My true crime column, “Stranger Than Fiction,” appears monthly in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine online
CLICK HERE TO READ the latest INSTALlMENT and ARCHIVED COLUMNS
November 2019 – Jazz Age Crime: The Roaring Twenties and Dirty Thirties are the backdrop for new books that recreate the mysterious disappearance of a Toronto theater impresario, a crime spree that terrorized Los Angeles and the rise and fall of bootlegging king George Remus.
December – The Best of 2019: A roundup of some of the year’s best true crime books, from a shocking terrorist attack on a cruise ship and the investigation that cracked a 40-year-old cold case to the murder of a Canadian gold mining magnate on an island paradise and the bible-toting serial killer who captivated novelist Harper Lee.
January 2020 – Finding Sherlock: ‘The Endless Significance of the Trifles’
Part 1 of 2 – Arthur Conan Doyle enrolled in medical school in Edinburgh eager to open a practice and support his struggling family. But one of his instructors, a man with a super-human ability to size-up people, changed his life. Meet Joseph Bell, the real-life doctor who inspired a character that transformed detective fiction.
February - Finding Sherlock: ‘A New Idea of the Detective’
Part 2 of 2 – Arthur Conan Doyle, the newest physician in the English town of Southsea, grew weary of waiting for patients to walk through the door. Fees earned from magazine articles helped to pay the bills, so he wrote. When he decided to try his hand at a detective story, he suddenly remembered the deductive feats of Dr. Bell. And in that instant, an iconic character was born.
March – Home of the Whoppers: Dutch writer Roelf Bolt was fascinated with history’s greatest deceptions – the lies that separated fools from their money as well as the crackpot theories, miracle cures, hoaxes, and academic frauds that have deluded countless trusting souls. The Encyclopaedia of Liars and Deceivers, his eclectic A-to-Z collection of 150 stories of fakers, forgers, and con artists, is an overlooked true crime classic.
April – Canadian Noir: A Toronto billionaire and his wife are found dead in their mansion. Detectives bully a teenager into confessing to a crime he did not commit. And above the Arctic Circle, two indigenous men face show trials for murder. Canadians may have a reputation as polite and law-abiding, but true crime writers are revealing the darker side of law and order north of the American border.
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