White Stone Day


340 pages
ISBN 0-679-31480-6
DDC C813'.54




Reviewed by Michael Payne

Michael Payne is the City of Edmonton archivist and the co-author of A
Narrative History of Fort Dunvegan.


John Gray has tried his hand at journalism and musical theatre, but his
most recent work has been two interesting thrillers written in the lurid
style of a Victorian penny dreadful. Both The Fiend in Human (2003) and
White Stone Day are set in Victorian London and feature a dissolute
journalist-cum-detective named Edmund Whitty.

In White Stone Day, Whitty’s taste for gambling, alcohol, drugs, and
unsuitable women has forced him into an existence of frequenting the
most miserable of accommodations and trying to avoid his creditors. His
life is further complicated when he and his dead brother become the
focus of a bogus psychic’s séance. Whitty later receives shocking
photographic evidence of what appears to be his brother’s sexual
depravity. When the psychic turns up dead, Whitty is accused of his
murder and locked away in Britain’s most dismal jail to await trial.

Whitty’s fortunes improve when a menacing figure from London’s
underworld helps him escape from prison. In return, Whitty is called on
to investigate the disappearance of the underworld lord’s niece. Over
the course of solving the case, Whitty learns the truth about his
brother and saves a young girl’s life in the process.

With its clever pastiche of pulp-fiction stereotypes ranging from the
rakish hero to enemies who turn out to be friends, White Stone Day
stands out in the crowded field of Canadian police procedurals.


Gray, John MacLachlan., “White Stone Day,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/16828.