Detecting Canada is the first serious book-length look at crime writing in Canada, containing essays on many of Canada's most popular crime writers. The following is an excerpt from Pamela Bedore's piece on novelist Gail Bowen and her Joanne Kilbourn novels. Of the essay, the book's editors, Jeannette Sloniowski and Marilyn Rose, say:
"Pamela Bedore [argues] that the author uses the series as a jumping-off point for a feminist examination/reconstruction of the amateur sleuth. She sees Bowen’s fiction as complex and nuanced and the author as creating a serious discussion of feminist issues through manipulations of the conventions of crime fiction."
From Chapter 7 by Pamela Bedore
The Joanne Kilbourn series naturally breaks into three “movements” of three or four novels, each based on Jo’s professional situation as well as her romantic relationships, and each movement contains one novel that addresses feminism head-on, although questions of gender politics inflect all the novels. Although Jo’s strength as a successful professional woman oft …
How the Light Gets In, the latest book in Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series, was a huge international success this year, proving once again that Canadian crime fiction knows what it’s doing. And although it is unclear whether or not Penny has more Gamache novels in the works, there is a huge variety of other Canadian crime/detective series to try out in the meantime. (And get ready—quite a few of these series have new instalments due in 2014!)
But how to choose which series to start with?
Well, it’s easy with our handy #LitWishList of fictional Canadian sleuths. Think of it like sleuthy speed-dating—peruse the list to see who catches your fancy. Though you just may end up wanting to read them all.
The Toronto Lesbian PI: Calli Barnow
Last Seen: Yellow Vengeance by Liz Bugg
After narrowly escaping death while solving her last case, the Toronto PI is settling happily into married life with her new wife, Jess. Once again, however, trouble is looming: Jess wants a baby but Calli would rather fight a psycho with a gun than contemplate parenthood. When an old school friend asks Calli to investigate her mother’s death, Calli jumps at the chance to distract herself with work. Her plans go awry when her own mother reveals a shocking secret that threatens …