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Season of Darkness (Detective Inspector Tom Tyler, #1)
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Season of Darkness (Detective Inspector Tom Tyler #1)

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  544 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
The creator of the acclaimed Detective Murdoch Mysteries turns her exceptional storytelling skills to a murder mystery set in rural Shropshire, England, in the darkest days of the Second World War.

Following the disastrous retreat of the British army from Dunkirk in 1940, England is plunged into a state of fear. The threat of a German invasion is real, and many German Natio
ebook, 320 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by McClelland & Stewart (first published January 1st 2011)
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Mar 13, 2012 Spuddie rated it it was ok
First of a planned trilogy set in Shropshire, England in 1940. Inspector Tom Tyler is roused from his usual rather boring job in the small town of Whitchurch when one of the Land Army girls is found brutally murdered and posed. England is at war, and these girls are trucked in from the cities to help farmers with crops while most of the men are serving their country. The killing rouses suspicion that there may be a "Jerry" on the loose who possibly parachuted in, but Tyler believes the killer is ...more
May 08, 2012 Ben rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who have the time, people who like British history
Recommended to Ben by: Staff at Tanner's Bookstore
Season of Darkness is not a well-put-together book. The story is decent (but not superb), the writing style is easy enough to read, but the editing and proof reading was surprisingly bad for an accomplished and well-known author. Maureen Jennings' previous work, which became the popular TV movie and program called Murdoch Mysteries, should mean this new trilogy would be well-written and well-edited. Unfortunately there are far too many grammatical errors and omitted words to make it enjoyable. I ...more
An Odd1
Sep 21, 2013 An Odd1 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery author's consultant on favorite TV 1900 Toronto Detective Murdoch is preferred, for humor, costumes. Cannot "like" this brutal murder mystery, or read sequels. But terrifyingly accurate powerful depiction of reality deserves credit. Uncorrected proof (disclaimer) kept me and others up all night (also tried to prevent nightmares by staying awake). Gruesome war visuals may be true, but hard to swallow.

Title is from Charles Dickens 'A Tale of Two Cities'. F
Jul 27, 2011 Kirsten rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tina Wright
Recommended to Kirsten by: Goodreads
Thanks again to Goodreads First Reads giveaways :)

