Bloody York: Tales of Mayhem, Murder and Mystery in Toronto


256 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps
ISBN 0-88924-273-9
DDC C813'.087208





Edited by David Skene-Melvin
Reviewed by Trevor S. Raymond

Trevor S. Raymond is a teacher and librarian with the Peel Board of Education and editor of Canadian Holmes.


If “the handful of stories represented here in this celebration of the
romance and excitement of Toronto are but a meagre gleaning of the rich
harvest of mayhem, murder, and mystery that lurks in the asphalt jungle
of Canada’s Queen City,” as librarian and editor David Skene-Melvin
writes in this, his third anthology of Canadian crime fiction, it seems
odd that he leads off this new collection with the same story that led
off his first anthology, Crime in a Cold Climate. Still, it’s one of
the best stories, and Skene-Melvin devotes considerable time to it in
his lengthy introduction, which also gives fascinating historical
background about the locales of the stories and makes specific reference
to the characters and events in them.

Eight of the selections were written in the past 12 years; two are
originals. The others have been culled from more than a century of
writing. Two are from the 19th century; two others, including a fine
Sherlock Holmes pastiche (the client is Sir John A. Macdonald) are set
in that time. The stories are not all traditional mysteries; one is
about ghosts, another is science fiction, and a third features a female
detective on Toronto’s Queen Street East who is also a vampire. There
are biographical notes on the authors and thorough bibliographies of
their crime-related and other literary work; each tale also is


“Bloody York: Tales of Mayhem, Murder and Mystery in Toronto,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 28, 2024,