances, those who are no longer with us.

Also, I believe the bilingual character of Moncton (along with the Latin in the Mass in those early years) is to some degree responsible for an interest in languages that I have had throughout my life. One of my main characters, Father Brennan Burke, speaks several languages.

What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far?

I would not single out one highlight, but I have to say Iíve enjoyed the research trips to Ireland, Italy and New York; itís good to give my characters a road trip once in a while. Good for all of us!

Literary Prizes

Best First Novel, Arthur Ellis Awards for Excellence in Canadian Crime Writing, Crime Writers of Canada - 2007 In recognition of: Sign of the Cross.

Featured Publication

Children in the Morning

Delaney was deathly still as the prosecutor asked his daughter once more why she mentioned the Hells Angels, and Jenny obliged her with an answer.

ďIt wasnít anything. They didnít do it. Itís just that Mum yelled out ĎHells Angelsí the night she died ...Ē

I was struck dumb at the defence table. Peggy had shouted out the words ĎHells Angelsí not some time or one night, but the night she died. I found it hard to believe, and so would the Crown, that she was talking to herself. It sounded to me as if she had been making an accusation, or reacting to a statement; either way, she was not alone when she uttered the exclamation. Not alone, perhaps, at the moment of her death.

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Source(s): Author