A police constable named Oliver Wicken has apparently committed suicide, leaving his mother and his invalid sister to fend for themselves. The evidence, according to the coroner, is irrefutable. Wicken was shot in the temple with his own revolver and a farewell note has been found beside his body. But new and disturbing evidence is brought to light that leads Detective Murdoch to suspect that the suicide was not what it seemed.
Whether describing a tooth extraction, the unquestioning prejudice toward the few Chinese immigrants in the city, or the well-intentioned, but bizarre, treatment of mentally ill women, Maureen Jennings once again brings late-Victorian Toronto vividly to life.
""Jennings generates considerable suspense with her unsettling tale. . . . A very fine example of what it takes to make a historical mystery work."" - Booklist
""Jennings has laid strong claim to the Toronto of the late nineteenth century. . . . A satisfying mystery perfectly wedded to its evocative setting."" - Publishers Weekly
""Jennings always manages to guide [Murdoch] to the trenchant detail that brings big issues down to eye level."" - New York Times Book Review