Night's Child

Night's Child

Book - 2013
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Gorgeous new TV tie-in edition of Maureen Jennings's immensely popular Inspector Murdoch series, basis for the long-running The Murdoch Mysteries , now on CBC.

After thirteen-year-old Agnes Fisher faints at school, her teacher, the young and idealistic Amy Slade, is shocked to discover photographs in the girl's desk. One is of Agnes in a lewd pose, captioned "What Mr. Newly Wed Really Wants." When Agnes does not show up at school the next day, her teacher takes the two photographs to the police. Then Detective Murdoch, furious at the sexual exploitation of such a young girl, sets out to find the photographer and put him behind bars.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 2013, c2005
ISBN: 9780771046773
Branch Call Number: M JEN
Characteristics: 372 p. ;,21 cm

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Sanrin
Mar 09, 2014

In 19th-Century Toronto, Detective Murdoch is brought pornographic photos by a "progressive" female school teacher who identifies a troubled student in one of the photos. The technical aspects of the story are the most interesting, from learning about contemporary photography (stereoscopes, death memorial photos) to unionized labor movements in Canada. Tedious is Murdoch's love life. The book brings a compassion for the poor and exploited at the time: children, single women, laborers.

Set in early 19th century extreme poverty of Toronto, this is a nice insight into the realty of pre WWI life the lack of social safety net. It is also an interesting glimpse into early pornography and use of photography to develop this business. There were a few loose ends, what was the role of the woman 'death' photographer in this plot? But a nice ending with the good guys getting to live together in a boarding house. The male police inspector has an odd female quality to him, cannot help seeing him in my mind's eye as a woman police officer. But overall a nice satisfying read.

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