Stranger Than Fiction

Monthly web-only columns by Dean Jobb

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October 2020 -  Women & Crime

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The realms of crime fiction and true crime have many intersections. Fiction writers often draw on real 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 the latter field has, until recently, not been represented in EQMM. In January 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 new column explores true crime through reviews of true-crime books and occasional articles on the true-crime genre and real-world crimes and criminals.

Author and journalist, Dean Jobb

A true-crime specialist with more than a half-dozen titles in print, Dean is the author of one of 2015’s most notable true-crime works, 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.” In addition to pursuing his literary and journalistic careers, Dean teaches in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction program at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

We’ll be providing a preview of Dean’s upcoming monthly columns in each issue of EQMM, with full text available—for free—on our website at Readers of digital editions of the magazine will be able to click straight through from the previews to the full columns.

Stranger Than Fiction was launched, in January, with Dean’s roundup of choices for the best true-crime books of 2017, and that column is still available on our website, where all future columns will be archived.

February’s Stranger Than Fiction, entitled “I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere,” explores, through reviews of new critical works, the creation and enduring popularity—130 years after he first appeared in print—of Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective. A tie-in to EQMM’s annual Holmes tribute (celebrated in our January/February issue), the installment is still current on our website.

Looking further ahead, in March Dean takes a look at the latest books on the history of Chicago crime: a gambling king, a century-old miscarriage of justice, Al Capone’s rivals, and the murderous rampage of the White City “Devil.”

We hope you’ll enjoy this new department, which joins the Jury Box and Blog Bytes in EQMM’s long tradition of cutting-edge reviewing and scholarship.

— Janet Hutchings




January 2020
Finding Sherlock, Part 1: "The Endless Significance of the Trifles"

February 2020
Finding Sherlock, Part 2: A New Idea of the Detective

March 2020
Home of the Whoppers

April 2020
Canadian Noir

May 2020
The Two Will Wests

June 2020
Cops & Robbers

July 2020
The Sinking of the I'm Alone

August 2020
"Summery" Offenses

September 2020
Arthur Conan Doyle and the Mutineers


January 2019
Revisiting Classic True Crime

February 2019
Mob Scenes

March 2019
French Connections

April 2019
Mysteries at the Museum

May 2019
In Case You Missed It

June 2019
Victorian Sensations

July 2019
Political Crimes

August 2019
Summer Reads

September 2019
Poison Pens

October 2019
A Crime Story to Good to be True

November 2019
Jazz-Age Crime

December 2019
The Best True Crime of 2019


January 2018
Four Books, Four Countries, One Crime

February 2018
We Hear of Sherlock Everywhere

March 2018
Murder and Mayhem in the Windy City

April 2018
The Writer as Sleuth

May 2018
The Origins of the CSI Effect

June 2018
The Con is On

July 2018
The Craft of True Crime: When Old News is Good News

August 2018
Catch a True-Crime Wave This Summer

September 2018
Old School Murder and Mayhem

October 2018
Crime and Place

November 2018
Rich and Infamous

December 2018
The Class of 2018



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