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A Lesson in Love and Murder (Herringford and Watts Mysteries) Paperback – September 1, 2016
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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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Meanwhile Ray DeLuca, Jem's husband, has also independently made it to Chicago in attempt to convince his sister, Violet to come back to Toronto with her son, Luca. Ray is fed up continuing to support them financially on his meagre wages due to Violet's husband neglecting his duties.
McMillan has developed these characters wonderfully. Merinda comes alive in this episode. Previously she's been a woman of few emotions but this time we see her "challenged" by her strong attraction to our Canadian Mountie hero and her heartfelt thoughts towards Jem's situation.
Jemima and Ray's marital woes so early in their marriage are very realistically portrayed. The way McMillan demonstrates their growing love and affection for each other is delightful.
McMillan's witty and sophisticated voice elevates this story from being a simple mystery to a charming adventure of passion, daring and intelligent repartee. But it's how she enhances the depth of these two very special ladies that kept me turning the pages. It's clear there's been a great deal of research put into the early 1900s so that McMillan creates a realistic backdrop of these two great cities that were beginning to find their legs in that era.
Bravo, Rachel McMillan. I can't wait for the next instalment to see how much more you can draw out of this dynamic duo.
Truer words were never spoken, for Jemima Watts "DeLuca" and Merinda Herringford are an organically eccentric investigative duo; armed with wit, disguise, and tenacity which serve them well, for with minimal effort they continually find themselves in life and death situations.
Their next case appears shortly after Jem is forced to admit that "crime will just have to start to pay"; bemoaning the loss of her day job, she is becoming more dependent on the income the two receive from their clandestine agency contracts, for her new husband's fledgling salary as a Toronto journalist is barely keeping a roof over their heads. Amidst rising tension among the local labor party, Jem and Merinda are hired by Benny Citrone of the Royal North-West Mounted Police to locate his cousin, supposedly aiding radical anarchists who have been accused of blowing up trolley cars along city transportation routes.
Along the way, there are many lessons to be learned about love and murder. What a fun book!
As in the first novel of the series, I found the dialogue to be witty. The quotations at the beginning of each chapter and the footnotes often added just the right touch, especially the quotations from Benny and Jonathan’s handbook. I personally found them quite eloquent. As other reviewers have mentioned, I liked seeing the personal growth of the primary characters but also sympathized with Ray and Jem’s communication problems. I also found it very natural to have two such good friends with only one of them a believer yet also could see some progress being made in that area.
Then there was the plot. Although not quite as mysterious as the first novel, “A Lesson in Love and Murder” was very action-packed with danger at every corner. The mystery itself was more in the line of proving who was behind the death and destruction that followed the team from Toronto to Chicago. I enjoyed the introduction of Benny the Mounty but felt sorry for Jasper as he watched Merinda’s reaction to Benny.
I thoroughly enjoyed another encounter with those endearing bachelor girls and can’t wait to join them on their next adventure. I love the unique yet somehow old-fashioned approach this author has taken with this series.
A digital copy of this book was provided for review by Howard Books through NetGalley. I later purchased a print copy.
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From political danger to personal drama, life is about to get explosive...Read more