Sugar-Puss on Dorchester Street

Al Palmer
With an introduction by Will Straw


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 faming 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' in which burlesque houses were plentiful, Dorchester Street was lined with nightclubs and Decarie Boulevard served as Canada's Sunset Strip.

Newspaperman Al Palmer covered Montreal's nightlife and criminal world-so very often intertwined-beginning in the 1940s. Published in 1949, Sugar-Puss on Dorchester Street, Palmer's only novel, appeared the year before Montreal Confidential, his infamous 'low down on the big town'.

Will Straw is Professor of Communications at McGill University and Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada. He is the author of Cyanide and Sin: Visualizing Crime in 1950s America and over a hundred articles on media and urban life.

The consulting editor for the Ricochet series is Brian Busby. His blog is The Dusty Bookcase.

Fiction 2013

Al Palmer [1913-1971], started his journalistic career as a sports writer. He covered the police beat for the Montreal Herald before becoming one of its featured columnists with "Man About Town." He moved to the Montreal Gazette where he wrote the widely-read column, "Our Town."

Other books by Al Palmer: Montreal Confidential
Trade paperback
220 pp 7" x 4.25"
ISBN13: 9781550653496

CDN $13.95
US & International
US $13.95

Ebook
ISBN13: 9781550653656

CDN $9.99