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November, 1940. Tom Tyler, Detective Inspector of the small Shropshire town of Whitchurch, is a troubled man. The preceding summer had been a dark one for Britain, and even darker for Tom's own family and personal life. So he jumps at the opportunity to help out in the nearby city of Birmingham, where an explosion in a munitions factory has killed or badly injured several of the young women who have taken on dangerous work in support of the war effort.At first, it seems more than likely the explosion was an accident, and Tom has only been called in because the forces are stretched thin. But as he talks to the employees of the factory, inner divisions -- between the owner and his employees, between unionists and workers who fear communist infiltration -- begin to appear. Put that together with an AWOL young soldier who unwittingly puts all those he loves at risk and a charming American documentary filmmaker who may be much more than he seems, and you have a page-turning novel that bears all the hallmarks of Maureen Jennings' extraordinary talent: a multi-faceted mystery, vivid characters, snappy dialogue, and a pitch-perfect sense of the era of the Blitz, when the English were pushed to their limits and responded with a courage and resilience that still inspires.
"If you want to step back in time . . . let Jennings be your guide. There's really none better." -- Ottawa Citizen From his debut in Except the Dying, where he pursued the secrets behind a young, pregnant servant girl's death through brothels and drawing rooms, to his immersion in the Dickensian world of workhouses in Vices of My Blood, and the investigation of his own dark family history in Let Loose the Dogs, Detective William Murdoch has been one of crime fiction's most fascinating and engaging protagonists. These seven riveting novels -- inspiration for the internationally popular Murdoch Mysteries television series -- blend masterful storytelling, vivid characters, and an extraordinary eye for the rich history of Victorian Toronto to create modern classics; they are must-reads for every mystery lover.
In the cold Toronto winter of 1895, the unclad body of a servant girl is found frozen in a deserted laneway. Detective William Murdoch quickly finds out that more than one person connected with the girl's simple life has something to hide.From the Paperback edition.
The abduction of a young woman in 1858 ends in Toronto thirty-eight years later -- in murder.In 1858, a young woman on her honeymoon is forcibly abducted and taken across the border from Canada and sold into slavery. Thirty-eight years later, Detective Murdoch is working on a murder case that will take all of his resourcefulness to solve. The owner of one of Toronto's livery stables has been found dead. He has been horsewhipped and left hanging from his wrists in his tack room, and his wife claims that a considerable sum of money has been stolen. Then a second man is also murdered, his body strangely tied as if he were a rebellious slave. Murdoch has to find out whether Toronto's small "coloured" community has a vicious murderer in its midst -- an investigation that puts his own life in danger. Maureen Jennings's trademark in her popular and acclaimed Detective Murdoch series is to reveal a long-forgotten facet about life in the city that dispels any notion that it really ever was "Toronto the Good." As well, in A Journeyman to Grief, an exceptionally well plotted and engrossing story, she shows just how a great harm committed in the past can erupt fatally in the present.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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?From the Paperback edition.
After thirteen-year-old Agnes Fisher faints at school, her teacher, the young and still idealistic Amy Slade, is shocked to discover in the girl's desk two stereoscopic photographs. One is of a dead baby in its cradle, and on the back Agnes has scrawled a terrible message. Worse, the other photograph is of Agnes in a pose captioned "What Mr. Newly Wed Really Wants." When Agnes doesn't show up at school the next day, her teacher takes the two photographs to the police. Murdoch, furious at the sexual exploitation of such a young girl, resolves to find the photographer - and to put him behind bars. Night's Child is the fifth novel in Maureen Jennings's highly praised historical mystery series. Three of Jennings's novels have been made into TV movies under the title Murder 19C: The Murdoch Mysteries. Bravo/CHUM is currently developing a series based on the character of Detective William Murdoch for broadcast in 2007.From the Paperback edition.
In this third adventure featuring the lovable detective William Murdoch, he becomes involved with the apparent suicide of Constable Oliver Wicken - a man who was the sole support of his mother and invalid sister. But further investigation by Detective Murdoch takes him far afield and he begins to suspect that the Eakin family, whose house adjoins the one where Wicken died, is more involved with the case than they admit. 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 the period vividly to life.From the Paperback edition.
The creator of the acclaimed Detective Murdoch Mysteries turns her exceptional storytelling skills to a murder mystery set in rural Shropshire, England, in the darkest days of the Second World War.Following the disastrous retreat of the British army from Dunkirk in 1940, England is plunged into a state of fear. The threat of a German invasion is real, and many German Nationals are interned in camps across the country. One such camp is on the ancient moor land of Prees Heath, near the small town of Whitchurch in Shropshire, where Tom Tyler is the sole detective inspector. Young women from all walks of life have joined the Land Army, to help desperate farmers keep the country fed. When one of these young women is found murdered on a desolate country road, Tyler is almost glad for the challenge; he has been fretting for some time about the dullness of policing in a rural community. In addition, a former lover has reappeared and turned his emotions upside down; his soldier son seems utterly changed by his experience at Dunkirk; and his sixteen year old daughter is unhappy. As he pursues the murderer, Tyler finds himself drawn into an uneasy alliance with one of the Prees Heath internees, a psychiatrist, who claims to be an expert on the criminal mind.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Women rich and poor come to her, desperate and in dire 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 for them and her greed leaves every one of them resentful and angry. So it comes as no surprise to Detective William Murdoch 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, Murdoch isn't sure if he's hunting one murderer - or two.From the Paperback edition.
The compelling new novel by Canada's answer to Anne Perry. In his forties, the Reverend Charles Howard still cut an impressive figure. A married Presbyterian minister in Toronto's east end, Howard was popular with the congregation that elected him, especially with the ladies, and most particularly with Miss Sarah Dignam. Respected in the community, Howard, as Visitor for the House of Industry, sat in judgment on the poor, assessing their applications for the workhouse. But now Howard is dead, stabbed and brutally beaten by someone he invited into his office. His watch and boots are missing. Has some poor beggar he turned down taken his vengeance?Murdoch's investigation takes him into the arcane Victorian world of queer plungers -- men who fake injury all the better to beg -- and the destitute who had nowhere left to turn when they knocked on the Reverend Howard's door.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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