Book: A Lesson in Love and Murder

Title: A Lesson in Love and Murder
Author: Rachel MacMillan
Genre: historical, mystery
Publisher: Harvest House
Date:  8/30/16

Merinda Herringford and her best friend, Jem Watts, tend to find danger. Or rather, it finds them. That’s how these two women, living in Toronto Canada circa 1912, start their own detective agency.  They take pride in their work and they love what they do. So when someone puts their beloved Toronto on the frontlines of a dangerous political movement, it takes little to nothing to get them involved.

Benny Citrone is a member of the Northwest Mounted Police. He’s a Mountie. And he suspects that his best friend in the world might be the one setting up bombs across Toronto. He leaves the forests and wilds that he loves and comes to the city in an attempt to track him down.  He comes across the Herringford and Watts Detective Agency and it’s a match made somewhere. Perhaps not in heaven, but somewhere.

I love mysteries. Especially mysteries that have women in the lead. It all started with J.D. Robb a few years ago and has morphed into something much bigger. Now I devour books where women solve crime.  So when I saw this one, I reached out and snagged it with much delight.

Merinda and Jem are a fun duo. They get along fabulously and even though Jem has just recently gotten married, they are still close. They’re more like sisters than friends and it’s fun.  I do wish that they were a little more richly developed. They felt, sometimes, like caricatures of women from their era. I wasn’t as much a fan of Merinda as I would have liked. Where she fights for women’s rights and wants to be seen differently, but there were moments I was just annoyed with her.  It felt too strong – like a message was trying to be pushed more than just a character developing.

The mystery and adventure in this book unfolded neatly and simply – there weren’t a lot of twists and turns. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. I could see a lot of the things coming and sometimes, there is as much enjoyment in being proven right as there is in being surprised.  I still enjoyed it as I was reading.

I am curious about where Merinda and Jem end up in the future. I want to see how their lives and their adventures move forward after all the things that happened in this story.

It was a good, solid adventure. It didn’t stand out as a favorite for me, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun along the way.

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