Jennings, Maureen - UNDER THE DRAGON’S TAIL

UNDER THE DRAGON’S TAIL (Pol. Proc-Toronto, Canada-late 1800s) – G Jennings, Maureen - 2nd in series
St. Martin’s Press, 1998- Hardcover

In the midst of training for a police tournament, Acting-Detective William Murdoch is called to investigate the death of Dolly Merishaw, a woman who had “taken care” of pregnancies for women rich and poor. She has left behind two small “foster” boys and a young woman who doesn’t speak and has disappeared following Dolly’s death. Dolly had secrets, but she is not the only one and someone is desperate enough to kill, and kill again, to keep their secret.

Jennings has done a masterful job of depicting Toronto in the late 1800s, her exhaustive research very apparent. She is merciless in showing the coarseness and desperation of the lower class and, in their own way, the middle and upper class. I almost have the feeling that other than Murdoch and his landlords, Jennings doesn’t like her characters very much. But sense of place and time isn’t enough for me. There were a lot of characters, most of them without much character development and the plot a bit overly complicated. Still, Jennings holds my interest well enough that I shall keep reading her.

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