ECW Press

ECW Press

ECW is Entertainment. ECW is Culture. ECW is Writing.

Publishers Weekly recognized ECW Press as one of the most diversified independent publishers in North America. ECW Press has published close to 1,000 books that are distributed throughout the English-speaking world and translated into dozens of languages. In the next year, we’ll release 50+ new titles and will continue to support and promote a vibrant backlist that includes poetry and fiction, pop-culture and political analysis, sports books, biography, and travel guides. Books by writers whose names you know and love — and by those who we’re very pleased to introduce for the first time.


Who are we? After three decades, we still get asked about our name, those three little letters: ECW.

At first the acronym was self-descriptive: Essays on Canadian Writing (the name of the journal of literary criticism we started in 1974). But as the company grew and changed, our name, in our minds, also changed. We’ve heard the company called Essential Canadian Writing, Excellent Contemporary Writing, or, more recently, Extreme Cutting-Edge Writing. And these names have been, and still are, appropriate. But now we realize that each of those letters represents a particular strain of ECW Press’s diverse passions — Entertainment, Culture, Writing.

No matter how our name has been interpreted, however, there has always been one constant: our pursuit of excellent writing. We recognize that it’s our authors who make us what we are, who establish our reputation. And because of this we’re committed to bringing you the best writers and the best writing we know — in every genre. In the next decade, ECW will continue to grow and change.

Today, we’re publishing a heady mix of commercial and literary works that strive for a uniform standard of excellence: the best writing; the most exciting, controversial, and insightful takes on the hottest subject matter; ground-breaking design; and high production values.
Our goal is to support every ECW Press title with the kind of innovative marketing and promotion that give our books and authors the recognition they deserve.

Welcome to ECW.

ECW Press
665 Gerrard Street East
Toronto, ON M4M 1Y2


At ECW we believe that you can have your cake and eat it too, at least when it comes to the way you read. If you buy one of our print books we’ll give you the eBook for free! 



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Comment les entrepreneurs et innovateurs canadiens surmontent l'adversité et changent le monde
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How Canadian Entrepreneurs and Innovators Overcome Adversity and Change the World
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The Truth You’re Told


Sam slowed as she approached Davidson Lake. It was much smaller than Bird Lake, shared by Manitoba and Ontario. The next rise signaled the end of PR 315, and the start of Werner Lake Road, which was anything but maintained. The Manitoba terminus had been widened for easier returns, as well as ample parking for ATV enthusiasts and snowmobilers, with plenty of room for unloading their trailers. Sam pointed the Chevy west, back to Block Fifteen. She stopped at the public well near Tulabi Falls, ignoring the warning sign for the water quality as she pumped and drank. She had drunk from the spring for years without ever getting sick.

Sam drove another mile before pulling over to the side. She turned off the ignition, genuinely hopeful that the forty-something Chevy would start again. The tree cover shielded what she wanted to see. She used the front bumper as a step, planting her feet on the hood. It still wasn’t high enough. She walked to the front of the windshield, then steadied a foot on the top of the driver’s door to climb up on the roof. The sap-stained steel oil-canned beneath her as she rose to stand. She could see it now, the cedar-shake peak of the Whiskey Jack Lodge. It had been built in the fifties during the logging boom, though it wasn’t built with logging money. The Whiskey Jack was the brainchild of Edgar Van Cleef, an American financier with interests in mining operations in what was then known as Crown lands. It had been more of a private fish and game camp for Van Cleef’s posse, accessed by float plane charters. Van Cleef had died in the fall of ’89, his skull crushed when he fell off his Honda three-wheeler near the water’s edge. He had left the lodge to his longtime personal secretary, a man by the name of Norman Peale. Peale had improved the lodge where needed, adding a few more cabins, renovating the main lodge, even restoring a pair of vintage wooden speedboats for his personal use. The lodge was still a destination for the rich, the famous, and the private. Stan had said that he was ‘pretty sure’ that he had seen Jennifer Aniston on one of the speedboats, after her first divorce. Sam figured that it was just someone rocking a Rachel hairdo, though the rumours persisted about global heavyweights. Bezos, Branson, even Elon Musk had reportedly spent a long weekend with the reclusive Peale.

