Looking back, I see this as a year of reading riches bookended by two great disappointments. In January it was Douglas Durkin's Mr. Gumble Sits Up, the story of an indebted, tired man whose rest in peace is interrupted when he returns to life at his funeral. December brought Tan Ming, a self-published, pseudonymous fantasy penned by electronic organ pioneer Morse Robb. It's the tale of an Eaton's window dresser who falls in love with a mannequin, uses magic to make her come alive, and then flees into a post-apocalyptic future.
Oh, but don't both sound fun?
this link. Anyone interested in hearing more about Tan Ming will have to wait for a future Dusty Bookcase column in Canadian Notes & Queries.
Of the thirty-two titles reviewed here and in CNQ, I count three novels that should be reissued forthwith. All are by Margaret Millar, the pride of Kitchener, Ontario:
Wall of Eyes
Beast in View
An Air that Kills
Not one is available in Canada, which isn't to say that they can't be purchased abroad. Orion reissued Beast in View under its Phoenix imprint just last year, while An Air that Kills is available in the United States courtesy of California publisher Stark House.
This year's tip of the hat and pat on the back goes to Stark House for having returned An Air that Kills to print, along with five other Canadian novels:
I won't pretend to have read all twenty-five Margaret Millar novels, but I have An Air that Kills. The best thus far, my take can be found here:
Margaret Millar and the Air Up North
Originally published in 1956 and 1961 respectively, these Montreal noir mysteries are the last novels Sanderson set in Canada. I've written about The Deadly Dames here:
A Dick's Deadly Dames
I can't speak to Pure Sweet Hell, but Catch a Fallen Starlet is one of my favourite Sanderson titles. My thoughts on the novel:
Drunken Writer Exposes Hollywood Hush-Up
Sadly, Stark House has no Canadian distributor. All titles are available through the Stark House website and, ahem, amazon.com (not amazon.ca).
Canadian distributors take note.
|The Vancouver Sun, 7 December 1962|