Author: Rachel McMillan
Publisher: Harvest House
Publication Date: 2015
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Series: Herringford and Watts Mysteries, .5
Genre: Fiction; Historical Novella
Rating: 5 out of 5
REVIEW: Ever since I learned fellow blogger was writing a book, I was as usual, thrilled. Not only that, but that same blogger was also publishing said book with Harvest House. As time passed, Rachel shared more details about her upcoming novel and eventually we learned it was not just a novel, but a series of books. All of which begins with this novella. Coming in at a mere 54 pages (there’s no shortage of amazing), this novella introduces us to Jem and Merinda. Two women living in 1900s Toronto, who are not only unconventional (to say nothing of their lack of proper pursuits like keeping a home for a husband), they are also consulting detectives.
I don’t want to say too much about this story because spoiling it would certainly spoil not just the plot but the “effect” of it. There is something remarkably addictive about this introductory story. The characters “pop” off the page with aplomb and the teasers of what is to come is written to perfection. If you’re a fan of period mysteries (like Murdoch Mysteries or even Grantchester, despite its vastly different time period), you’re sure to enjoy these women’s world. I recognized so many nods to some of these series, which made me love this world all the more. Also a strong influence on not only the writing but the characters is Sherlock Holmes right down to the opposites scenario between the two main characters.
With the quick wit I’ve come to expect of Rachel and an intriguing mystery that actually is fleshed out nicely, this is sure to pique anyone’s interest for The Bachelor’s Guide to Murder, releasing March 1st. Spending time with these ladies isn’t a bad way to enjoy a Saturday afternoon curled up on the couch and all of this is delivered with the pizazz of a singular new debut talent.
Synopsis: Christmas, 1910. Merinda Herringford and Jem Watts would be enjoying the season a lot more if they weren’t forced to do their own laundry and cooking. Just as they are adapting to their trusty housekeeper’s ill-timed vacation, they are confronted by the strangest mystery they’ve encountered since they started their private investigation firm.
In this bonus e-only novella, what begins as the search for a missing cat leads to a rabble-rousing suffragette and the disappearance of several young women from St. Jerome’s Reformatory for Incorrigible Females. From the women’s courts of City Hall to Toronto’s seedy docks and into the cold heart of the underground shipping industry, this will be the most exciting Christmas the girls have had yet…if they can stay alive long enough to enjoy it. – Goodreads