Crime Where the Nights are Long

Overview

The period from the early 1880s through the First World War has been called "The Golden Age of the Storytellers." These were the writers who sought not to write great literature, but to entertain, spinning yarns to be printed and read, just as their predecessors, the minstrels and bards, recited and were listened to. Through their countless tales of adventure and derring-do they brought romance and colour to the lives of those who could do no more than dream. This was the age of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H. Rider Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, and H.G. Wells. Canadian writers contributed in no small way to the cornucopia of romance and adventure the reading public could find at the newsstands and bookstores. This is the period of which Messrs Roper, Beharriell, and Scheider in Literary History of Canada: Canadian Literature in English (2d ed., 1976) say "the Canadian fiction-writers between 1880 and 1920 were read more widely by their contemporaries, inside and outside Canada, than have been the Canadian fiction-writers - collectively - since." Literary historian David Skene-Melvin, the leading authority on Canadian criminous literature, has garnered from amongst the collections and magazines of the period a second anthology of stirring tales by Grant Allen, Robert Barr, Algernon Blackwood, W. H. Blake, Susan Carleton, William Henry Drummond, William Fraser, Harvey O’Higgins, Sir Gilbert Parker, Hesketh Pearson, Alan Sullivan, and others, some never before anthologized, guaranteed to set the blood a-racing and stimulate the imagination.

Reviews

"Real-life settings and circumstances that seem entirely plausible... Will appeal to those interested in stories about crimes committed in unusual settings."

Canadian Book Review Annual

About the Author

David Skene-Melvin

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

David Skene-Melvin

Dr. David Skene-Melvin is the dean of anthologizers of Canadian criminous short fiction and has previously edited Crime in a Cold Climate, Investigating Women, and Bloody York. He is also the compiler of Canadian Crime Fiction 1817-1996.