The private lodge saw little in the way of road traffic, except for delivery vans, with no roadside signage. Most guests seemed to prefer the fly-in charm, regardless of its easy road access. Sam remembered the road in. There was a large gate behind the canopy of trees, probably still equipped with the security camera and intercom system that she remembered pulling up to almost thirty years before. The Whiskey Jack Lodge made a point of employing the local summer youth, if you were pursuing higher education at the university level. Sam worked there through the summer of ’88. She was called back for the summer season in ’89 but left in late July. It was because of the fire at neighbouring Eastland Lake, the one that had threatened to take out Bird Lake with it. The one that had evacuated the whole area, from Bird River to the Ontario border.


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The Donnellys: Powder Keg


It’s twelve o’clock on Saturday, November 14, 2014. My youngest son, Ben, and his South Muskoka Bears Major Midget hockey team have just finished their first game of a tournament in London, Ontario. They won their game and Ben scored a nice goal, so I’m happy. But the team’s next game isn’t until three o’clock that afternoon, so we’re going to be doing a lot of sitting around until an hour or so before the next game. Ben, understandably, wants to hang out with his friends on the team during this interval, which means he’s going to park himself at the arena. Consequently, I now find myself alone with three hours on my hands to fill. It occurs to me that I’m not that far from the Roman Line, maybe a thirty-minute drive. I’ve always wanted to go there, as somewhere on that stretch of roadway sits the property upon which the Donnelly story played out. The infamous Donnelly children were raised on that lot of land and four members of the family were murdered there on a cold February night in 1880.

Despite being taught nothing of this bit of southern Ontario history in school, when I first learned about the Donnellys, their story gripped me like few stories have (before or since). Indeed, some thirty years previously, during my second year of university, a roommate had invited me to spend a weekend at his parents’ home in Mitchell, Ontario. During the course of meeting his parents, we sat down at the family table to eat. Some small talk was exchanged and then I posed a question that I thought would be a good icebreaker: “How far away is Lucan?” His father, a lawyer in town, answered, “Oh, about half an hour. Not far. Are you interested in going to Lucan?” “Definitely!” I replied enthusiastically. “Why?” he asked. “I understand that’s where the Donnellys were killed,” I replied. Although my statement was wrong (i.e., the Donnellys were killed within their farmhouse on the Roman Line in Biddulph — not Lucan, which is about three and a quarter-miles to the northeast of the town), my enthusiasm was obvious. But then a look fell over the father’s face that immediately let me know I would not be going to Lucan. “We don’t talk about that here,” he said. And the table fell quiet until someone introduced a subject that was evidently far less contentious. I never forgot that, and the father’s attitude only served to further fan the flames of my nascent curiosity.


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The Donnellys: Massacre, Trial, and Aftermath


At approximately 2:15 a.m. John Donnelly bolted from his sleep. He was certain he’d heard a noise. Less than ten seconds later he heard somebody pounding on the kitchen door of William’s house.

“Fire! Fire!” called a voice from outside in the darkness.

The pounding on the door resumed.

John reflexively was out of bed and on his feet. The calls came again, but this time from a different voice.

“Fire! Fire!”

“Open the door!”

The rapping on the door intensified. John decided to investigate the commotion, waking Martin Hogan as he jumped off the bed and walked across the bedroom floor of the guest room and through the door that led into William Donnelly’s bedroom. As it had been cold in the guest room, John still had his clothes on. His entry into the bedroom awakened his brother William, who now also heard the pounding on the door and sat up in his bed. As John walked into William’s room, he looked at his brother and asked, “Who’s hollering ‘fire’ and rapping at the door?” William watched as his brother turned to his right and opened the door that led into the kitchen.

Again, the voices came.