This being the first uncorrected proof I've ever read I was at first highly distracted by typos (the curse of a teacher) but had to remind myself to move past them (they got fewer as I went along which also helped). Overall I enjoyed the story but found the use of "time specific" vocabulary and references a bit too much. I can see where someone like Tom Tyler and other characters might speak that way but would have appreciated a glossary of some
Sep 05, 2011 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, canada, first-reads
A well-paced historical mystery set in the Shropshire countryside in the summer of 1940, as England was moving from the false calm of the phony war into the full horrors of the Nazi threat. A Land Army girl is found dead on a country road and the search for her killer gets more complicated when another girl disappears and the fear engendered by the violence so close to home connects to the fear of the perhaps-looming German invasion and the complicated emotions stirred by the frantic escape from ...more
Kate Donnelly
Jun 27, 2014 Kate Donnelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this is not the first of the Tyler books, it seemed developed. I am unfamiliar with the setting of the book which enhanced the reading. I have read almost all of the other series and seen the tv and DVDs. Easy read, but not a waste of time.
Bob Lenning
Aug 22, 2012 Bob Lenning rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I discovered the author when I watched the series Murdoch Mysteries on Netflix and found that she had been the writer who had inspired it. Perhaps for better or worse there's slightly less detail of the country and the times than in corresponding Ian Rutledge titles by Charles Todd. The ending might be less of a surprise solution than you might expect, but even when you knew it had to be, sympathy is the emotion anyone will feel as the last bit of answer is revealed. Tom Tyler (certainly well-su ...more
Diane S ☔
Dec 23, 2011 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's 1940 in Whitchurch a town in Shropshire England, shortly after Dunkirk. The land army girls have arrived to help the farmers and many German nationals and Jews who have escaped Germany are interned in camps. The setting and history is portrayed flawlessly and the mystery and the characters are fantastic. Very atmospheric read and I could not guess who the murderer was before the ending. Supposed to be the 1st in a new trilogy and I can't wait to read the next one.
Nov 01, 2011 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the feel of the book, the sense of WWII era England. The main character, a policeman is married but cannot get over his first love who has come back into town. Neither of them seemed to have much of a sense of commitment, which bothered me a little. The ultimate mystery was a little thin, but okay. I do look forward to the next in the series. I think they will have to kill off the wife so he can "honorably" be with his true love.
Nov 13, 2011 Deshay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I enjoy the English setting and the WWII time period, I didn't like this book as much as I thought I would. I couldn't seem to care for any of the characters so it was hard to keep an interest in what they thought or did. The mystery aspect was well done and kept me turning the pages. But I found parts to be a little coarse. Not sure if I will read the others if it is a planned trilogy.
David Marshall
Very disappointing. It can't make up its mind whether it wants to be a police procedural, a WWII historical novel or an adventure/thriller novel. Although it all fits together well as a plot, there's no sense of urgency or excitement until near the end vut, by then, it's all too little too late.
The first half of this mystery was really well constructed. For me, it kind of fell apart near the end, with too many twists crammed in and too much wrap-up exposition wayyy too fast. What seemed to be a really balanced plot started to develop some holes. In a good mystery, the clues need to be more evenly spaced and even red herrings should have some logic to them. When you have too many subplots and then smoosh them all together at the end without taking the time to reason them out, the reader ...more
Val Sanford
Incredible glimpse into rural Britain's predicament in WW2. Broken men returned from war; the battle of Dunkirk a searing memory of ghastly proportions and the internment of potential 5th Column sympathizes. Into this molted lava of heartbreak, wounded souls and broken dreams come the Land Army Girls. City girls, country girls, high born and low, the Land Army Girls kept Britain fed during the dark and evil days of WW2 when Britain stood alone against Hitler's army. Fast love, innocent love and ...more
Dec 20, 2014 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tom Tyler is an Inspector in a small town in England. WWII has broken out and alleged enemies, mostly of German descent are interred at a camp nearby. Young women known as the Land Girls have moved from cities to work in the fields replacing men who are fighting in the war. One of the Land Girls is found dead and the usual peaceful environment of the small town is disrupted. Tyler struggles; he has two teenage children; a son who has come home from the war struggling with his experiences at Dunk ...more
Jun 26, 2016 Cindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I usually don't like books that have anything to do with WW II, but this had a few flashbacks to what happened to a group of boys, as well as some incidents with some German soldiers. Detective Tom Tyler is the Chief Inspector and is having to solve the murder of 2 Land Army girls. There is a camp in England near the small town of Whitchurch that holds many German nationalists. At first no one knows that there is a German spy among them, a native towns person helping the spy, or a planted MI 5 u ...more
Jan 20, 2016 Scilla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This takes place in a small town, Whitchurch, Shropshire, near the beginning of WWII. It's worth 3.5 stars. There are girls from the city working in the fields, and a detention camp for German citizens. Early one morning, one of the Land Army girls is found dead by the side of the road with a German Luger by her side. Detective Inspector Tom Tyler is called out to solve the murder. He meets up with a former girlfriend who is translator at the camp and finds he is still in love. Soon another girl ...more
Jan 23, 2014 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, library, paperback
Finally finished. The book got better as it progressed. You are gradually introduced to the main characters.
The end is a bit of a shock. will look to get hold of the second book in the series.
Jul 01, 2016 Gail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Darker than WWII novels I have read in the past, this story of a policeman in a Shropshire town immediately after Dunkirk was sobering and sometimes brutal. An internment camp at the edge of the village, the death of a Land Girl in the forest, and the post traumatic mental stress of Inspector Tom Tyler's only son are elements around which the plot is woven. I didn't find any of the characters particularly likeable, but was impressed with the author's description of the changes the war wrought in ...more
2.5* While I liked the WWII setting on the British homefront and the author's dedication to describing events and settings with an eye to historical accuracy, I must say I would have enjoyed the book more if I could have had more respect for Inspector Tyler. I have no qualms enjoying a protagonist with flaws or a sexual appetite, but I found it difficult to respect and like Tyler because of his disrespect for and dismissal of his wife until the very end of the book, where it felt more like he wa ...more
Andres Ramirez
A rather dull run-of-the-mill murder mystery, "Season of Darkness" lacks originality and energy and relies on what have become tropes in who-done0it" novels. The most interesting parts are facts pulled from peoples' actual experiences in 1940 Shropshire, England and Ms. Jennings fails to add highlight these references or use them effectively in her narrative. Furthermore, I struggled to find the characters appealing and they lacked development. I really enjoy mysteries and that is why I enjoyed ...more
I received this series for Christmas and I have definitely enjoyed the first one. I was quite gripped but have only given it three stars as it's not quite gruesome enough for me. I like my crime novels with a bit more bite. However, it is very interesting and the main character very likeable.

It is set during WWI and the memories of Jimmy - Tom's son - of Dunkirk are very moving. You get a range of viewpoints of the war from different people living in the area, including those at an internment c
Rene Natan
Jun 20, 2014 Rene Natan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review of Season of Darkness by Maureen Jennings.

