Under the Dragon's Tail

Under the Dragon's Tail

Paperback - 1999
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Where Secrets Dwell Women rich and poor came to her, desperate and in dire need of discretion. And though Dolly Merishaw tended to their unfortunate circumstances in secret, her contempt and greed bred nothing but fear and loathing in the hearts of her clients. So it's no shock to detective William Murdoch when this malicious woman is murdered. What is a surprise, though, is the young boy found dead in Dolly's squalid kitchen a week after her demise. Now, Murdoch isn't sure if he's hunting one murderer or two. The investigation takes Murdoch into Victorian Toronto's disparate social circles--from the dingy rooms of dancehall girls and the chaste parlors of temperance-touting citizens to the fine drawing rooms of the city's prestigious elite. The more he learns about Dolly and her clientele, the longer his lists of suspects and motives grows. Clues lead him to several unlikely suspects--all of whom have secrets from their pasts linking them to Dolly and what she malevolently called her "record of sins."
Publisher: New York : HarperPaperbacks, [1999], c1998.
ISBN: 9780061097409
Branch Call Number: FIC/Jenni 6173cg 1
Characteristics: 288 p.


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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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