The Boy on the Bicycle: A Forgotten Case of Wrongful Conviction in Toronto by Nate Hendley

Readers of true crime will be happy to hear that Nate Hendley is back with The Boy on the Bicycle (2018, Five Rivers Publishing). This was a project Mr. Hendley had put on hold while finishing his encyclopedic book The Big Con, which was a history of confidence men, hoaxes and frauds from past to present.

The Boy on the Bicycle revisits the murder of seven-year-old Wayne Mallette on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto 62 years ago in 1956.… Continue reading

The Light a Body Radiates by Ethel Whitty

At fifty-eight pages into The Light a Body Radiates by Ethel Whitty (2018, Caitlin Press), Eileen Macpherson’s grandmother tells her:

“If you’re a storyteller, it’s your job to make it a story that wants to be told. Where we come from, the one who always keeps the stories is the granddaughter.” Then she murmured, “You can be that granddaughter to me.” In response to the confusion she read on my face, she continued in a less conspiratorial tone, “Don’t worry, they’ll be good stories.”

The Light a Body Radiates comprises a good story in its 280+ pages.… Continue reading

Murder Lost to Time by Joseph A. Lapello

year is 1917. Less than two decades into the new century and already the Great War is occurring in the muddy fields of France. Soon there will be the Spanish Influenza which will kill many more millions. An inauspicious start to a new millennium, to be sure. In one of Canada’s largest cities, Toronto, there has been a murder. A cab driver is found dead in west-end Toronto, stabbed multiple times.… Continue reading

Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill

The nice thing about book bloggers is their willingness to share their posts on books I would like to read, but just can’t work them into my “to-be-read” stack. Here’s another Giller shortlist book reviewed by Naomi at Consumed by Ink.


What I love so much about reading the Giller books is that there are always surprises. I’m often reading books I hadn’t heard of before, books from authors I’ve never read before, and books I know very little about.… Continue reading

Once Upon A Time in West Toronto by Terri Favro

In 2012 Terri Favro’s novella The Proxy Bride (Quattro Books) won the Ken Klonsky Quattro Novella Award. Fellow Inanna author Lisa de Nikolits said of The Proxy Bride: “A beautiful snapshot of a time past and present: a vignette of small town Niagara, home to passionate Italians, their lives portrayed lovingly with sensual prose and operatic lyrical descriptions.”

Once Upon a Time in West Toronto (2017, Inanna Publications) is the sequel to The Proxy Bride, but it is not required reading in order to understand Once Upon a Time in West Toronto.Continue reading

Between Rothko and 3 Windows by Corrado Paina

Paina has published five collections of poetry with Mansfield Press (Toronto) including Hoarse Legend (2000) and cinematic taxi (2015). In Italy, there have been numerous publications including a collection of short stories, several collections of poetry, and the original version of this novella, “tra Rothko e tre finestre”. One of the greatest joys in reviewing books is the unexpected pleasure of discovering an excellent story when you least expect it.… Continue reading

What Killed Jane Creba by Anita Arvast

Subtitled Rap, Race, and the Invention of a Gang War, What Killed Jane Creba (2016, Dundurn) is an investigative look into the circumstances surrounding the accidental shooting death of a girl in downtown Toronto in 2005.

It was Boxing Day (December 26th) and Jane Creba was in downtown Toronto outside the Eaton Center with thousands of other people. Some of those in the crowd were some young black men with a grudge against one another.… Continue reading