“Fire! Fire!”

“Will! Open the door!”

Having reached the kitchen door, John Donnelly now threw it open.

“Who’s there?” he asked.

In reply came a blast from a shotgun, augmented by the simultaneous discharge of a rifle. Thirty pieces of shot ripped through John’s upper torso, snapping ribs and shattering his collarbone in the process. The bullet from the rifle tore through his groin in an upward trajectory, ripping through his flesh front and back, and ultimately lodging itself in the window frame at the far end of the kitchen. The impact of the shots lifted John off his feet and sent him hurtling backwards several feet, where he hit the door frame to William and Nora’s room and then collapsed on his back, his head coming to rest against the door jam. A wad of paper from the shotgun blast slowly floated in from the open door and came to rest upon the kitchen floor. Everyone in the house was now awake.

“Oh, Will! Oh, Will! I’m shot!” John gasped. His breathing became laboured as he felt his life begin to ebb from his body. He then offered up a short and raspy prayer before the darkness descended upon him. “And may the Lord have mercy on my soul!”

Panic now spread amongst the occupants of the house.

“Martin! Get up!” he yelled. “John’s been shot!”


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Under an Outlaw Moon


“Not much to it really, you go in and you point a gun. Doesn’t matter about your age. But, if we’re not of the same mind, I won’t mention it again, just put it right out of my head. Find a new way to go.”

“Just a lot to take in. One minute you’re making an honest woman of me, next one you got me robbing a bank.”

“Well, maybe so, but the way I figure it, a man with a wife’s got to have ambition.”

“And I can see you got plenty of it, boxing your way through law school, but, come on, just look how they ended up, those two.” Still thinking he might be joking with her. “I mean, you’ve run into trouble and paid the price …”

“Actually more of it than I told you.” Telling her he did six years for the Missouri bank job. “Learned from my mistakes, and I learned from some of the pros in the joint too.”

“Pros who got arrested.”

“See, the way I see it, old Clyde got a couple things right, one thing he was a V8 man, figured Ford was the most reliable car on the road. But, guess he got a couple of other things the wrong way around. Sure you want to hear?”

“Go on.”

“Well, what they did, him and Bonnie, they swung in a circle skirting the edges of a couple of states, taking advantage of the state-line rule, you know the one?”

“Bank robbers got rules, huh?”

“Rule being lawmen from one state can’t give chase in another. A good lawyer’d get you off in a minute.”

“Okay, but how come a Ford?” She was having fun with him now.

“Well, Clyde loved his Ford V8. Even wrote and told old Henry Ford so. Said ‘what a dandy car you make, Henry.’ Told him he drove Fords anytime he could get away with one. Faster and free of trouble. Ford’s got all the rest skinned.”

“He really tell him that?”

“Yeah, he did. Although, you ask me, there’s nothing wrong with a good Buick.”

“So, you study the law, and find out how to break it.”

“Figures you’d see it that way, smarty pants.” Bennie turned on his side, looking at her. “See, it was mostly sharp thinking on Clyde’s part, except in the end he put trust in the wrong fella, and maybe didn’t know when to quit. And the cops got to this wrong fellow and set up that ambush.”

“Could have stepped out with their badges and guns and made them stop and give up. Send them to prison.”

“Not how the FBI and the Texas Rangers think. Strikes a nerve with that J. Edgar Hoover as soon as you cross a state line. And that man doesn’t like the hero image some bank robbers get — taking from the rich, giving to the poor. Why he likes to paint them as public enemies.”

“That what you want to be, a public enemy?”

“Like I said, if you don’t want to do it, we don’t need to talk on it.”

“Well, maybe I need to think on it. Now you gonna just keep on talking or what?”


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Kill All the Judges

Kill All the Judges

An Arthur Beauchamp Novel
also available: Paperback Hardcover
tagged : crime, noir, legal
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I’ll See You in My Dreams

An Arthur Beauchamp Novel
tagged : legal, crime
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