Murder/mystery recalls Toronto’s Yonge and Queen streetcar lines of the 1950s

“The Reluctant Virgin” is a story of a serial killer who haunts the streets of Toronto in the 1950s. The tale recreates the city as it existed in that decade. The descriptions, along with the archival photographs, pull the reader into a story that appears chillingly real.

At times, the novel glorifies the city’s past, fondly recalling restaurants such as Le Chaumiere and the Savarin Tavern. The scene where two of the fictional characters attend the hockey game when Frank Mahavolich first played with the Leafs in Maple Leaf Gardens will be of interest to hockey fans. Others may enjoy the vivid descriptions of Toronto’s Yonge Street on hot summer nights in July.

Several times during the unfolding of the plot, the fictional characters board Toronto streetcars. Because the subway replaced the Peter Witt streetcars on Yonge Street in 1954, the author includes a lament for the glory days of these grand old trolleys. At the conclusion of this section, there is a plea for the citizens of Toronto to appreciate the role that streetcars have played in the history of their city.

Below is the concluding paragraph from the section in the book that tells about Toronto’s streetcars. It mentions the famous Queen Street line.    

Today, Torontonians underestimate their streetcars. An international trolley association has rated Toronto’s Queen Streetcar Line as one of the top ten in the world, and the only one that remains a “functional line,” as opposed to those maintained mainly as tourist attractions. This places the Queen line among prestigious company—the San Francisco trolley cars, the St. Charles streetcars in New Orleans, and the streetcars of the Alfama District of Lisbon. It is a pity that the tourist board of Toronto does not promote the attractions of the Queen line. To ride its length from either Long Branch or the Humber in the west, to Neville Park in the city’s east end, a rider passes through fascinatingly diverse neighbourhoods, all for the price of a streetcar ticket or a token.

The book is presently in stock at any Chapters/Indigo store. It may also be purchased in either paperback or electronic versions from the publisher:

To view the author’s Home Page:

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