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The world's leading Mystery magazine

Stranger Than Fiction

Monthly true-crime columns by Dean Jobb

THIS MONTH’S COLUMN

Grave Injustices
by Dean Jobb

In a windswept cemetery in the northern Illinois village of Garden Prairie, Daniel Stott’s gravesite stands out. The local railroad stationmaster was sixty-one and suffered from epilepsy when he died in 1881, but his weathered headstone cries cold-blooded murder. Stott was “Poisoned,” the inscription declares, “by his wife & Dr. Cream.” READ MORE

PAST COLUMNS

2024

January 2024
Arthur Conan Doyle and the Case of the Spurned Lover

February 2024
Storied Crimes

March 2024
Wayward Son

April 2024
Scam Artists

May 2024
A Man of Means

June 2024
Guys and Dolls

2023

January 2023
Arthur Conan Doyle and the ‘Frightful Murders at Walworth’ 

February 2023
Confidence Tricks

March 2023
The Case of the Speedy President

April 2023
Just the Facts

May 2023
The Jazz Age Crimes of Dapper Don Collins

June 2023
Character Studies

July 2023
Delusions of Grandeur: The Scandalous Crime of a Los Angeles Millionaire

August 2023
Great Escapes

September 2023
The “Human Bomb”: John Thornburg and the Great Chanute Bank Robbery of 1939

October 2023
Crimes of a Century (Ago)

November 2023
Witness to an Execution

December 2023
Political Crimes

2022

January 2022
Arthur Conan Doyle and Murder in England’s “Smiling and Beautiful Countryside”

February 2022
Murder Most Irish

March 2022
A Taste for Poison: The Curious Case of Dr. Lamson

April 2022
Spy Versus Spy

May 2022
The “Bogus Priest” and the Murdered President

June 2022
Frontier Justice

July 2022
Murder in the Air? The Mysterious Death of Stunt Pilot B.H. DeLay

August 2022
True Crime Stories

September 2022
How Do You Say Murder? When a Dispute Over the Pronunciation of “Newfoundland” Turned Deadly

October 2022
Ghoulish Tales

November 2022
“I’ve Got a Bridge to Sell You”: The Con Artist Who Peddled the Brooklyn Bridge

December 2022
Real-Life Mysteries

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dean Jobb
Author & Journalist

The realms of crime fiction and true crime have many intersections. Fiction writers often draw on actual investigative techniques, police procedures, and even notorious crime cases in fashioning their stories, and, conversely, fictional sleuths and their methods have occasionally influenced the practices of actual police forces. In this way, the interests of readers of crime fiction and true crime naturally dovetail, yet until 2018 the latter field had never been represented in EQMM. In January of 2018, we launched a new department to remedy that omission. Entitled Stranger Than Fiction, and written by award-winning Canadian author and journalist Dean Jobb, the column was offered free, exclusively here on our website, exploring true crime through reviews of true-crime books and original articles on real-world crimes and criminals. The feature proved so popular online that it was incorporated into the magazine itself (both print and digital editions) as of May/June 2020. In each bimonthly issue of the magazine, readers will now find an original true crime article by Dean Jobb, with supplemental material, including documents and photos, right here on our website, under the Stranger Than Fiction banner. On alternate months (when there is no new issue of the magazine releasing), you’ll still find web-exclusive true crime book reviews by Dean Jobb right here.

A true-crime specialist with more than a half-dozen titles in print, Dean Jobb is the author of one the most notable true-crime works in recent years, Empire of Deception. The story of a master swindler in 1920s Chicago, the book won both the Crime Writers of Canada and Chicago Writers Association awards, and earned rave reviews. The New York Times Book Review called it “intoxicating and impressively researched.” Readers will also want to look for the upcoming Jobb title The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream (Algonquin Books and HarperCollins Canada, 2021). In addition to pursuing his literary and journalistic careers, Dean Jobb teaches in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction program at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

We hope you’ll continue to enjoy this newest of EQMM’s departments, which has joined the Jury Box and Blog Bytes in EQMM’s long tradition of cutting-edge reviewing and scholarship.

— Janet Hutchings, Editor in Chief

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