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Vices of My Blood: A Detective Murdoch Mystery [Paperback]

Maureen Jennings

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Book Description

April 4 2006
The compelling new novel by Canada’s answer to Anne Perry.

In his forties, the Reverend Charles Howard still cut an impressive figure. A married Presbyterian minister in Toronto’s east end, Howard was popular with the congregation that elected him, especially with the ladies, and most particularly with Miss Sarah Dignam. Respected in the community, Howard, as Visitor for the House of Industry, sat in judgment on the poor, assessing their applications for the workhouse.

But now Howard is dead, stabbed and brutally beaten by someone he invited into his office. His watch and boots are missing. Has some poor beggar he turned down taken his vengeance?

Murdoch’s investigation takes him into the arcane Victorian world of queer plungers — men who fake injury all the better to beg — and the destitute who had nowhere left to turn when they knocked on the Reverend Howard’s door.

Frequently Bought Together

Vices of My Blood: A Detective Murdoch Mystery + A Journeyman to Grief + Let Loose the Dogs
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart (April 4 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771043767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771043765
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #265,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Jennings brings to life a violent but vital society of astonishing contradictions.”
New York Times Book Review

“Jennings has always had a fine eye for telling details and good characters.”
Globe and Mail

“[Night’s Child is] a well-written, tightly plotted mystery. . . . We feel the chill of the poorly heated rooms.”
Quill & Quire

From the Back Cover

“Jennings brings to life a violent but vital society of astonishing contradictions.”
New York Times Book Review

“Jennings has always had a fine eye for telling details and good characters.”
Globe and Mail

“[Night’s Child is] a well-written, tightly plotted mystery. . . . We feel the chill of the poorly heated rooms.”
Quill & Quire

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A big thumbs up! Jan. 5 2007
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Maureen Jennings moved to Canada from Birmingham, England when she was seventeen. After studying Philosophy, Psychology, and English literature, she became an English teacher at Ryerson Polytechnic Institute. After eight years of teaching, she did an about face and set herself up as a psychotherapist. VICES OF MY BLOOD is her sixth Detective Murdoch mystery, but she has also published a non-fiction book entitled MAP OF YOUR MIND.

Detective Murdoch is called when Charles Howard, a Presbyterian minister, is found in his office stabbed and beaten. Murdoch has just made detective, and murder isn't a normal occurrence. Naturally it seems obvious to everyone, including Murdoch's boss, that the murderer is one of the "tramps" in town. But there is more to this mystery than meets the eye, and Murdoch tries to sift through various motives. Could the murderer have been a spurned spinster? Could the "Traveler" have stooped to murder? How about someone desperate for food who was refused by Howard in his role as a "Visitor?" All Murdoch has to go on is the fact that Howard's boots and watch were stolen and that the crime was one of passion:

"'You'd say a thief then, would you, detective?" asked Royce. 'That or somebody wants us to think so." Mr. Lyons indicated he had a question. "Dr. Ogden in her excellent testimony has told us that there is every indication that the assailant was in a mad fury. I wonder then, if a person in such a state would have the presence of mind to deliberately mislead the police. I beg your pardon, Mr. Murdoch, I have no wish to cast aspersions on your competence.'"

There is something about Canadian mysteries that promises a slow but steady character and plot development that culminates in a neat package. Maureen Jennings is no exception. This is a period mystery, and Jennings has evidently done her research. We are transported back into the world of Victorian Canada in this case, where women stayed at home with their bodices and meek subservience to their husbands. Jennings creates a murky scenario with stand out characters and a whodunit that is as elusive as Murdoch's killer. A big thumbs up!

Shelley Glodowski

Senior Reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Maureen Jennings writes strong characters and great plots! March 8 2014
By David H. Bailey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is yet another wonderful book in this series. It's fun to read bits in the novels which have been picked up in the TV series, either side characters or plot devices. But whether or not you see the TV series (available in the U.S. only on DVD, at least in my part of the U.S.) these books stand alone as good reads.
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the books and the TV show although they a quite different. Nov. 22 2013
By xwxman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very good picture of late 19th century life. The stories are entertaining and move along at a good pace. My only negative is that Murdoch could be a bit more introspective about the case rather than the periphery characters who surround him, but its a minor point. I really enjoyed all the books of this series.
5.0 out of 5 stars Vices of blood Nov. 21 2013
By texasangeleyes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This an excellent read it keep me up most of the night. I have 3 of her books and I can't wait to read the next one they are so hard to put down.
3.0 out of 5 stars grim reality? July 12 2013
By P. Hartman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read these books because I absolutely love the Canadian TV show. However, Ms. Jennings style is far away from the TV series. She has more in common with Dickens and other somewhat dystopian novels of the 19th century. the poor people here really suffer and injustice is the order of the day. This is also shown on TV, but the humor (Thomas Craig constantly spurting out "Bloody Hell") softens the effect. In this novel, the corruption of a man of the cloth is exposed and here the story differs from what would probably have been known at that time. That is, in the 1890's, the truth might not have been revealed due to the incomprehensible horror of it. So, while the story recreates the grim atmosphere of that period, it also exposes the underbelly of social ills in a more 21st century style.
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