The Janes family is sad to announce the peaceful death of J. Robert Janes on Monday, February 28, 2022. Born in Toronto in 1935, Bob attended North Toronto Collegiate and graduated with a BSc in Geology from the U of T in 1958. His early career included
work in Alberta and Saskatchewan oil fields, at the Ontario Research Foundation, Don Mills Collegiate, the Ontario Science Centre, and, later at Brock University where he led the first cross- Canada camping trip course on the Geology of Canada. At age 32,
he found his true career as a Canadian and International author of 33 published books in 5 genres i.e. geology for grades 3 to University level, children's fiction, thrillers, a table top book -The Great Canadian Outback and the 16 book St-Cyr and
Kohler series set in France in the Second World War. This prodigious output, plus every letter, memo or other background information on his writing life is in the McMaster University Archives collection. He will be greatly missed by his wife of 64 years,
Gracia, daughters Anne and Cathy, sons, Peter and John; grandchildren Emily Sophie, Patrick, Sarah, Mackenzie and Jeannette; and great grandchildren Rocco, Pippen, Teddy and Madeline - all of whom he "loved to bits". There will be a private family picnic
celebration of Bob's life in his beautiful historic garden in niagara-on-the-Lake this Summer. As Bob was a strong supporter of Niagara fruit land preservation from the first year he moved into 58 Grapeview Drive, amidst the vineyards, in 1968, it would
be appreciated if donations in his name...
Joseph Robert Janes was born in Toronto in 1935, middle son of Henry Franklin Janes, a pioneer in public relations, and his wife Phyllis Hipwell, an artist. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 1958 with a B.A.Sc. in Mining Engineering, his
undergraduate thesis winning the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Award in the Petroleum and Natural Gas Division. After work as a petroleum engineer for Mobil Oil (1958-1959) and a research engineer for the Ontario Research Foundation (1959-
1964), Janes return to the University of Toronto to study geology under J. Tuzo Wilson and to attend teacher’s college. He also taught high school mathematics, geology and geography for the North York Board of Education (1964-1966). Janes graduated
with a M.Eng. in Geology in 1967. After further graduate studies in geology at McMaster University, he then lectured in geology at Brock University (1968-1970), conducting an innovative field course across Canada.
Thereafter, he completed the first year of a Ph.D. program at Queen’s University in association with Brock University but, in 1970, decided instead to become a full-time writer. His early work consisted of books and other media presentations on the
topic of geology for grade-school children, senior high schools, universities and the general trade market. He also wrote travel and other articles and supplied photographs for newspapers and periodicals, often with a geological focus, and sold
geological specimens to schools under the name Rocks and Minerals of Canada. He later turned to writing children's novels and, ultimately, mystery novels for the adult market. He is now world-renowned as the author of the St. Cyr-Kohler mystery series.
He has received grants from the J.P. Bickell Foundation, the Canada Council, and the Ontario Arts Council. Janes has long been concerned with the environment and politics, especially in the area of his home in the Niagara Peninsula. He also has an
interest in Stephen Leacock, a cousin of his paternal grandfather. J. Robert Janes and his wife Gracia (Lind) Janes have four children. Janes died on February 28, 2022.
He was a 2003 Hammett Prize nominee for Flykiller.
From "Contemporary Authors":
J. Robert Janes is best known as a writer of mystery novels for young people and adults, but he started his writing career with science textbooks and teaching materials. His original profession was that of geologist and mining engineer, and he still
thinks of himself as a field geologist. "Occasionally I'm asked why I gave up well-paying jobs for the constant stress of never knowing if and when I'd be paid and if it would be enough to meet the bills," he once told CA. "There isn't any answer except
that I've always wanted to write stories..."
...Janes's first published work of fiction was The Odd-Lot Boys and the Tree-Fort War, a story about five boys who foil a real estate developer's plans for the vacant lot where they have erected their tree fort. His other works for young adults...are set
in the southern part of Canada's Ontario province, including the city of Toronto and the Niagara Peninsula...
JKP: As I understand it, your first novels were mysteries for children. I believe The Odd-Lot Boys and the Tree-Fort War came out in 1976 and was followed by four more such stories for the younger set. Why did you start out penning children's fiction?
JRJ: I started writing for the preteen-to-13 age group. Having children of my own, it seemed natural, but there were other influences, primarily the need to protect the unique farmlands of the Niagara Peninsula, something Gracia has worked at ever since.
The Odd-Lot Boys and the Tree-Fort War came about by my seeing the need for wild places in the standard subdivision, places where kids could be themselves and do the things they need to, like building and having a tree fort. I'd seen a real-estate sign
on a vacant lot and beyond it the remains of a tree fort. The title came to me, and I wrote it...
The Odd-Lot Boys and the Tree-Fort War, illustrated by Alfie Muhammad, Scholastic (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada), 1976.
Theft of Gold, Scholastic (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada), 1980.
Danger on the River, Clarke, Irwin (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1982.
Spies for Dinner, Collins (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1984.
Murder in the Market, Collins (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1985.
NONFICTION; FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Rocks, Minerals, and Fossils, Holt, Rinehart & Winston Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) 1973.
Earth Science, Holt, Rinehart & Winston Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1974.
Geology and the New Global Tectonics, Macmillan (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1976.
(With Denis Cooke, Charles Hopkins, and John D. Hoyes) Searching for Structure, two volumes, Holt, Rinehart & Winston Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1977.
The Great Canadian Outback, Douglas & McIntyre (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1978.
(With J. D. Mollard) Airphoto Interpretation and the Canadian Landscape, Energy, Mines, and Resources Canada (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), 1984.
FICTION; FOR ADULTS
The Toy Shop, General Publishing (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1981.
The Watcher, General Publishing (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1982.
The Third Story, General Publishing (Don Mills, Ontario, Canada), 1983.
The Hiding Place, Paperjacks (Markham, Ontario, Canada), 1984.
The Alice Factor, Stoddart (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1991.
Mayhem, Constable (London, England), 1992, published as Mirage, D. I. Fine (New York, NY), 1992, published as Mayhem, Soho Press (New York, NY), 1999.
Carousel, Constable (London, England), 1992, D. I. Fine (New York, NY), 1993. Kaleidoscope, Constable (London, England), 1993, Soho Press (New York, NY), 2001.
Salamander, Constable (London, England), 1994, Soho Press (New York, NY), 1998. Mannequin, Constable (London, England), 1994, Soho Press (New York, NY), 1998. Dollmaker, Constable (London, England), 1995, Soho Press (New York, NY), 2002. Stonekiller, Constable (London, England), 1995, Soho Press (New York, NY), 1997.
Sandman, Constable (London, England), 1996, Soho Press (New York, NY), 1997. Gypsy, Constable (London, England), 1997.
Madrigal, Victor Gollancz (London, England), 1999.
Beekeeper, Orion Books (London, England), 2001.
Flykiller, Orion Books (London, England), 2002.