This is the third novel in this series. While it reads relatively well on its own, the plot is definitely character driven. It is important to know about the two women and their previous exploits to fully enjoy this story. I would highly suggest the previous books in the series, The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder and A Lesson in Love and Murder, be read first.
The style of this novel is reminiscent of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Merinda is the brains of the duo with a sharp mind and a bent to investigation. She carries a magnifying glass and likes to perform experiments that aid in her investigative knowledge. Jem is her side kick. She's a quiet soul, trying to juggle a family and her drive for adventure.
The setting is Toronto in 1914. Canada is just considering getting into the war. Some of the plot revolves around the feelings some have toward recent immigrants from Germany or nearby countries. It is also a time when women were becoming more interested in their equality with men. Some are even taking up Merinda's habit of wearing trousers.
The plot revolves around several murders where a white feather was left. The feather is known as a symbol of cowardice in the Boer War. I felt the mystery aspect of the plot was not as interesting as the historical information included. McMillan has done her research and, as she shares in the Author's Note, she portrays well a turbulent time in the city's history.
I recommend this novel to readers who enjoy a character driven mystery in the style of Holmes and Watson. You'll be entertained and find out about an interesting time in Canada's history.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Rachel McMillan is a history enthusiast and lifelong bibliophile. She lives in Toronto where she works in educational publishing. You can follow her blog at www.a-fair-substitute-for-heaven.blogspot.com.
Harvest House Publishers, 224 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.