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Maureen Jennings

Autor(a) de Except the Dying

29+ Works 2,085 Membros 85 Críticas 3 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: Maureen Jennings

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Obras por Maureen Jennings

Except the Dying (1997) 415 exemplares
Under the Dragon's Tail (1998) 250 exemplares
Poor Tom Is Cold (2001) 183 exemplares
Season of Darkness (2011) 162 exemplares
Let Loose the Dogs (2004) 159 exemplares
Night's Child (2005) 151 exemplares
Vices of My Blood (2006) 121 exemplares
A Journeyman to Grief (2007) 116 exemplares
Beware This Boy (2012) 83 exemplares
Does Your Mother Know? (1600) 70 exemplares
No Known Grave (2014) 66 exemplares
Dead Ground In Between (2016) 54 exemplares
Let Darkness Bury the Dead (2017) 47 exemplares
The K Handshape (2008) 41 exemplares
Heat Wave (2019) 28 exemplares

Associated Works

Crime Through Time III (2000) — Contribuidor — 82 exemplares
Murdoch Mysteries Season 1 (2008) — Writer — 27 exemplares
Investigating Murdoch Mysteries (2015) — Prefácio — 15 exemplares
The Penguin Book of Crime Stories, Volume II (2010) — Contribuidor — 9 exemplares
The Murdoch Mysteries: Poor Tom Is Cold [2004 TV movie] (2004) — Original Novels — 1 exemplar


Conhecimento Comum



It's not as much of a page-turner as the first book in the series, but it's still an enjoyable read. If you're looking for a very plot-driven police procedural, this isn't it, but if you're more interested in immersing yourself in 1890s Toronto, I think it is a worthwhile read. I found the ending too open-ended and just not enough closure for my preference (you do more or less find out who the murderer is; it's just not dealt with in the story directly), but I still enjoyed it - it was a good, easy read to get back into reading after exams and make use of the time I've spent visiting some relevant places in person.… (mais)
Leena04 | 11 outras críticas | Jan 2, 2024 |
I decided to read this third installment of the Paradise Café Mysteries. I know a fourth book is planned for next year, but this will be the last one I read.

It is December 1936. As foreshadowed in November Rain, Charlotte Frayne’s boss, has brought a Jewish refugee from Germany to Canada. Charlotte has been asked to help protect that man, Stephen Lucas, who has documents that could supposedly change the government’s attitude to Nazi Germany. There are people who are trying to prevent that information from being passed on.

As in the previous books, there is a second case. Charlotte’s estranged mother Moira reappears; she asks her daughter to find a son, Charlotte’s half-brother, whom she gave up for adoption two decades earlier. Of course the two cases converge, again in a very contrived way. What are the chances that for the third time in months, Charlotte is tasked with two cases simultaneously and they connect as in the previous two instances?!

This book is repetitious in other ways as well. There are several meetings held at the Paradise café where a pattern emerges: Cal’s daily menu is described; Pearl, the waitress, makes some caustic comments; and there is a disagreement between Hilliard and Wilf as to the entertainment being planned. Again, Charlotte is co-opted by the police to take notes at interviews. Then Detective-Inspector Jack Murdoch shares significant findings with her and even asks her to accompany the police to a potentially dangerous arrest. Police would never involve civilians like this.

I was really irked by the repeated delays. Characters don’t share information, stating that they will do so at a later time. Then Charlotte wants to share with others, but always seems to be out of time. People whom Charlotte interviews, like Sister Ambrose and Mrs. Stafford, have only a few minutes to spare so Charlotte has to return a second time.

And then there are the inconsistencies. On page 258, Charlotte makes notes of a conversation and lists the four people in attendance. Then, on page 266, Pearl bursts into the room calling for Hilliard, yet he is not one of the four present and there’s no indication he came in at any point. On page 144, Mrs. Stafford states unequivocally that she would never show anyone the content of a resident’s box without his consent, but then, on page 295, she does exactly that? Where was the editor?

This series has deteriorated. The first book, Heat Wave, offered some interesting historical information, but this one contains nothing new. The plots in the second and third books follow the pattern established in the first. Such formulaic plotting with unrealistic events has little interest for me.

Note: Please check out my reader's blog (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/) and follow me on Twitter (@DCYakabuski).
… (mais)
Schatje | Dec 26, 2023 |
This is the second Paradise Café Mystery, after Heat Wave (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/2023/09/review-of-heat-wave-by-maureen-jennings.html). I needed a quick read so I decided to check in on Charlotte Frayne.

It is November of 1936 in Toronto. Charlotte, a private investigator, is hired by Mrs. Jessop to determine if her son Gerald really did commit suicide. A badly disfigured World War I vet, he is found dead and with a suicide note, but his mother refuses to believe he would have killed himself. On the same day, Charlotte is hired by Saul Rosenthal to infiltrate his garment factory because he suspects communist agitators are fomenting labour unrest at his company. The murder of the supervisor on Charlotte’s first day at the factory gets her seconded by the police into their investigation.

