The Reluctant Virgin
The Reluctant Virgin
Murder in 1950s Toronto
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In every decade, deeds are committed in dark places that are unknown to those who tread life’s well-lit paths. Even so, as a new era dawns in Toronto of the 1950s, no one suspects that a serial killer is about to unleash a fury on the quiet residential avenues and in the forested river valleys. On Labour Day weekend in 1951, just as thirteen-year-old Tom Hudson is ready to begin high school, a sadistic killer strikes. A female member of the school’s staff is brutally murdered in the secluded darkness of the Humber Valley, and the police suspect another teacher has committed the crime. After detectives Gerry Thomson and Jim Peersen are assigned to the case, another innocent victim is murdered. As the investigation heats up, Tom and his friends attempt to go about their normal lives—developing as teenagers do—but it is not long before they become unwittingly caught up with the mystery behind the brutal killings. As the killer’s rage intensifies, everyone fears another murder lies in the shadows. Now it is up to two detectives and a group of curious teenagers to find a psychopath hell-bent on seeking revenge—before further violence occurs.

To say that Debbie Dinkman fit in like a pea in a pod was an understatement. She scurried among the bushes and trees during the hours of darkness like a moth on the wind. The police soon discovered that there were no couples occupying any of the cabins, but there was coupling galore. The place was a "singles' sex camp."

Each night, the traffic among the cabins was busier than a holiday weekend on the King's Highways of the province. However, as all the sexual carry-on was behind closed doors, the police were unable to intervene. By the second night, things changed, as Debbie's libido had risen. Officers observed her "doing" two middle-aged men down at the dock, and by the third night, she was humping with an elderly man in a canoe, the waves created by the rocking craft causing serious erosion to the shoreline. Today, it would have been a violation of the environmental laws.

The police raided the camp on the fourth night. When they arrived on the scene, eight or nine people were merrily racing around the camp dressed in togas. Each time a male caught a female, he lifted her toga and performed, as the official report stated, "indecent acts." However, the participants, after they were arrested, claimed that they had been acting out a scene from Julius Caesar. Perhaps it was the battle scene on the plains of Phillipi. The judge was not a Shakespearean fan, and sentenced them to two months in the local senate house, generally referred to as the city jail. Debbie was out of commission for the remainder of the summer, or to express it in the vernacular terminology of the porno movies, "Debbie never got to do Dallas."

Doug Taylor has researched, studied, and taught the history of Toronto for several decades. He was a member of the faculty of Lakeshore Teachers’ College (York University) and the Ontario Teacher Education College. Now retired, he lives in Toronto. This is his seventh novel.

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