19 September 2014

Here's to Patti Abbott and Friday's Forgotten Books

It's been well over six years since Patti Abbott launched Friday's Forgotten Books, a weekly round-up of blog posts dealing with buried, obliterated and blown over titles from years past. A latecomer, I first contributed back in December 2011 with Touchable, a novel co-authored by the man who created Bizarro World.

Anyone interested in the obscure will find Friday's Forgotten Books a weekly treat. Last Friday's gathering included neglected gems like Dolores Hitchins' Sleep with Slander and The Deadly Climate by Ursula Curtiss.

Most of Patti's contributors are Americans, and much of the focus is on the American and British, but that doesn't mean there's nothing for the lover of Canadian literature.

It was through Friday's Forgotten Books that I first read Ron Scheer, whose Buddies in the Saddle has served as my introduction to Canada's early frontier fiction. What follows is just a sampling of the Canadian books he has covered through the years:

The Blue Wolf – William Lacey Amy
The Boss of Wind River – A.M. Chisolm
Desert Conquest – A.M. Chisolm
The Doctor – Ralph Connor
Woodsman of the West – M. A. Grainger
Out of Drowning Valley – Susan C. Jones
The Lost Cabin Mine – Frederick Niven
Northern Lights – Glbert Parker
The Backwoodsmen – Charles G.D. Roberts
Smith and Other Events – Paul St Pierre
Raw Gold –Bertrand W. Sinclair
Big Timber – Bertrand W. Sinclair
Wild West– Bertrand W. Sinclair
The Prairie Wife  – Arthur Stringer
The Settler – Herman Whitaker

Patti herself is a great champion of Margaret Millar, as am I, as is John Norris of Pretty Sinister Books. Though we've never met in person, I think John might agree with me that Martin Brett's Hot Freeze is the great Canadian noir novel. At the very least, he shares my opinion regarding Frank L. Packard's influence in crime fiction. I would be doing something of a disservice in not sharing this image from John's post on Canadian Fandom #17. It may well be the ugliest thing published in 1951, and here I'm including Taylor Caldwell's The Balance Wheel.

Returning to Patti, this week saw the announcement of her debut novel, Concrete Angel. Publisher Polis Books describes it as an "unflinching novel about love, lust and greed". Who can resist? Not me. I'll be picking up a copy.


  1. Replies
    1. 'Twas long overdue, Patti.

      Every good wish for your novel!

  2. Great post on the Forgotten Friday round-ups, Brian. That list of Canadian books is interesting and I will see if can find some of those to read. I did pick up a few older Canadian mysteries at the book sale I just went to. Usually I am not so lucky. Including a couple of Margaret Millar books.

    1. I'm in envy, Tracy. In all my years I've never so much as seen a Margaret Millar at a book sale. That said, at a Toronto Goodwill I once picked up a nearly pristine first edition of An Air That Kills. Don't know how that happened.

  3. My Boswell pictures are up. Too bad I couldn't get her titles and signature in. I love them. When I bought the second group, the woman said. "I do love Sweden!"

    1. I just read your post, Patti. Again, my congratulations.

      Anyone interested in Patti's latest acquisitions, eight signed Hazel Boswell prints happened upon in far off Michigan, can read about them here.

      I love Sweden, too!