It is the summer of 1940, England: The country is at war. The debacle of Dunkirk has inflicted a big blow to its citizens—both militarily and emotionally. The threat of a German invasion is looming.
An internment camp, set in Whitchurch, hosts several men of German nationality; a group of young women, the Land Girls, work the land to help farmers with their daily chores. When one of these is found shot dead in a nearby road, Inspector Tom Tyler ent
Aug 30, 2011 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I won a copy of the book through Good Reads and decided to read it while on vacation.

I really liked the style of writing and story telling. The story was mainly told from the main detective's point of view, with the occasional chapter where it was told from the culprit's point of view. Being a detective story, it was great to get hints as to who the culprit is and I kept trying to guess who it was.

The characters seem fairly complex. I wish there was more on connecting with the characters and rea
Oct 02, 2012 Claire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is the first book by Maureen Jennings I've read. I've recently watched and enjoyed the Canadian TV series "The Murdoch Mysteries" based on Jennings's Inspector Murdoch books, and I thought I would give her books a try. (This book is not an Inspector Murdoch story.) Season of Darkness features a small town detective, Tom Tyler, and is set in rural England in the early stages of World War II.

The story itself seemed a bit slow to start but I think that's due to Jennings effort to carefully in
Jun 08, 2012 Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Season of Darkness, Tom Tyler is a detective inspector in Whitchurch in Shropshire in 1940. He's married to Vera, but a former lover has recently resurfaced and has him emotionally torn. When a Land Army girl (a young woman helping the farmers during the war) is found murdered, Tom is up for the challenge. In the nearby internment camp of Prees Heath, which is holding many German nationals, Tom finds a German psychiatrist willing to help solve the murder. Tyler must solve this one quickly bef ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"Following the disastrous retreat of the British army from Dunkirk in 1940, England is plunged into a state of fear. The threat of a German invasion is real, and many German Nationals are interned in camps across the country. One such camp is on the ancient moor land of Prees Heath, near the small town of Whitchurch in Shropshire, where Tom Tyler is the sole detective inspector.

Young women from all walks of life have joined the Land Army, to help desperate farmers keep the country fed. Wh
May 05, 2012 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a historical murder mystery set in a small English town during WW II. Inspector Tom Tyler and his officers are used to small town mundane crimes. However, they are suddenly faced with trying to solve the serious crime of murder which soon becomes murders. I was kept guessing from beginning to end as to who the culprit was. Also, there is the historical aspect of the story which hints at the attitudes and fears of the people during the war and how their lives were affected. Involved ...more
I really enjoyed this book, and am ready to begin the next Detective Inspector Tom Tyler mystery. I had both of these books on my Christmas book list, based on the fact that (a)I am a fan of the author, Maureen Jennings who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada-(about 30 miles from my house) and (b)I have read all of her books since I first discovered her historical fiction novels (1996) about Detective William Murdoch, the hero of the tv series "Murdoch Mysteries", (set in Toronto in the late 1890s ...more
Mar 17, 2013 rabbitprincess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like WW2 mysteries, esp. in England
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: probably one of the newspapers
Shelves: bibliotheque, 2013
England, 1940. Dunkirk has been evacuated, and German nationals in England have been rounded up and interned in camps. One such camp is near Whitchurch, Shropshire, where DI Tom Tyler is in charge of the local police force. Tyler is called in on a particularly sad case one morning: the death of a Land Army girl at the side of the road. Foul play is a certainty, but who would want her dead and why? The evidence seems to indicate German involvement, but in wartime one cannot jump to conclusions.

Jill Heather
Jul 20, 2011 Jill Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, historical
A nice mystery -- the "first of a trilogy" part worried me some, but it is self-contained, and the mystery is solved, though the answers are rather rushed, as is the entire ending. The beginning of the book is a little wobblier, but it is worth going through it. By the end I was well-invested in the story. I have read other of Jennings' books, and this is on a par with them. If you like historical mysteries, this is a good mystery for you; if you do not like the WWII setting, it does not transce ...more
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Read by Theme: Season of Darkness by Maureen Jennings 3 23 Aug 10, 2012 02:23AM  
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Maureen Jennings, now a Canadian Citizen, was born on Eastfield Road in Birmingham, England and spent her formative years there until she emigrated to Canada at the age of seventeen with her mother.

This has meant that she still feels a deep connection with her homeland. It has also no doubt been a strong influence in her love for, and her writing about, the Victorian period. She attended the Unive
More about Maureen Jennings...

Other Books in the Series

Detective Inspector Tom Tyler (4 books)
  • Beware This Boy (Detective Inspector Tom Tyler, #2)
  • No Known Grave (Detective Inspector Tom Tyler, #3)
  • Dead Ground in Between (Detective Inspector Tom Tyler, #4)

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