Book Review: Under the Dragon’s Tail by Maureen Jennings

under-the-dragons-tail-front-coverUnder the Dragon’s Tail is the second of The Murdoch Mysteries by Maureen Jennings.


Toronto, July 1895.  When a midwife and abortionist is murdered, Detective William Murdoch investigates.  Although the dead woman, Dolly Merishaw, seems to have kept quiet about the clients that had used her services, it transpires that she kept a record book as protection, should she need it, or, for a spot of blackmail.  Fallen on hard times, it seemed that she tried to get some money out of one of these old clients.  But which one?  And did they resort to murder?

Dolly wasn’t very much liked and there are no shortage of suspects.  But when one of the young boys in Dolly’s care turns up dead on the kitchen floor, Murdoch must work quickly to uncover the murderer, before any other children are hurt.

Favourite Quote:

“…The wicked shall get their due.”

That didn’t sound quite right to Murdoch but maybe it was a Methodist saying.


As I mentioned when I reviewed the first book in The Murdoch Mysteries series, Except the Dying, I am a big fan of the television series.  The first book was brilliant, and the second didn’t disappoint either.  I like the fact that the books and the TV series are so different, and I love them both.  The books are far more grittier than the cosy mystery series we see on the TV, and there is a place for each.

The author easily captures the time period and brings it to life with ease.  As I’ve already mentioned, there is a grittiness to the story, but then life was gritty, hard and dark for most people at the end of the nineteenth century, and that clearly comes through.

The pace is good and there were enough twists and turns in the story to keep me guessing.  Murdoch is a fabulous main character and is very likeable and realistic.  I was pleased to see Dr Julia Ogden make a small appearance in this instalment, and I’m hoping that there will be more later in the series.

I can’t recommend this book and series highly enough, and am looking forward to reading the third Murdoch Mystery, Poor Tom is Cold, soon.




5 thoughts on “Book Review: Under the Dragon’s Tail by Maureen Jennings

  1. Pingback: Bookish Reflections – February 2017 | Sammi Loves Books

  2. That quote is great. I’m thinking I should keep track of my favorite quotes from books as I read. I always notice these little perfect phrases and then keep reading and… yep, totally forget them. I need to put post-it notes by my reading nook and on my bedside table!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the quote too – it captures the character of William Murdoch perfectly.
      I used to collect quotes but fell out of the habit of doing it. This year I thought it would be a great little addition to my reviews. I highly recommend it, though I have as yet to get into the swing of noting them down as I read. Rather I make a mental note of them and then spend ages trying to find them again when it’s time to write the review…sigh. Strategically placed post-it notes sound like a great idea!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I even bought those reusable plastic ones with the arrows on them for this purpose a while ago, and now I have a few books with a ton of markers (and when I look, I can’t see why I marked that page, it’s been too long!) and I don’t know where the original box of them went. Ah well, best-laid plans…

        Liked by 1 person

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