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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Poor Tom is Cold

Author: Maureen Jennings
Originally Published: 2001
Courtney’s Edition: 2002
Publisher: McClelland and Stewart

The Story

Poor Tom is ColdThe third book in Jennings’ Detective Murdoch books, Poor Tom is Cold tells the story of a police officer who is found after an apparent suicide. After the verdict is decided, some new evidence comes to light that shows that this may not be a suicide, but may actually be a murder. Detective Murdoch is on the case, trying to get to the bottom of things.

Meanwhile, at a house only a few doors down from where the dead police officer is found, the third wife of an older gentlemen (with children the same age as his third wife) is ushered to the insane asylum, after she is convinced that his children killed her own son and are out to get her next.

The Review

Oh, I do love Murdoch. I do also love Jennings’ Victorian Toronto! I really like that it isn’t romanticized and that we do see the dirty parts of Victorian Toronto – like the asylum in this one, and how its patients are treated. Having women strapped into baths for hours on end as a form of treatment? Not the worst of treatments people used to get, definitely, but long after the water has gone cold and whatnot? Hmm, not fun and still somewhat disturbing.

But the character of Murdoch is as wonderful as always, and I love his inner struggles – they totally endear him to me. I like characters that aren’t perfect, and you can totally see that with how he’s trying to work out everything in his head in relation to women, and faith and yes. He’s just figuring some things out, and it’s adorable. As I’ve mentioned previously, I also really do love the way Jennings’ portrays a very Catholic Murdoch in a very Protestant Toronto.

I found the end of the book to be a bit fast-paced… things were starting to draw to a close and it seemed that all of a sudden, the book was finished. Too soon, I think. I wish the ending had been drawn out a little bit more instead of the rush to the finish.

The Bottom Line

Definitely a solid book in the Murdoch series. Loved it, and I didn’t know how things were going to end up by the end of the book – it was definitely very cool to have been kept guessing. Cannot wait until I get a chance to read the fourth book.

Other Reviews

bookgirl’s nightstand. Have you reviewed this book on your blog? Let me know and I’ll add your link.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 9:49 pm December 8, 2009.
Category: Mystery
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