Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder Book Review

Herringford & Watts Mysteries Series
Book One

SUMMARY:  Beneath the facade of a wealthy aristocrat may beat the black heart of a killer . . .
     In 1910 Toronto, most bachelor girls are perfecting their domestic skills and finding husbands.
     But Merinda Herringford and Jem Watts have never been ordinary.  As the two detectives launch their business, the deaths of young Irish women lead them deep into the mire of the city's underbelly.
     While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest.  Merinda could well become Toronto's premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever - if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

REVIEW:  Not very many books are written about the early 20th century, especially before The Great War.  I find this time period fascinating because women's roles are starting to branch out from just housewives and shop workers to students of higher learning, reporters, lawyers, doctors and in other areas.  Merinda and Jem take advantage of these opportunities and start to make a name for themselves as detectives.  They try to avoid the Morality Squad, a group of men selected by the mayor to uphold women's traditional roles, making sure they are not out after dark and that their skirts aren't too short, and making life difficult for women.
     The mystery solving was interesting but sometimes I got lost because the story would jump around and I sometimes had difficulty remembering what the original objective was.  Even though the novel was about Merinda and Jem, the main focus was Jem and her potential love interest Ray.  It would have been nice to have both girls as the focus instead of just one.  But, looking at the write up for next book coming out, I noticed Merinda will be the one in the limelight. 
     Merinda's zest for life and her one track mind to find the murder was captivating.  She didn't let anything or anyone stop her from achieving her goal.  Dressing up in men's clothes so she and Jem could investigate places normally off-limits to women of their stature was just par for the course to her.  I like how Jem tried to keep Merinda out of trouble with the Morality Squad and just in general.  They both had a heart for women and tried to give them a voice, even if it was just find something that was lost.
    This was an okay book but I do look forward to reading the others to see how their lives play out.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Harvest House Publishers
for review without compensation. 

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile.  When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries.  Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

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