I don’t often take the time to watch TV because I prefer to spend it reading but occasionally I enjoy watching Murdoch Mysteries (aka The Artful Detective). Set in Toronto in the early twentieth century, it is a fun, historical detective mystery. When I opened the pages of “The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder” I found myself in that same Toronto time frame with Merinda and Jem, two friends who have defied society’s expectations to start a detective agency.
Merinda and Jem are unconventional and independent, preferring to don men’s clothing in order to slip past Toronto’s Morality Squad on their quest to discover clues to two unsolved deaths that the police seem to have forgotten. The plot is fresh and clever with frequent humor yet also contains an intelligence and depth that was somewhat unexpected. I loved all four of the primary characters and hoped for a match for Jem and Ray DeLuca throughout the entire book although at times it looked like she might be taken in by another character’s false charm. I also secretly hoped to see Merinda and Jasper join forces as more than just working together to solve crimes.
I pretty much loved everything about “The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder” including the quotations at the beginning of each chapter from fictional books as well as the explanatory footnotes scattered throughout the narrative. This is a witty and entertaining story with well researched historical facts and a solid message of faith woven through it. I eagerly look forward to the next Herringford and Watts mystery, A Lesson in Love and Murder. I can’t wait!
A digital copy of this book was provided for review by Harvest House Publishers through NetGalley but I also purchased a paperback copy.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.
Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.
While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever—if they can stay alive long enough to do so.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.