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I hope I'm the Jim Powell you are looking for, the Canadian who writes short stories of the mysterious and humorous sort. I thought it might be useful for those who know my writing to have a list of published stories, where they first appeared and where they have been reprinted.

For those of you who don't know my writing perhaps I can best explain what I do by describing my series stories which account for about half my work.

THE AMBROSE GANELON STORIES chronicle the adventures of the Ganelon family, four generations of private detectives named Ambrose Ganelon who live in the small Riviera principality of San Sebastiano.

As soon as I can I'll try to have a map of the principality and a short history of its founding by the captain and crew of a Tarshishman carrying a load of apes, peacocks and ivory.

These stories will give you the answers to questions such as:

Who wrote the music for the ballet The Man in the Iron Boot?
What kind of doctor was Ambrose Ganelon's Eurasian archenemy Dr. Ludwig Fong?
Whatever happened to Beaumont-Zoltan, the Clown Prince of San Sebastiano?
What is Fong Shoe?
What (or who) was The Saracen Dog?
Here are the answers to these questions

THE ACTING SERGEANT MAYNARD BULLOCK OF THE RCMP STORIES record the exploits of Maynard Bullock of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and his recent sidekick and Mountie mascot Winnie-the-Peg, a bear with a wooden leg. Bullock guards the flowerbeds on Parliament Hill in Ottawa when he isn't saving Canada from a tribe of Central American headhunters of Scots ancestry, or investigates a multiple murder in the Finnish Embassy sauna or the disappearance of one of The Thousand Islands.

Soon I hope to have something here on young Bullock growing up in Dawson City in the Yukon.

Some Bullock questions:

What is a "teapot" Mountie?
Who were the Clothes-Horse Cavalry?
Who are the Stout-Hearted Men?
What is a "Hat-rack" Inspector in the RCMP?
How did the flowerbed on Parliament Hill called The Leap get its name?
What is the Scarlet Totem?
CHRISTMAS STORIES. I might call a collection of these stories CLAUS!: Just When the Noel Cowards Thought It Was Safe to Get Back into the Christmas Spirit. They tell of the break-out of homicidal Santas from a North Pole asylum, a philandering Santa shot up the chimney, A Christmas Carol as Dasheill Hammett might have sung it, two strange Santas meeting on a sleigh, Tiny Tim's revenge, murder in the trenches of WWI, and others.

More of the quiz:

What is kriskringlite? (No, it's not an icicle on Santa's beard.)
What are Santa's Own Whippet Lancers?
Why do Santa's elves like to go to Scotland? (Hint: it has to do with kneecaps.)
What is the secret of the space-time capacitor which allows Santa to come down ever chimney in the world in a single night?

FANTASY AND FABLE is a wide net to catch some strange fish: Inspector Bozo of Clowntown Homicide investigates the murder of a clown hit in the face with a poisoned custard pie; the Thief of Baghdad attempts to recover a flask in which a magician has imprisoned the Caliph's hiccups; a modern-day order of monks form a professional football team to finance their home for derelicts.

Some of the fable stories have magic in them. I know that may sound strange for a mystery story but I wrote them when I was young and foolish and thought you might, if you obeyed the rules of elf economics, use magic. In one story all magic devices had to be registered with the police. In another magic wands could only be used to turn an object into something of a lesser economic value.

Here are the answers to these questions.

WHITE SWAN and CAPTAIN SUNSET stories. These are two short series I hope to get back to. The former describes the adventures of two small town amateur detectives, Polly and Wally MacDougal, she a writer of detective stories for children, he a retired college teacher and antiques shop owner. Captain Sunset, the champion of the elderly, is a hero designed by a committee (of senior citizens) to fight crime.

Still more of the quiz:

What are The Mysterious Hornbook, Hardboiled Humpty and Godfather Goose?
What was the favorite drink of Hippity H. Hopp, the rabbit p. i.? What did his middle initial stand for? Name his loyal sidekick?
What do Mrs Bumbleby, Mr. Loomis Webster and Mr. Humbert Bugg, B.A. have in common?
A Pocketful of Noses: Stories of One Ganelon or Another

Join four generations of private detectives as they struggle against crime in their colorful principality on the French Riviera. The first Ambrose Ganelon was an armchair detective, the second preferred scientific reasoning, the third belonged to the two-fisted breed, leaving the fourth –-his predecessors having all but eliminated crime from their homeland-— a detective of the penniless sort. These stories include, among other matters, the Ganelons' battles with the Eurasian evil genius Dr. Ludwig Fong and his descendants. The publisher describes the book "as a wondrous combination of Sherlock Holmes, Sam Spade, Fu-Manchu and The Prisoner of Zenda."

This collection of stories edited by my friend Peter Sellers and published in 1990 includes "The Friends of Hector Jouvet," San Sebastiano's first appearance on the map of fictional places, Acting Sergeant Maynard Bullock in a cameo part in "The Beddoes Scheme" and Ambrose Ganelon IV solving the case of the disappearing "Coins in the Frascati Fountain." I admire the cover very much.

A Japanese collection of twelve of my stories with the title in translation: A DIRGE FOR CLOWNTOWN AND OTHER STORIES By JAMES POWELL (Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 2008). Nine of these stories have not been reprinted before. The title story tells of the adventures of Inspector Bozo of the Clowntown police as he investigates the murder of a clown hit in the face with a poisoned custard pie. I like this cover, too.


Look for these stories in coming issues of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine:



“A Bigfoot Christmas,” in Blood on the Holly, edited by Caro Soles (Baskerville Books, November 2007)

“The Algonquin Rose,” in Mystery Ink, edited by: Jake Doherty and Therese Greenwood (The Ginger Press, 2007)

Here I am trudging through the snow to a grizzly discovery on the cover of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine (Mid-December 1986 issue) back in the days when they sometimes used photos of their writers. Photo copyright (C) 1986 Davis Publications, Inc., used with permission of Dell Magazines.


Crime Writers of Canada (www.crimewriterscanada.com)

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine (www.themysteryplace.com)

A Guide to Classic Mysteries and Detection Home Page (http://members.aol.com/MG4273/kkbeck.htm)

If anyone tried to contact me before and were unable to do I invite them to try again. The problem has been solved.

Email Me

Website built in Marietta, Pennsylvania by David deVitry

Featured Stories



The Secret of Wolfe Island

A Dirge For Clowntown [Kindle]

In the Future
Look for these stories in coming issues of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine: