Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Frozen Stiffs! True Crime True North: The Golden Age of Canadian Pulp Magazines

I haven't done a book review in a while, since like all the rest of us, I only look at pictures. It will be a few weeks before Kindle figures out how to incorporate graphics like these into their digital downloads, so I'll use the time to suggest a hardcopy purchase.

Canadian true crime pulp magazines! Written by Carolyn Strange and Tina Loo, I presume their real names...a fabulous collection of covers and entertaining text providing the history of detective rags from above. I suspect these magazines are FAR more scarce than those churned out in America during the 1940s and 1950s and as such seldom seen, so the writers have done us a service. As you can see, the covers are just striking. More primitive than ours, the Canadian illustrators opted for a sparse, open, esthetic as forlorn as their landscape during December. With their muted colors, these pulps seem as lonely as the folks who read them. Even the man on fire seems cold! I see a few soggy and nearly frozen pages of these in a pile on a cabin floor in my mind's eye as I type. The book, 100 pages of true north crime bliss was published 6 years ago, so my review is a bit late...but it doesn't diminish the appeal. Using images from the National Library of Canada and a wonderful layout and design, this is an inexpensive book as cool as a Canadian on a cooling bed...and even though it was published in 2004, It's still good...after all, it's a BOOK. Put on your cyber mukluks and go buy one.

(Book Linked at Amazon on the right here under "GOOD THINGS)


  1. here is another dandy by a canadian, with a great title:
    Cyanide and Sin: Visualizing Crime in 50's America.

  2. I think you're spot on concerning the scarcity of these gems. In thirty years haunting flee markets, thrift shops and the more interesting of our used bookshops I have never seen even one of these periodicals.

    I should add that Library and Archives Canada has a pretty swell online display of Canadian pulps: Tales from the Vault!