This book reminded me of a mixture of the writings of Jane Austen’s novels and Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder (Herringford and Watts Mysteries Book 1) is a form of cozy mystery even though they are working in competition with the police instead of alongside them. It was interesting, and I did finish it. I’m not sure if I liked it or not. LOL I think my uncertainty comes from not having anything in common with the heroines of the book. However, I would pick up the next one in the series to see how the story continues.
Side note: My daughter did not understand why I had a book about how to murder someone. 🙂 The heroine’s in the book have a guide book that they follow which gives tips on how to solve a murder, and I think that is the reference. The idea being that unmarried girls would have no idea about what goes on around murders.
Back to the heroine’s: Jemima is my favorite of the two. At times I got quite irritated at Merinda [which is a salute to the author because she definitely evoked emotions]. They both go against the general society’s expectations of how women should act – especially unmarried women. Most of the time the book is told through Jem’s thoughts and actions, sometimes through the hero’s point of view; and a little bit through Merinda’s. I started out wondering if Jemima was too much of a push over, but it became clear as the story went on that she enjoyed most of their adventures and choose to continue.
The story moves through the upper, middle/working, and lower societies of Toronto in the early 1900’s so the supporting characters are quite varied. There are hired thugs and wealthy politicians, working shop girls and a ball room full of society ladies. There are 2 heroes to match the 2 heroines and they are portrayed very well. Ray is an immigrant that has to work hard physically as well as emotionally to overcome his past. Jasper is a police constable that is good at his job and a friend to the ladies. I’m sure he will show up in future Herringford and Watts mystery stories.
It does not have religious content but is a “clean” book.
Here is some backcover copy:
In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.
Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.
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 be 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.
You can find more information at the author’s site. Published by Harvest House Publishers. This book was sent to me through Litfuse Publicity for the book tour. The words are fully my own and my affiliate link is in this post.