Recent Toronto murder/mystery portrays the city during the 1950s


The murder/mystery entitled “The Reluctant Virgin,” is the story of a serial killer loose on the streets of Toronto. The important events of the decade are woven into the fictional plot. My memories of the death of King George VI formed the basis for the section that occurs when the king passes away. The detailed descriptions of the city during this post-war period and the archival photos create a high degree of reality to the tale. Though it is unusual to place photos within a fictional murder/mystery, they serve a vital purpose. They allow the reader to visualize the city of those years.

Along with the historical events of the 1950s, the book deals with the social issues of the decade. Attitudes towards unwed mothers, divorced women, women’s rights, pre-marital sex, and sexual orientation are important to the plot. “The Reluctant Virgin” is no mere murder/mystery. Readers who wish to experience the Toronto of the 1950s within an entertaining venue, will enjoy this book.

The passage below describes Toronto on the day that King George VI died.

In downtown Toronto, the bells of St. James Cathedral on King Street tolled throughout the morning hours. The church had hastily arranged a Service of Intercession, which they would hold at 12:30 pm.

Long before the noon hour, mourners commenced filling the pews under the high-vaulted ceiling of the nineteenth century Anglican cathedral. The CBC cancelled all commercial programming and instead broadcast only the news and music—classical and sacred, including favourites hymns of King George VI. In the evening, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra would perform a special program of tribute. The New York-Toronto hockey game at Maple Leaf Gardens was cancelled.

On Yonge Street, merchants draped shop windows with black crepe, and in prominent positions in the display areas, placed large photos of the king. In the downtown, shoppers and the business crowds were subdued and though people had been unable to adjust their choice of clothing, most planned to dress more appropriately the following day. Ottawa had stated that though wearing black was not necessary, severe dress was the most suitable attire.

At noon, as Tom walked home for lunch, he noticed that in the parlour windows of several of the homes on Lauder Avenue, the occupants had placed pictures of the king, the photographs trimmed with black cloth. People conversed quietly as they swept the dusting of snow from their porches and verandas.

For further information on the “The Reluctant Virgin,” a murder/mystery that encompasses historical fiction:

Author’s Home Page :

Link to purchase this book :

“The Reluctant Virgin” is available at any Chapters/Indigo store and can be purchased in electronic versions.

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