Night's Child

Night's Child

A Murdoch Mystery

Book - 2010
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After thirteen-year-old Agnes Fisher faints at school, her teacher, the young and still idealistic Amy Slade, is shocked to discover in the girl's desk two stereoscopic photographs. One is of a dead baby in its cradle, and on the back Agnes has scrawled a terrible message. Worse, the other photograph is of Agnes in a pose captioned "What Mr. Newly Wed Really Wants." When Agnes doesn't show up at school the next day, her teacher takes the two photographs to the police. Murdoch, furious at the sexual exploitation of such a young girl, resolves to find the photographer - and to put him behind bars.

Night's Child is the fifth novel in Maureen Jennings's highly praised historical mystery series. Three of Jennings's novels have been made into TV movies under the title Murder 19C: The Murdoch Mysteries . Bravo/CHUM is currently developing a series based on the character of Detective William Murdoch for broadcast in 2007.
Published: Toronto ; New York : McClelland & Stewart, 2010, c2005.
Edition: Trade pbk. ed.
ISBN: 9780771043345
Branch Call Number: F JEN
Characteristics: 372 p. ;,21 cm.


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Mar 09, 2014

In 19th-Century Toronto, Detective Murdoch is brought pornographic photos by a "progressive" female school teacher who identifies a troubled student in one of the photos. The technical aspects of the story are the most interesting, from learning about contemporary photography (stereoscopes, death memorial photos) to unionized labor movements in Canada. Tedious is Murdoch's love life. The book brings a compassion for the poor and exploited at the time: children, single women, laborers.

Set in early 19th century extreme poverty of Toronto, this is a nice insight into the realty of pre WWI life the lack of social safety net. It is also an interesting glimpse into early pornography and use of photography to develop this business. There were a few loose ends, what was the role of the woman 'death' photographer in this plot? But a nice ending with the good guys getting to live together in a boarding house. The male police inspector has an odd female quality to him, cannot help seeing him in my mind's eye as a woman police officer. But overall a nice satisfying read.


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