Howard Engel CM 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. Engel is a founder of Crime Writers of Canada.
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 works in tourism. 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. He was later able to write a new novel, Memory Book, 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", a memoir of the time he spent recovering from the stroke, with an afterword by Oliver Sacks, and another novel, East of Suez, in 2008.