David Dennings
Created by Ann Diamond
No Hair Too Thin, No Case Too Small
-- The Ariadine Agency's Motto

Is that a styling comb in your pocket, or are you glad to see me? DAVID DENNINGS is a former hairdresser turned Montreal private eye who escapes the bone-chilling winter of his hometown by taking a case that eventually leads him to Venezuela in Dead White Males, a surreal romp that The Antigonish Review described as "The Big Sleep meets Brazil meets Priscilla, Queen of the Desert."

The thing is, David's not exactly the world's greatest detective (although he does know his hair), and after two years running the Ariadne Detective Agency, he's facing both a mid-life and a financial crisis. So he jumps at the chance to track down Vera A. Utall, a femme fatale who's left more than a few celebrities in her sexual wake, including cross-dressing (but drop-dead gorgeous) Nick Maggot and literary hotshot Orville Goner.

David often seems out of his league, and the case offers some truly dizzying twists and turns, double-crosses, sexual shenanigans and mermaids, as well as a chance for David to crack wise like he was some cut-rate Humphrey Bogart (with a little Truman Capote tossed in, for good measure).


  • "The phone had not rung all week. I was sitting at my desk that day, pondering my bank statement and feeling very much like an ex-hairdresser in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Which was what I was. In the last two years, my trickle of customers had gradually decreased to a few droplets. My once-dazzling celebrity clientele had all been lured to other establishments whose marketing tactics were far beneath me. My reputation for being a busybody never really helped matters. What exactly were my options? Run away to some Third World country and work with lepers? That takes training, and I had only my skill with scissors and a box of business cards identifying me as David Dennings, Private Detective."
    -- from
    Dead White Males


  • "... nutty, paranoid, messy and a great deal of fun. A must for Ann Diamond fans."
    The Montreal Gazette
  • "Dead White Males is one of those rare books that would, on a second reading, like the second viewing of a film, glean more fine detail and laughter."
    -- James Moran in
    The Antigonish Review



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith (original report, November 2003).

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