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.
“…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.