WHITE MALES "... is nutty, paranoid,
messy and a great deal of fun. A must for Ann Diamond fans." -- The
"Set against the backdrop of Montreal in cold winter,
along the lines of The Big Sleep meets Brazil meets Priscilla, Queen
of the Desert. [The hero, detective David] Dennings wanders through
Montreal and Venezuela stumbling through surreal twists and turns, [and]
Ann Diamond delivers an ending tying up all loose ends - with, of course,
the requisite twist. The repartee, snappy phrasing, betrayals and sense
of desperation - all traits of the classic Humphrey Bogart flick - work
well in a theatre of the absurd. In fact, Dead White Males is one of
those rare books that would, on a second reading, like the second viewing
of a film, glean more fine detail and laughter." -- The Antigonish
NUN'S DIARY "One
of the few must-read collections of poetry to appear in a long while."
--The Toronto Star
[Winner of the QSPELL Hugh MacLennan Award
for Fiction, 1994.] "Diamond's uncluttered language reveals
the chill inherent in keeping one's eyes -- and heart -- stationed on
the borders of experience." -- Books in Canada
"As in Diamond's earlier collection,
Snakebite, some of the stories are realistic
and others fantastical, but in both, the absurd lurks just outside the
door and seeps in under the cracks." -- The Montreal Gazette
"...is not just an accomplished stylistic show-piece;
it is also driven by some potent ideas. For a first novel, Mona's Dance
is an impressive work and a chapter in the development of an important
and promising Canadian writer." -- Prairie Fire
OF DAVID DENNINGS, PRIVATE DETECTIVE
The phone had not rung all week. I was sitting
at my desk that day, pondering my bank statement and feeling very much
like an ex-hairdresser in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Which was
what I was. In the last two years, my trickle of customers had gradually
decreased to a few droplets. My once-dazzling celebrity clientele had
all been lured to other establishments whose marketing tactics were
far beneath me. My reputation for being a busybody never really helped
matters. What exactly were my options? Run away to some Third World
country and work with lepers. That takes training, and I had only my
skill with scissors and a box of business cards identifying me as David
Dennings, Private Detective.
The phone lay dead, dormant, soon to be disconnected.
A sudden intuition made me pick up the receiver. I could hear the sound
of breathing at the other end.
"Hello?" "Hello." "Ariadne Detective Agency?"
"Yes." "Are you a detective?"
The voice, muffled and artificial, seemed tense.
"I don't like talking on the phone."
He sounded like the nervous type. I told him to come
on over. Minutes later I heard the screeching of brakes, a thud, and
a car door slam. Then came the sound of the doorbell. I buzzed him in.
As I listened to his footsteps climbing the stairs, I felt a slight
frisson of dŽja-vu. At the top, he swayed panting in a cloud of patchouli
oil. Earrings, neckscarf. A few thousand dollars worth of leather which
looked like it had recently been run over by a car. The inevitable skullring
winked from his pinky finger. I welcomed him in to my headquarters,
such as it was. He reminded me of some fancy heron tiptoeing across
I said, "I like to get to know people before I say I'll
work for them. Have a seat and let's talk."
He flung himself on the only sofa, slid one hand into
his pocket and pulled out a wrinkled photograph.
"There's someone I want you to locate."
The picture had been taken in full sunlight. She was