About this Item
Quantity Available: 1
Title: Under the Dragon's Tail (Signed First ...
Publisher: St. Martins
Publication Date: 1998
Book Condition: New
Dust Jacket Condition: New
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: 1st Edition....
About this title
In this second novel by Maureen Jennings, following her critically acclaimed "Except the Dying", Detective William Murdoch returns to investigate another brutal murder in 1895 Toronto. "Here's a . . . novel that whets the appetite for more".--"Publishers Weekly".Review:
Maureen Jennings sets up this 19th-century tale of blackmail and murder rather like a jigsaw puzzle: each chapter introduces new clues, new characters, and new points of view until the complete picture is revealed. As we discover who might have suffocated Dolly Shaw, a capricious, demanding drunkard, Jennings explores the permutations and stratifications of society in Toronto at the close of the century. Although the victim is a violent, scheming wretch of humble dwelling and few connections, her death draws in the range of men and women who employed her services in her profession as a midwife: the wife of a prominent judge who seems to care for little except fashionable clothes and her young ward; a theatrical performer who sells her various talents both before and behind the stage; and the detective, William Murdoch, who tries to solve the mystery and appease his own loneliness after the death of his fiancée.
Jennings has a subtle touch. She not only explores Canadian society caught between the stiffer British and the more freewheeling Americans but also considers the period's reliance on patent medicines for everything from inducing miscarriages to promoting virility; examines the shifting athletic interests after the introduction of the bicycle; and evokes the stink of stale beer sold cheaply to the city's poor. Her ear for 19th-century language is more true and her evil deeds are less foul than those of Anne Perry. And while she lacks the rollicking good humor of Elizabeth Peters (although there are a few light moments), she is much more accessible than the sometimes impermeable Peter Ackroyd. Under the Dragon's Tail is a worthwhile book and a solid follow-up to Jennings's first, Except the Dying. --K.A. Crouch
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