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.
I believe part of my difficulty in getting into Under the Dragon’s Tail is the fact that this is the second book in Jennings’ Detective Murdoch series, not the first, and therefore I felt that I never really got to know the main character. I felt like Jennings didn’t like her other characters, but I didn’t know enough about Murdoch to see why she loves him.
Jennings does a fabulous job of depicting Toronto as it was in the late 1800s; her exhaustive extensive research is extremely apparent. I love how she depicts the coarseness and desperation of the lower class and how this extends into the middle and upper classes, and I wasn’t expecting how heavily the story of the two boys Dolly leaves behind would come into play with the mystery. But I felt the story seemed to develop pretty slowly. I like a little more action and fast-paced development with mysteries.
- Jennings, Maureen. Under the Dragon’s Tail. Toronto: M&S, 2005. Print. 304 pgs. ISBN: 9780771043994. Source: PaperBackSwap.