|© The Estate of Leo Orenstein|
International Detective Cases was "THE WORLD'S MOST UNUSUAL DETECTIVE MAGAZINE!" No question. So unusual was the world's most unusual that it seems to have vanished without so much as publishing a single issue.
The above, which comes to me courtesy of the family of the late Leo Orenstein, looks to be yet another of the artist's unused covers. Formatting and presentation suggest that like Aphrodite, Against the Grain and Curious Relations of Mankind, International Detective Cases was an aborted effort of Toronto's Fireside Publications. But here's the thing, Fireside didn't produce any original material, rather they'd re-issue, re-package, re-package... My hunch here is that publisher meant to mine the corpse of a dead American true crime monthly by the same title.
|International Detective Cases, December 1937|
An aside: Where the title of England's "A Case for Scotland Yard" seems rather ho-hum, the Canadian entry, "The Tale of Singed Dog Island", did intrigue. I spent a happy half-hour yesterday reading newspaper accounts of this forgotten case. It began 23 November 1935 when the appropriately named John Harms, a trapper, murdered his partner. He next terrorized a neighbour by showing her the body, then made repeated attempts to break into her home. Eventually Harms gave up, yelling: "Report to police that the kid is dead. I will be waiting for them at my cabin on Singed Dog Island."*
|The Leader-Post, 30 November 1935|
No detectives needed.
* There really is a Singed Dog Island; a nine-acre piece of land just inside the Saskatchewan portion of Lake Athabaska, from the air it resembles a rotting steak. The actual murder took place at nearby Spring Point, but "The Tale of Spring Point" doesn't sound nearly so interesting.