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Night's Child (Detective Murdoch #5)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  428 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
After thirteen-year-old Agnes Fisher faints at school, her teacher, the young and still idealistic Amy Slade, is shocked to discover in the girl’s desk two stereoscopic photographs. One is of a dead baby in its cradle, and on the back Agnes has scrawled a terrible message. Worse, the other photograph is of Agnes in a pose captioned “What Mr. Newly Wed Really Wants.” When A ...more
Paperback, 362 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Titan Books (first published 2005)
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Nicola Mansfield
Mar 23, 2013 Nicola Mansfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The seven books in this series have been re-issued with matching covers taken from the television series, which is pleasing for fans of the show but not always appropriate for the later books in the series as the characters shown are not all present once the series progresses. This is actually my first read in this series but I'm no stranger to Murdoch. I've watched the three movies which are based completely on the first three books in the series and I've watched the occasional episode of the t ...more
Of the series so far, this book probably has the best pacing. I think that's the best thing that I can say about it; I didn't feel like the book was trudging through endless pages for no apparent reason. The plot wasn't all that twisty or really in my area of interest, but the writing was good and kept me reading. I don't think that the actual murder in the book was even paid attention to very much, which I find more than a little perplexing. It seems as though Jennings knew what she wanted to w ...more
Jun 23, 2015 Cindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Love the Murdoch Mysteries! Not only are there cases to solve, but romance dies and flourishes within! Murdoch is unofficially trying to determine why a 13 year old school girl is missing and how she is involved in pornographic pictures. He meets Amy Slade, the girl's teacher, who genuinely cares about her and wants to help Murdoch find out what has happened to her. He also has been asked by Inspector Brackenreid to find out who has been sending letters about the unseemly conduct of one of his o ...more
Scott Williams
Aug 29, 2014 Scott Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fifth book in the series and Jennings has really figured out how to make the concept work by this point. This book deals with some very dark material -- pedophilia and pornography. Sadly, these are themes that could have been pulled from today's headlines. Readers will definitely connect with them.

The novel provides a good balance between the crime plot line and a personal story for Murdoch. My principle criticism is the same one I've had for the earlier books in the series -- it end
Jan 23, 2016 Chelsea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars, 2015
I'd say a solid 3.5 tbh. This review contains minor spoilers!

This was probably one of the better books in the series, technically speaking. A big problem I've had with the books in the series so far has been that the endings have all felt really sudden, and a lot of the time I don't understand Murdoch's reasoning for coming to his conclusions. I could follow the logic in this one, and it made sense to me when he reached the wrong conclusions and was surprised when he was proven wrong. I didn't g
Val Sanford
Although I like the books better than the show, I can't help but hear Acting Detective Murdoch's voice when I read them. Jealousy, pornography, child abuse, and secret societies collide with Will's mixed emotions about women-- those he loves, and those he wants to. His confusion is unsettling as he doubts his own morals and value. Meanwhile he is chasing a vile pornographer who uses young children to earn a profit. Pushed between his boss and what he believes is right, Murdoch nearly loses his l ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Night’s Child, by Maureen Jennings, A-minus, narrated by David Narantz, produced by audible inc. downloaded from

This is the fifth book in the Murdoch series. Here, we have the chief inspector upset because someone is sending anonymous letter saying that a particular police officer is doing something bad, he doesn’t indicate what, but says he will release the information to the papers if the police don’t put an end to it. The case is assigned to Murdoch, who hates cowardly informers
Reading the Detective William Murdoch series and thoroughly enjoying these historical mysteries by Maureen Jennings. Her hero is modest and smart, with a few quirks. Her setting is ~1890s Toronto and the plots are intricate. The author has a knack for exploring interesting facets from that historical period in Toronto. The books are quite different from the Canadian television series and even the earlier movie series with Peter Outerbridge. As usual, I like the books better than the TV or movie. ...more
Feb 05, 2015 Gwen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
No Julia in this one, but Amy is absolutely delightful--and without the class struggles a Julia/Murdoch relationship would have. I'm not sad to see Enid go, and I hope the next books bring a resolution to Murdoch's seemingly never-ending relationship concerns.

Excellent pacing with a solid overall plot, although I thought the Callahan police station plot to be weak and the main case's conclusion to be a bit convoluted.

I appreciated Murdoch's introspection in this one: how his father's reactions
May 07, 2015 Emma rated it it was amazing
Another superb book in this series and certainly one with the better pacing. Jennings has tackled a very mature and difficult subject with care and attention, which has helped to stand her in good steed as one of my new favourite authors. Amongst the story she has kept the characters going and we get to see a heightened child-friendly personality to Murdoch which I find rather endearing.
Jul 07, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it
you have to read this forgetting the TV series as despite the cover Dr Ogden does not feature , George crabtree is fat with children and Murdoch is in a relationship with Enid and doesn't invent anything. having said that Murdoch still investigates this horrendous crime of abused children in his usual dogged manner and also solves case within the station at same time
Sep 27, 2009 Maddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2006-reads
PROTAGONIST: William Murdoch, detective
SETTING: Toronto, 1890s
SERIES: #5 of 5
SUMMARY: I'm not a fan of historicals, but this series is an exception. Jennings does everything right. She's created a character that has many facets, an imperfect man who tries to do the right thing. The Victorian setting is perfectly rendered without being cloying. The plot is well developed. Night's Child is the story of an investigation into possible child pornography, a subject one might not have expect
Apr 30, 2016 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly good mystery, very suspenseful, and Murdoch loses and gains friends. Did I say I was enjoying that other series? Nothing like this. Fifteen stars for intricate plotting and a Murdoch who is finally human.
Jan 07, 2016 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've gotten hooked on the Murdoch Mysteries. I enjoy the forensics of the early 20th century as well as learning more about Victorian times. Definitely not as "charming" as one would think!
Rene Natan
Murdoch Mysteries: Night’s Child by Maureen Jennings, McClelland & Stewart, 2010

