Canada’s premier author of historical mystery fiction returns with a brand new and highly anticipated Murdoch Mystery, with an older and wiser Detective Murdoch.
It is November 1917. The Great War is grinding on, chewing up young men by the thousands. Initially, in the loyal Dominion of Canada, people are mostly eager to support the Motherland and fight for the Empire. Men perceived as slackers or cowards are shunned. But the carnage is horrendous and with enforced conscription, the enthusiasm for war is dimming. William Murdoch is a widower, a senior detective who, thanks to the new temperance laws, spends his time tracking down bootleggers and tipplers; most unsatisfying. His wife, Amy, died giving birth to their second child, a girl who lived only a few hours more. Murdoch, racked by grief, withdrew from four-year-old, Jack. This he regrets and would dearly love to make up for his negligence. As we enter the story, Jack, now twenty-one, has returned from France after being wounded and gassed at the Battle of Passchendaele. It is soon apparent that he is deeply troubled but he’s not confiding in his father. He does, however, seem to be bound by shared secrets to another wounded former soldier, Percy McKinnon. Murdoch suddenly has much more serious crimes than rum-running on his hands. The night after Jack and McKinnon arrive home, a young man is found stabbed to death in the impoverished area of Toronto known as the Ward. Soon after, Murdoch has to deal with a tragic suicide, also a young man. Two more murders follow in quick succession. The only common denominator is that all of the men were exempted from conscription. Increasingly worried that Jack knows more than he is letting on, Murdoch must solve these crimes before more innocents lose their lives. It is a solution that will give him only sorrow.
In 1858, a young woman on her honeymoon is abducted and taken across the border from Canada and sold into slavery. Thirty-eight years later, the owner of one of Toronto’s livery stables is found dead. Then a second man is murdered, his body strangely tied as if he were a rebellious slave. Detective Murdoch has to find out whether Toronto’s small “coloured” community has a vicious killer in its midst – an investigation that puts his own life in danger. With her usual masterful storytelling and sharp dialogue, Jennings shows how a great harm committed in the past can fatally affect the present.
The Reverend Charles Howard once sat in judgment of Toronto’s poor and assessed their applications for the workhouse. Now he has been found dead: stabbed, beaten, and robbed of his watch and boots. Is it simply a case of burglary gone wrong, or has one of the unfortunates the reverend turned away taken their revenge on him? Detective Murdoch’s investigation takes him deep into the Dickensian world of Toronto’s workhouses and the destitute souls who fill them as he sets out to discover who really murdered the reverend.
Gorgeous new TV tie-in edition of Maureen Jennings’s immensely popular Inspector Murdoch series, basis for the long-running The Murdoch Mysteries, now on CBC.
After thirteen-year-old Agnes Fisher faints at school, her teacher, the young and idealistic Amy Slade, is shocked to discover photographs in the girl’s desk. One is of Agnes in a lewd pose, captioned “What Mr. Newly Wed Really Wants.” When Agnes does not show up at school the next day, her teacher takes the two photographs to the police. Then Detective Murdoch, furious at the sexual exploitation of such a young girl, sets out to find the photographer and put him behind bars.
In Let Loose the Dogs, Murdoch’s life and work overlap tragically. His sister, who long ago fled to a convent to escape their abusive father, is on her deathbed. Meanwhile, Harry Murdoch, the father whom Murdoch long ago shut out of his life, has been charged with murder and calls on his estranged son to prove his innocence. But, knowing his father, what is Murdoch to believe?
A police constable named Oliver Wicken has apparently committed suicide, leaving his mother and his invalid sister to fend for themselves. The evidence, according to the coroner, is irrefutable. Wicken was shot in the temple with his own revolver and a farewell note has been found beside his body. But new and disturbing evidence is brought to light that leads Detective Murdoch to suspect that the suicide was not what it seemed.
Whether describing a tooth extraction, the unquestioning prejudice toward the few Chinese immigrants in the city, or the well-intentioned, but bizarre, treatment of mentally ill women, Maureen Jennings once again brings late-Victorian Toronto vividly to life.
Desperate women, rich and poor, come to her in need of help – and discretion. Dolly Merishaw is a midwife and an abortionist in Victorian Toronto, but although she keeps quiet about her clients’ condition, her contempt and greed leaves them resentful and angry. So it comes as no surprise when this malicious woman is murdered. What is a shock, though, is that a week later a young boy is found dead in Dolly’s squalid kitchen. Now, Detective Murdoch isn’t sure if he’s hunting one murderer – or two.
In the cold Toronto winter of 1895, the unclad body of a servant girl is found frozen in a deserted laneway. The young victim was pregnant when she died. Was her death an attempt to cover up a scandal in one of the city’s influential families? Detective William Murdoch quickly finds out that more than one person connected with the girl’s simple life has something to hide.