Crime Fiction Canada    

The Larger Picture

Marilyn Rose and Jeannette Sloniowski have constructed the CrimeFictionCanada web site as a unique scholarly resource for the style of Crime, Mystery and Detective Fiction. The assumption on which this extensive research project is based is that “crime, mystery and detection,” in its manifold forms, has considerable social and cultural significance when examined through the conventions and protocols of both modern thought and postmodern theoretical perspectives.

The project began at Brock University in 2002, with the acquisition by Brock University of the Skene-Melvin collection of Crime, Mystery and Detection, which was donated to the James Gibson Library at Brock University by life-long collector of this genre, David Skene-Melvin. Brock’s library continues to add to its collection and welcomes donations that will serve to “fill the gaps” in the body of materials Mr. Skene-Melvin amassed over his many years of bibliographic work in this field. The James Gibson Library’s Collection policy is appended below.

The CrimeFictionCanada website and its ongoing development and maintenance represent the establishment of a bibliographic tool that is essential to the study of this particular genre. We have assembled a comprehensive list of Canadian detective fiction, primary sources. We have surveyed the burgeoning field of Theses and Dissertations on Crime, Mystery and Detective fiction in its various forms. We have attempted to include all secondary sources related to the genre as it has been produced in English since the 19 th century. We assembled a list of “literary detection” – fictions wherein the use of detective fiction conventions (whether “straight” or ironically) are to be found in the work of mainstream writers not primarily associated with this genre. Our burgeoning list of general criticism related to crime, mystery and detection in television and film is unique in its comprehensiveness and reach.

Most recently, we have welcomed Philippa Gates of Wilfred Laurier University to our site. Beginning in 2005-6, Philippa and her graduate students at Laurier will develop primary lists reflecting Crime, Mystery and Detective Film and Crime, Mysery andDetective Television. These lists of primary sources will complement our own lists of criticism and secondary sources in this area.

Apart from the ongoing development of on-line webliographies for the use of scholars and afficionados of this genre around the world, our intention is to produce articles and book-length projects on Canadian crime fiction – on crime fiction writers and interpreters, on the Canadian detective fiction "canon," on Canada's crime fiction publishers and on critics and fans of this genre in this country. We will also host conferences dedicated to the study of Crime, Mystery and Detection, with the aim of sharing scholarly ideas with respect to this genre, its forms and function, its material conditions of production and the patterns of consumption which mark it as the pre-eminent popular genre in our times.

James Gibson Library

Collection Policy


This document reflects the collection development policies of the James A. Gibson Library for crime, detective, mystery, and western fiction.

Crime, detective, mystery, and western fiction is studied as part of the Popular Culture program that also includes the study of other types of literature.


Materials are collected in the English language.

Duplicate materials are not collected. Rare and expensive materials will be considered on an individual basis. Titles intended for a juvenile audience, textbooks, and non-English language materials are not collected. Multiple editions of specific titles are excluded.

An attempt will be made to build a comprehensive book collection of Canadian Crime fiction including critical works of Canadian crime fiction. An attempt will be made to collect a selection (for prolific authors, 3 or 4 titles) of the works of representative individual authors from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.


Primary works of crime, detective, mystery, and western fiction, and selective secondary/critical materials will be considered for purchase.

Radio dramas and readings may be collected on cassette tapes or compact disk. Compact disk is the preferred format and when available, DVDs.

Donations will be accepted using the above guidelines and with the following provisos:

  • That donations will be scrutinized by Library staff so that only representative works by individual non-Canadian authors are included
  • That duplicate copies of items already in the Library will not be accepted
  • That Canadian materials are retained if not already in the Library

Prepared by Phyllis Wright
June 2002

Crime Fiction Canada   Crime Fiction Canada
Crime Fiction Canada   Crime Fiction Canada
Crime Fiction Canada