I have always been interested in learning about the lives of Canadians in the nineteen century. In my native country, Italy, one learns a lot about traditions and the living conditions of grandparents and great grandparents, so I was curious to find out what the social and family life of common citizens was about a century and half ago. Even taking into count that the Murdoch Mysteries are works of fiction, I tru
Kelly Martin
This is one of my favourite mysteries to watch, but not to read. I will try one more book just in case this was not typical and the murder doesn't happen on page 142. Half ways through the book.
May 06, 2014 Marta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He's amazing - and Jennings's ability to convey the period incredible... the only thing is that the theme is hard to imagine in that time....otherwise a 5 like the rest!
Apr 05, 2016 Patricia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Snooze fest and no sympathy for jerk like behavior on the part of
Murdoch toward Enid. Seen it done better elsewhere I. The genre.
Kathy Mcdonald
Mar 16, 2015 Kathy Mcdonald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really enjoying these Murdoch Mysteries books. Very different from the show but very enjoyable and a really good read.
Jan 23, 2015 Carla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. It is not at all like the tv show. That's ok though because it is still great.
Mar 04, 2015 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-people-books
I am too spoiled by Murdoch Mysteries to enjoy this original story :-(
Aug 12, 2014 Alexa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just want to say, that I have enjoyed the T.V. adaptation of this series for a number of years, and so far the characters in the book are different from the t.v. characters. Usually I enjoyed books far more then the visual adaptations, but I have to admit, it's pretty hard right now. So I'll have to wait and see how it goes, besides I'm only at chapter 6...
Turns out that's as far as I'm getting. I don't usually read murder mystery type novels, so I couldn't get into this. I'm sure it's a great b
3.5 stars.
May 11, 2011 Dorie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good book in the series. Murdoch continues to grow on me as a character. I was honestly glad to see the back end of Enid. She just doesn't seem right for Murdoch. The young progressive teacher is promising. The mystery in this one involved photographic pornography, including children. The topic was disturbing but luckily the author didn't go into very descriptive detail. I look forward to the next in the series, which sees the return of Murdoch's abusive father.
Feb 13, 2010 Elaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually read mysteries that are not set in current times. When I realized this book was set in Canada during Victorian times I almost put it down. However, I persevered and I am very glad that I did. This is an excellent book with people that seem very real within the confines of the times. Detective Murdoch is a very moral, but also very human man. The descriptions of how children are treated is appalling and very Dickensian.
One of the Detective Murdoch mystery series which has also been made into successful tv movies starring Peter Outerbridge as Inspector Murdoch and Keeley Hawes as Dr Ogden and a tv series of 2 seasons so far with Yannick Bisson in the main role and the lovely Helene Joy as Dr Ogden. (trivia note; she was also in the original movie series, Under The Dragon's Tale as a prostitute.
This entry in the Detective Murdoch series is an interesting one, but the double plotlines coming together is a given with this series. Unfortunately, as I am reading through this series for a program, I am not connecting with Murdoch as much as I would like to. Those things being said, I do keep turning the pages, wanting to know what happens next, and/or how the book ends.
Barbara Sibbald
A solid detective story, but the main attractions were the setting (19th Century Toronto) and the crime (early child pornography). The ending was a bit too pat for my taste. I was fascinated to learn about The Noble and Holy Order of Knights, a North American labour organization that once had nearly a million members. A righteous organization if ever there was one.
This was a fast read with characters I believed in, but just didn't care about all that much. The premise of the book is grotesque (and intriguing), but the deeper motivations of the characters who participate in the grotesquerie are never truly explored. Toronto seems like a very small city, as characters keep just bumping into each other at incredibly convenient times.
Aug 22, 2010 Deb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fifth book in the series -- takes place in the 1800's in toronto. This was not one of the better ones in the series, but it was interesting. The first 3 books are movies produced in Canada; out on DVD -- i saw them and they r pretty good. I do like the characters so will continue to read the series. This one is about child porn.
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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 Murdoch (7 books)
  • Except the Dying (Detective Murdoch, #1)
  • Under the Dragon's Tail (Detective Murdoch, #2)
  • Poor Tom Is Cold (Detective Murdoch, #3)
  • Let Loose the Dogs (Detective Murdoch, #4)
  • Vices of My Blood (Detective Murdoch, #6)
  • A Journeyman to Grief (Detective Murdoch, #7)

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