Under the Dragon's Tail

Under the Dragon's Tail

Book - 2012
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Desperate women, rich and poor, come to her in need of help - and discretion. Dolly Merishaw is a midwife and an abortionist in Victorian Toronto, but although she keeps quiet about her clients' condition, her contempt and greed leaves them resentful and angry. So it comes as no surprise when this malicious woman is murdered. What is a shock, though, is that a week later a young boy is found dead in Dolly's squalid kitchen. Now, Detective Murdoch isn't sure if he's hunting one murderer - or two.

Publisher: Toronto, Ontario :, McClelland & Stewart,, 2012.
Edition: Trade pbk. edition
Copyright Date: ©2003
ISBN: 9780771095979
Characteristics: 295 pages ;,21 cm.


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Aug 25, 2019

I really enjoyed this second book of the "Detective Murdoch" series. I enjoyed seeing or rather reading of Dr. Julia Ogden joining the series at this point. This novel had a great plot as the twists and turns were not predictable at the time of reading. Looking back you could see the signs of the direction the story would go but they were not obvious when first reading. I enjoyed the bashfulness of Murdoch as he encounters the women in his life and the how he deals with the past grief in his life. Just like in real life grief has a funny way of sneaking up on you and it was realistic in it's approach here. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Sep 03, 2017

A good addition to the series, but not the best
Murdoch gets to investigate the death of Dolly Merishaw, a drunkard, a midwife, and an abortionist. She lived with two boys that she treated horribly, as well as a young woman who is also a little unbalanced. It doesn't take much for Murdoch to realize there was blackmail involved, the question being of who?
Murdoch's investigation is relatively straightforward, but the fun part is seeing him trying to figure out the morals of dating and ballroom dancing when he still grieves his fiancee's death. He's also training for a bicycle race. It's a good introduction of some supporting characters too.
The view of the young woman being unbalanced is far too simplistic and poorly portrayed.
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow her on social media.

Oct 27, 2015

I cannot comment on the authenticity (or otherwise) of the the turn of the century police work, it SEEMS realistic. Because the behavior of these characters is so strange to me, I find it difficult to understand their behavior and I think that they overlook some very obvious (to me) clues but I'm pretty sure that's pretty easy to do from my viewpoint of 100 years of forensic science and detective work and psychology. Oh well, I REALLY enjoy the characters and the stories.

AuntJane Apr 01, 2014

This is a great detective series based in Victorian Toronto. The author includes scenes and historic detail from the detectives home life and surroundings so it creates a great atmosphere for the story.

Although the protagonist is a male police detective, I find this character somewhat faye although he does get to the bottom of the Victorian Toronto crime scene. It is always interesting to read about crime solving without the overlay of high tech tools. The sad reality of dire poverty and petty Protestant vs Catholic tensions make interesting reading. The author would increase her fan base if she pitched her writing to a more sophisticated reader. She is working with interesting characters and she clearly has a good grasp of the historical times but her writing style is boring.

Dec 11, 2009

This series combines a solid police procedural style with authentic 1890s Toronto environment and situations.

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