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Detecting Canada

Essays on Canadian Crime Fiction, Television, and Film

Edited by Jeannette Sloniowski & Marilyn Rose
Subjects Film & Media, Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, Canadian Literature
Series Film and Media Studies Hide Details
Paperback : 9781554589265, 290 pages, February 2014
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554589289, 290 pages, March 2014
Ebook (PDF) : 9781554589272, 290 pages, March 2014

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Detecting Canada: Essays on Canadian Crime Fiction, Television, and Film, edited by Jeannette Sloniowski and Marilyn Rose
Introduction | Jeannette Sloniowski and Marilyn Rose
History and Theory
1. Coca-Colonialists Write Back: Localizing the Global in Canadian Crime Fiction | Beryl Langer
2. Canadian Crime Writing in English | David Skene-Melvin
Essays on Fiction
3. Canadian Psycho: Genre, Nation, and Colonial Violence in Michael Slade's Gothic RCMP Procedurals | Brian Johnson
4. Northern Procedures: Policing the Nation in Giles Blunt's The Delicate Storm | Manina Jones
5. Revisioning the Dick: Reading Thomas King's Thumps DreadfulWater Mysteries | Jennifer Andrews and Priscilla L. Walton
6. Generic Play and Gender Trouble in Peter Robinson's In a Dry Season | Jeannette Sloniowski
7. A Colder Kind of Gender Politics: Intersections of Feminism and Detection in Gail Bowen's Joanne Kilbourn Series | Pamela Bedore
8. Queer Eye for the Private Eye: Homonationalism and the Regulation of Queer Difference in Anthony Bidulka's Russell Quant Mystery Series | Péter Balogh
9. Under/Cover: Strategies of Detection and Evasion in Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace | Marilyn Rose
Essays on Television
10. Televising Toronto in the 1960s: Wojeck and the Urban Crime Genre | Sarah A. Matheson
11. North of Quality? “Quality” Television and the Suburban Crimeworld of Durham County | Lindsay Steenberg and Yvonne Tasker
12. Mounties and Metaphysics in Canadian Film and Television | Patricia Gruben


The first serious book-length study of crime writing in Canada, Detecting Canada Canada’s most popular crime writers, including Peter Robinson, Giles Blunt, Gail Bowen, Thomas King, Michael Slade, Margaret Atwood, and Anthony Bidulka.
Genres examined range from the well-loved police procedural and the amateur sleuth to those less well known, such as anti-detection and contemporary noir novels. The book looks critically at the esteemed sixties’ television show Wojeck, as well as the more recent series Da Vinci’s InquestDa Vinci’s City Hall, and Intelligence, and the controversial Durham County, a critically acclaimed but violent television series that ran successfully in both Canada and the United States.
The essays in Detecting Canada look at texts from a variety of perspectives, including postcolonial studies, gender and queer studies, feminist studies, Indigenous studies, and critical race and class studies. Crime fiction, enjoyed by so many around the world, speaks to all of us about justice, citizenship, and important social issues in an uncertain world.


Detecting Canada is an indispensable landmark in the study of Canadian crime narratives. Its range is remarkable, with the essays covering not only the major practitioners of Canadian crime fiction but also television crime shows and films. This collection will remain a standard resource for many years to come.

- David Schmid, Department of English, University at Buffalo, author of Natural Born Celebrities: Serial Killers in American Culture, 2013 December

Writers of Canadian crime fiction have learned to gird our loins when we are asked a question that is as irritating as it is inevitable: When are you going to write a real novel? By offering not simply an overview of the history of crime fiction in Canada but thoughtful essays on the themes Canadian crime writers explore and on the roles played by landscape, gender, class, race, and community in our works, Detecting Canada answers that question decisively. Canadian crime writers are writing real novels, and Detecting Canada offers solid evidence to prove the point.

- Gail Bowen, author of The Gifted, the latest in the Joanne Kilbourn mystery series, 2013 December