Death in Don Mills: A Murder Mystery By Hugh Garner

Kinky sex with drug addled teens! Rampant homosexuality! And tales from the old Don Mills Shopping Centre! What more could you ask for in a book. Well, plenty, like a better plot or more rounded characters… but this murder mystery from 1975 is entertaining nonetheless. If you live in Don Mills.

I’m not really sure who Garner expected the audience for this book to be, but if you live around here, it’s got plenty of stuff to keep you turning the pages. Gripping descriptions of one characters commute across Lawrence, down Leslie, and across Eglinton, for example, or descriptions of every place to eat in the mall. Although I didn’t live in Don Mills at the time, I suspect Garner’s attention to minute detail means it’s a pretty accurate physical description of Don Mills in the 70’s.

‘The inspector got out of the car in the Don Mills Centre parking lot, and watched the car as it swung south into the Don Mills Road traffic. Then he walked into the shopping centre itself and into the Diana’s Coach n’ Four, a nice little restaurant run by an old friend of his, George Boukydis, who had expanded his father’s Diana Sweets restaurants from downtown into several suburban shopping centers. George owned another place in the Don Mills Centre, called Diana’s Artifactory, which the inspector though might be some sort of fancy pub, though he never visited it.’

Sadly this book is not available in the Toronto library system, so you’ll have to order one from a second hand bookseller if you want to know the rest of this tawdry tale. I got mine on Ebay, they can usually be found for between 6 and 12 bucks. Enjoy! And I won’t tell you whodunnit.

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5 Responses to Death in Don Mills: A Murder Mystery By Hugh Garner

  1. Rex Rhino says:

    Given that the book was written before I was born, I am not sure how much I would recognize. Otherwise I would pop into the Coach’n Four and say high to ol’ George Boukydis, and ask him just how fancy the pub is.

  2. Jo Baumann says:

    I worked at Slightham Real Estate when it was in the Mall, next to The Coach ‘N Four. We lunched there almost every day. It was like a branch office. Great memories!!
    Must get one of these books,

  3. Dave says:

    It’s been years since I read “Death in Don Mills” – I seem to recall that Mr. Garner had a bit of a bias against suburbia. (He was from Cabbagetown.) It was an accurate description of Don Mills in the 1970s.

    Now I have to get a copy of this, just to bring back old memories. Thanks for the post.

  4. Bob says:

    Thanks for this website, never heard of this book before, bought a copy on Amazon for $10 and well worth the read. I would have been 11 or 12 when the fictional story took place and if my folks knew what was apparently going on in those apartments…or the “plaza”…lol, they never would have let us leave the house.

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