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The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder (Herringford and Watts Mysteries) Paperback – April 1, 2016
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"Fresh and beguiling, the Bachelor Girls are an engaging new addition to the mystery scene. They tackle criminals with a combination of unique moxie and an irrepressible sense of adventure. I want to be friends with the Bachelor Girls!"
—Deanna Raybourn, New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey Mysteries
"In her fabulous debut, Rachel McMillan brings 1910 Toronto to rich and wonderful life. The intrepid Jem and Merinda make a winning detective team. Full of romance and derring-do, The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder will keep you turning pages."
—Nancy Herriman, author of No Comfort for the Lost
"Smart, sassy, and chic. The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder is all that and more. A fabulous historical. Encore, Rachel McMillan!"
—Laura Frantz, author of The Mistress of Tall Acre
"A wonderful romp! McMillan's delightful debut introduces us to a beguiling and intrepid crime-solving duo. The two lovely ladies defy expectations and social norms as they lead us across early twentieth-century Toronto and into the heart of a compelling mystery...with a dash of romance on the side. Can't wait for more of these two and the adventure they'll lead us on next!"
—Katherine Reay, author of The Bronte Plot
"A savvy and street-smart read. Rachel McMillan's The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder is a wickedly clever debut, with the wit and intelligence of a classic Agatha Christie whodunit. It's a vintage-inspired ride with a dash of mystery, romance, and just enough suspense to keep the reader guessing. I was drawn in and held captive with the turn of each page!"
—Kristy Cambron, author of The Ringmaster's Wife and the Hidden Masterpiece series
"One does not merely read The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder. Rather, one enters the story, allows the author to take her on a wild ride through early twentieth century Toronto, and remains unable to do anything but turn the pages until the final scene has ended. McMillan has created characters whose exploits will live on well beyond this story. Well done! Now hurry and write the next one!"
—Kathleen Y'Barbo, bestselling author of Firefly Summer and Sadie's Secret
"In her stunning debut, Rachel McMillan achieves a perfect balance of wit and warmth and invites readers into an entirely new world. More than intrepid detectives, Bachelor Girls Jem and Merinda are fully fleshed women, grappling with mysteries of the heart as well as those of the gritty streets of historic Toronto. A cast of supporting characters brings life and dimension, as well as the promise of more stories to come. McMillan's homage to the spirit of Sherlock and Watson stands solid on its own, whether in pick heels or brogans."
—Allison Pittman, author of On Shifting Sand
"Come for the gorgeous cover and promise of mystery; stay for the lilting romance and tingling wit. Rachel McMillan's debut is the perfect mix of engaging characters and a fresh, enticing voice. Simply put, I'm hooked!"
—Melissa Tagg, author of From the Start and Like Never Before
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.
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Top customer reviews
Jemima Watts isn’t what anyone would call a rebel. She grew up a good girl and prepared to become a proper society wife and mother. At least that was the plan until she met Merinda Herringford. Merinda is the complete opposite of Jem. She’s opinionated, regularly dons trousers and refuses to play by anyone’s rules. Somehow the two girls get along swimmingly. Their friendship eventually takes them to being roommates and operating a consulting detective agency that Merinda frequently likens to that of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson’s exploits. When the girls stumble onto a string of unsolved murders, they find themselves in over their heads. But with the help of police constable Forth and the hot-tempered (but oh-so-swoony) reporter Ray DeLuca, they might uncover more than they bargained on finding.
If I were to keep this review simple, the one word that I’d pin on this novel is “delightful.” Fortunately, I don’t have to leave it at merely a one word acclaim because The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder is that and so much more. Readers who appreciate humor in their historical fiction will love this. Thrill seekers who enjoy historical time periods will find their fix inside these pages. Romantics will discover a chaste and swoon-worthy romance wrapped carefully inside the mystery. Given the book’s leading characters are women this novel does have a strong sense of feminism which is why some of the turns did take me by surprise. But I appreciate the balance Rachel gave the subjects. Her voice creates strong characters in Merinda and Jem (whom we stick with for the majority of the novel) and yet, the men in her story aren’t ill-treated, and if they do take some flack, it’s because they allowed it.
When I look back on my blogging origins up to the place where I am now in this journey, one of the things I never anticipated was reviewing the novels of people who I’d “meet” on this adventure and come to consider friends. Rachel McMillan is a well-known and respected blogger who, as will be familiar to those who know her, has a fabulous sense of humor. (Don’t believe me? Simply go read her sassy tweets with David Huddleston – and if you’re confused by that statement, trust me, this is a thing.) As fellow book blogger Cassie aptly coined a descriptor for this, ‘Bachelor Girls’ is full of Rachel-isms that will make readers giggle, and flip the pages all the faster. Each layer this story adds is as captivating as the last, and though a sense of completion is found in the final page, you’ll be left wishing the next chapter in Jem and Merinda’s adventures were at arm’s length.
Though tempted to say so much more, all I will say is this: go read this debut. You won't regret it.
Sincere thanks to the author for providing a complimentary e-galley of this novel.
Jem, Merinda, Jasper, and Ray. Four characters who personify independence, joy, love, wit, and charisma.
This book, on the surface, is a rollicking good time. Lots of smirks, laughs, intelligence, and a bit of romance. What’s under the surface, however, is what makes this book so fascinating. You have two independent women who are “past an age” for proper society. These are women you’d love to know in real life and have on your side. They’re not trying to fit in with society—they’re trying to find out who they are, and in Jem’s case, come to terms with it.
Jasper and Ray are charmers. Ray was more the focus in this story, and may be a new crush. He is sweet, caring, loyal, compassionate, and has just enough flaws to make you love him that much more. Including his bad poetry. ;)
Rachel McMillan has done a phenomenal job giving us lovable characters in the tempestuous setting of 1910 Toronto. She’s crafted a fun murder mystery with wit and charm while not shying away from the plight of women and immigrants in Toronto during that time.
This is a book I highly recommend!
*I was given this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.
I enjoyed this book just as much as I expected to. I loved A Singular and Whimsical Problem so I had high expectations. It's charming and filled with suspense; both in how the case will turn out, as well as how Jem's relationships will play out. And The Ending; oh my word! I won't give away an spoilers; just suffice it to say that I did not see The Ending coming. I mean, I suspected it later in the series, but the fact that it happened in this book made me curious how things would go in future books.
The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder is a sparkling novel that fans of cozy mysteries and historical fiction will surely enjoy.