As in the first book in the series, the plot is slow with little suspense and intrigue. The novel covers only a few days and everything gets nicely wrapped up in the end. The two cases end up being connected and that really irked me. It’s one of so many coincidences. In fact, it’s Charlotte’s happening to see people together that helps her make connections between the cases. It’s not great sleuthing that solves the cases – just luck.

As in the previous book, the plotting is so obvious. Characters that are not needed, like Mr. Gilmore and Hilliard, are given an excuse to travel. Why, for instance, does Charlotte go the café just after being hired on the two cases? The visit serves no purpose except to have her witness two women arguing, two women she will encounter again, of course. What is also problematic is how the police treat her as a colleague. Because various police officers conveniently have the flu, she is co-opted to attend questionings? She admits to “a rather ambiguous position in terms of officialdom.” No kidding! And what’s with all the obviously Jewish names like Klein and Cohen? Mr. Rosenthal is identified as Jewish, yet Mr. Klein is a Methodist?

In Heat Wave, I appreciated the historical aspects. In a second book, however, it just seems repetitious. Nothing new is added, except the reference to blue park benches which were reserved for veterans, a warning to passersby that a veteran sitting on the bench might be disfigured.

There is currently one more book in the series, Cold Snap, and a fourth one, March Roars, is set to be released in 2024. I might turn to the next installment when I need another unchallenging read. Maybe I keep hoping the books will get better, or maybe I just enjoy being critical and picking out the flaws.

Note: Please check out my reader's blog (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/) and follow me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/DCYakabuski).
… (mais)
Schatje | 2 outras críticas | Dec 11, 2023 |
The novel is set in 1936 in Toronto during a heat wave. The first of the Paradise Mystery series, it introduces Charlotte Frayne, a junior private investigator working for Thaddeus Gilmore.

The book opens with Mr. Gilmore receiving a letter calling him a “filthy Commie Jew” and an implicit death threat. Shortly afterwards his wife Ida is attacked in their home and Mr. Gilmore becomes the main suspect. Charlotte sets out to prove his innocence. At the same time, she is hired by Hilliard Taylor, one of the owners of the Paradise Café, to investigate why money is going missing. She goes undercover as a waitress to determine who is responsible for the thefts.

Charlotte is the narrator. She is very much a modern woman placed in a historical setting. She is loyal, independent, determined, compassionate, and eager to prove herself in a man’s world. Sometimes she comes across as too-good-to-be-true, a heroine coming to everyone’s rescue, even an overheated horse. The café owners are so impressed by her ability to solve their case when, in fact, a direct conversation amongst the owners would have solved the mystery.

I found the plotting so obvious, with several problematic elements. To find her boss’s home address, Charlotte opens the safe, instead of going directly to the city directory? This is just a clumsy device for her to find an important document. For someone who is a private investigator and so should know better, Mr. Gilmore behaves in ways that do not help his situation. Why would the woman who discovers Ida not use the Gilmore’s telephone and instead go to a neighbour? Chapters 4 – 6 have Charlotte talking to all the neighbours of the Gilmores; it seems a tactic to confuse the reader when in fact the guilty party is immediately obvious when first introduced. The entire Paradise Café case is a flimsy device to involve Charlotte; it could have been solved after one conversation amongst the four owners of the café. Why would a safe combination be kept where anyone could see it? Surely most people can memorize a simple combination! Again, this is just a device to unnecessarily complicate the case. Detective Jack Murdoch seems so willing to enlist the help of a civilian? It the sight of a uniform bothers a witness, why not send a policewoman in plain clothes to question that person instead of a civilian? How does the attacker know Mr. Gilmore’s secret?

The plot is slow with little intrigue or suspense. Instead, unnecessary elements seem to be added to distract the reader. For instance, the relationship between Charlotte’s grandfather and his femme fatale neighbour seems totally unnecessary. And it is resolved so quickly and easily. The suggestion of a romance for Charlotte is just annoying – again unnecessary. Why does there always have to be an ineffectual policeman with a stupid theory?

I did appreciate the historical aspects. The book touches on anti-Semitism and the fear of Communism, as well as the difficulties experienced by people because of the Depression. Certainly, the author has researched Toronto and has used that research well to detail locations within the city.

This book will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the Murdoch Mysteries whether in book form or on television. I find them much too obvious, preferring mysteries that are more subtle and challenging. I’d recommend the book for someone looking for a light, easy read in the vein of the Lane Winslow series by Iona Whishaw.

Note: Please check out my reader's blog (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/) and follow me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/DCYakabuski).
… (mais)
Schatje | 1 outra crítica | Sep 28, 2023 |



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