The murder/mystery entitled “The Reluctant Virgin,” is the story of a serial killer loose on the streets of Toronto during the 1950s. However, in reality the book is historical fiction. The important events of the decade are woven into the fictional plot. My memories of the day of the funeral of King George VI on 15 February in 1952 formed the basis for the section that appears in the book. The detailed descriptions of the city during this post-war period and the archival photos give 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 from “The Reluctant Virgin,” describes Toronto on the day the funeral was held in London for King George VI .
In Toronto, on the day of the funeral, it was as if an almighty hand had silenced the humble residential streets and grand avenues—Rosedale was as silent as Cabbagetown. The pulse of the great metropolis had ceased to throb. Factory whistles were silent, automobiles’ horns remained untouched, and the noisy clatter of the streetcars on Yonge Street appeared strangely out of place. Shops lacked customers. Restaurants were nearly empty. Many residents attended one of the numerous funeral services, the largest being in Maple Leaf Gardens.
In the evening, bars and restaurants were quiet, some having closed their doors to all customers. The CBC broadcast Gabriel Faure’s celebrated “Requiem.” It was more than the death of the king that had stunned the city into immobility. His passing had severed an important link with the past—the war years. Despite the horrors of battle, people remained proud that the Empire and the English-speaking peoples had stood together against insurmountable odds. They cherished the victory, and the king had played a major role in the out-come.
Though it had been only seven years since the war had ended, the experiences of the conflict had already mellowed in memory into a golden time, when the camaraderie and pride in the accomplishments over-shadowed the wounds of battle. The valiant struggles of the king and the trust the nation had placed in him during the war years, were being fondly remembered.
For further information on the “The Reluctant Virgin,” a murder/mystery that encompasses historical fiction: https://tayloronhistory.com/2012/01/29/chilling-murdermystery-showcases-toronto/
Author’s Home Page : https://tayloronhistory.com/
Link to purchase this book : http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000188306/The-Reluctant-Virgin.aspx
“The Reluctant Virgin” is available at any Chapters/Indigo store and can also be ordered in electronic versions.