Thursday 18 July 2019

Poor Tom Is Cold - Maureen Jennings - Detective Murdoch Book 3

Poor Tom Is Cold
Detective Murdoch Book 3
Maureen Jennings
McClelland & Stewart
An imprint of Penguin Random House Canada

ISBN 9780771095955
eISBN 9780771043222

Over the last nine weeks I have read as many books by Maureen Jennings. I have read books from all four of her series, and this is the fifth Murdoch story I have read. I really love Jennings historical pieces and consider her a master of the craft of writing. But after having watched all the current season of the Murdoch Mysteries on television, Murdoch even in this different form holds a special place for me. There is something about the way Jennings wraps these mysteries in and around Toronto at the beginning of the twentieth century. This was the third Detective Murdoch novel, and it is great to settle in with Murdoch and the other characters of Station Number 4 for another intense tale. 

There are many great elements in this story. It begins with Murdoch at the station early, because of a raging toothache. He offers to go looking for Constable Oliver Wicken is off his beat. The initial inquest suspects and confirms suicide. But that does not sit well with Murdoch, and soon there is new evidence. Brackenreid give’s Will permission to keep investigating. And the more he investigates the more circumspect of the original verdict he becomes.

In this story we have a house of ill repute, and specifically the matron and one of the girls. We have a dead officer. We have a woman in an asylum. And men dressing up nags to sell as prize horses. And we have a stepson, who is twisted to his core. There was a lot going on in this story, and those multiple threads do not seem to come together, but when Murdoch realizes what is happening and flips the quilt over, the image is as clear as day. But only after dealing with his aching tooth that clearly played a part in him taking so long to gather the pieces together. 

This book deals with the ideas around suicide, women’s rights, The father control over families, and even dental care. Looking back at some of these in historical perspective is very useful for us today. It was a book that was hard to put down.

I love the historical mysteries Jennings has written, and of the three series set in the past I love Murdoch, and this is one of the best of the Murdoch books I have read. A great story, wonderfully written. And it leaves me desperate for the next Detective Murdoch story! 

Books by Maureen Jennings:
Detective Murdoch Series:

0.5 Shipwreck
1.0 Except the Dying
2.0 Under the Dragon's Tail
3.0 Poor Tom Is Cold
4.0 Let Loose the Dogs
5.0 Night's Child
6.0 Vices of My Blood
7.0 A Journeyman to Grief
8.0 Let Darkness Bury the Dead

Detective Inspector Tom Tyler Series:
1.0 Season of Darkness
2.0 Beware This Boy
3.0 No Known Grave
4.0 Dead Ground in Between

Christine Morris Series:
1.0 Does Your Mother Know?
2.0 The K Handshape


Paradise Café Series:

1.0 Heat Wave
2.0 November Rain

Other books:
The Map of Your Mind: Journeys into Creative Expression
Investigating Murdoch Mysteries: The Official Companion to the Series – with Michelle Ricci and Mir Bahmanyar

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