Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Murdoch Mysteries’

This is the second book in the Murdoch Mysteries series, set in Toronto in the late 1800s, and featuring Detective William Murdoch.  The series spawned three movie length television films, and a five (so far) season television show.  The television show is one of my favourite programmes, and I was eager to read the books.  I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series, and this one is no disappointment either.

In this installment of the Murdoch Mysteries, a woman named Dolly Merishaw is found murdered in her home.  Murdoch discovers that she was a former midwife, who provided a place for unwed mothers to have their children, as well as providing drugs to aid abortion, but that her mean and greedy nature caused a lot of anger and resentment among the women whom she ‘helped’.  He quickly discovers that she is the victim of murder, and there are no shortage of suspects.  However, when one of her young foster sons is also discovered dead a week later, he has no idea whether he is looking for one murderer or two.  His investigation takes him to some surprising places, and he realises that a lot of people have secrets which they wish to remain hidden.

As with the first book, the story is pacey, and kept me guessing throughout.  (There were clues to point the reader in the right direction, but Maureen Jenning is capable of throwing in some surprises as well!)  I really like the character of Murdoch, although he is quite different from the Murdoch of the tv series.  As portrayed in the book, he comes across as less sensitive and somewhat coarser.  His faithful sidekick Constable Crabtree is as amiable and likeable as viewers of the show know him to be, although in the book, his physical description is very different, and he has a wife, whereas in the tv show, he is a bachelor.  Brackenreid barely appears in the book, and is not a very likeable character when he does(!).  This book gives the first mention of Doctor Julia Ogden – a main character in the tv show.

This particular book takes Murdoch through the upper and lower classes of Toronto, and I thought the portrayal of the city in the late 1800s was particularly evocative and enjoyable.  Clearly, the author has researched her subject extensively.

Overall, I found this to be a very enjoyable read, and would definitely recommend it, especially to fans of crime and/or historical fiction.

(Author’s website can be found here.  For more information about the television show Murdoch Mysteries, please click here.)

********************************************************************************************************

Click here for my review of season 1 of the television series, Murdoch Mysteries.

Click here for my review of the first Murdoch Mysteries novel, Except The Dying.

********************************************************************************************************

Read Full Post »

This is the first book in a series of seven, which are collectively known as the Murdoch Mysteries, all of which feature a Canadian Police Detective named William Murdoch, who solves crimes in the late 1800s, in Toronto.  Three of the novels were adapted into television movies, starring Peter Outerbridge as the title character, and a five season (so far) television show, with Yannick Bisson in the title role, featuring the characters from the books, but with all new storylines, has proved very successful.  The tv series is one of my favourite shows, so I was looking forward to reading the novels, and seeing where the character of William Murdoch began. 

I certainly was not disappointed.  This fascinating novel which combines crime drama and historical fiction, is quite different from the tv show – Doctor Julia Ogden does not appear in this book at all, and Inspector Brackenridge only plays a minor role, whereas both of these characters are major characters in the show.

However, I do not intend for this review to be a comparison between the show and the books, especially as both are equally enjoyable in their own right.  The story in this first Murdoch book revolves around the death of a young lady, who is found naked and frozen to death one wintery night.  As Murdoch and his colleague, Constable Crabtree investigate the murder, they find that almost everyone connected with the young girl has secrets of their own, and there seems to be no shortage of suspects for the crime.

The ending was not predictable; a few times I thought I had worked out who was responsible, but I was pleasantly surprised.  The character of Murdoch is well drawn, as is that of Constable Crabtree.  Also, the family with whom the dead girl resided were also well fleshed out.  There were no real gimmicks or twists in the story – just a very well told detective story, which showed Murdoch’s quick intelligence and dogged determination.  I also thought that life in Toronto in the late 1800s was well depicted,with the atmosophere leaping off the page.

It’s a cliche to say it, but this book really was a page turner.  I would highly recommend it to any fans of historical fiction or crime novels, and I look forward to reading the subsequent books in the series.

(Author’s website can be found here.  For more information about the television show Murdoch Mysteries, please click here.)

********************************************************************************************************

Click here for my review of season 1 of the television series, Murdoch Mysteries.

Click here for my review of the second Murdoch Mysteries novel, Under the Dragon’s Tail.

********************************************************************************************************

Read Full Post »