Sugar-Puss on Dorchester Street by Al Palmer

Véhicule Press, through their Ricochet Books imprint, will be releasing Al Palmer’s Sugar-Puss on Dorchester Street in April, 2013.  Véhicule Press has begun a project to reprint lost and forgotten Canadian noir novels.  So far they have published the three David Montrose novels featuring Russel Teed.  Sugar-Puss by Al Palmer will be their fourth offering.

P-00567-djSugar-Puss on Dorchester Street  was originally published by the now long defunct News Stand Library in 1950.  Véhicule’s will be the first reprint.  News Stand Library paperbacks are noted for their poor production values. The books quickly fell apart and the poor printing quality and slash-and-burn editing left quite a lot to be desired.  Never-the-less, they are highly collectable today.  They are hard to find, in pretty much any condition, and very expensive when they are found.  Véhicule’s reprint of Sugar-Puss is thus something to be look forward to.  The first three books in the set, by David Montrose, are all well written novels deserving of a second life.  For myself, the Montreal setting of these stories only adds to their interest.  Crime in Chicago and LA is all fine and dandy but if you want some genuine Canadian seediness, Montreal of the 1950’s is the place to be.

From the Véhicule website: “One of the earliest Canadian noir novels, Sugar-Puss on Dorchester Street tells the story of Gisele Lepine, beautiful farmer’s daughter who leaves her sleepy farming community for the neon lights of Montreal. In the fast-paced city, dreams quickly turn to nightmares as the young ‘farmette’ finds herself surrounded by drug-dealers, newspapermen, nightclub owners, chorus girls and a fatherly boxer who is well past his prime. It’s all a bit too much for innocent Gisele, who hasn’t yet had to deal with the violence that is to come. All becomes a whirlwind set in the post-war ‘open city’ where burlesque houses were plentiful, Dorchester Street was lined with nightclubs and Decarie Boulevard served as Canada’s Sunset Strip.”

For a review of Sugar-Puss visit Brian Busby’s blog The Dusty Bookcase.

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