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Poor Tom Is Cold (Detective Murdoch, #3)
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Poor Tom Is Cold (Detective Murdoch #3)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  731 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
In this third adventure featuring the lovable detective William Murdoch, he becomes involved with the apparent suicide of Constable Oliver Wicken – a man who was the sole support of his mother and invalid sister. But further investigation by Detective Murdoch takes him far afield and he begins to suspect that the Eakin family, whose house adjoins the one where Wicken died, ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 6th 2001 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published February 1st 2001)
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Jan 23, 2014 Gwen rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
(Reading these slightly out of order as I'm limited by what the library has available--but if you've seen the show, you can fill in the missing character details, at least about Murdoch.)

Not as good as the first book in the series. There was far too much going on here to really have a tight, coherent narrative: the treatment of Chinese immigrants, the use of hysterectomies, the role of psychiatric institutions, a conniving family, a lying prostitute, long scenes about juries, and so much more. T
Dec 01, 2010 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-edition
This was a mystery within a mystery within a mystery. The kind of story that makes a great PBS Masterpiece Mystery. I'd read Maureen Jennings first 2 books in the series quite awhile ago in paperback. Then I couldn't find them anywhere and then most of them popped up as Kindle editions on Amazon so I've some catching up to do! Detective Murdoch's "sleuthing" seems more accidental than purposeful, but nevertheless these are great historical mysteries with plenty of great Victoriana and quirky but ...more
Oct 25, 2013 Shawna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I didn't find this novel as fast paced as the first two I read, I still enjoyed it. I love how Jennings does not gloss over awful and unfair things were in Victorian Toronto and for this reason I will continue to recommend her books.
May 16, 2016 Carissa rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Meh. The books get progressively worse and frankly I'm tired of my 2 Murdochs being so different. I'd much rather stick to the tv show, thank you very much, where at least there's truly something to like about him.
Scott Williams
I wanted to give this a higher rating. I quite enjoyed it until the end. It seems to me, the whole thing wraps up very quickly. It was not a satisfying ending but it was still an enjoyable read.
Jul 11, 2015 Alex rated it it was amazing
Love the Murdoch Mysteries series!
D J Rout
This one concentrates a lot on mental illness rather than physical nillness as a background to the plot. The soltion to the mhstery is revealed rieght at the end, as hyou githe expect, but it isn't a convincing solution.

And what the hell does the title mean? Cold barely features and there's no-one called Tom even in it!

I may have to re-read it to see if I missed something.
D. Norman
May 12, 2017 D. Norman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great novel in the series. The background and descriptions of life during that time is wonderful.
May 12, 2017 Selle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice read. Full review is posted on:
April Wilson
Mar 07, 2017 April Wilson rated it liked it
Constable Oliver Wicken's death is ruled a suicide, but Acting Detective Murdoch has his doubts. He finds inconsistencies with some of the evidence presented at the inquiry and is given permission to pursue the matter. He discovers more than he bargained for and sets about putting things right. The ending was rather abrupt and left much to the reader's imagination, which left me a bit unsettled as I prefer to have the ending laid out before me. I'd like to think certain things got resolved and d ...more
Aug 01, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite suffering from a sore tooth, Murdoch must try to unravel the mystery of the death of Constable Wicken, who is found dead of an apparent suicide ("self murder") in an abandoned house on his beat. Now, being the 19th century, there's so much going on here. I'd be as leery as Murdoch regarding dentistry back then. Who wouldn't? Seems to work out for him, though, fortunately. Never did get his fillings done, though. Mixed in with this death, though, is a subplot involving the locals (who mak ...more
Mar 20, 2009 Louise rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
My first Maureen Jennings novel and I really enjoyed it.

From back cover:

"Maureen Jenning's first two novels, Except the Dying and Under the Dragon's Tail, impressed readers and reviewers alike with their vivid portrayal of Toronto at the turn of the twentieth century.

In this third adventure featuring the amiable detective William Murdoch, he becomes involved with the apparent suicide of Constable Oliver Wicken - a man who was the sole support of his mother and invalid sister. The evidence, accor
Kathleen Hagen
Poor Tom is Cold, by Maureen Jennings, a-minus, Narrated by David Marrantz, Produced by Audible Inc., Downloaded from

This is the third in the series involving 1855 Canada. Detective William Murdoch becomes involved with the apparent suicide of Constable Oliver Wicken, a man who was
the sole support of his mother and invalid sister. But further investigation by Detective Murdoch takes him far afield, and he begins to suspect that the
Eakin family, whose house adjoins the one where Wick
Steven Clark
May 05, 2016 Steven Clark rated it liked it
I've seen the Murdoch series on TV, so I wanted to give the source a try. I like Jennings's style. She has a good, rolling prose and it was quick to read, and she also has very good period detail and gives you facts and asides that are interesting and help the story. I knew all about Waterloo teeth, and her descriptions of mental asylums are grim and to the point. This isn't the TV Murdoch, and despite that, the story is gripping and always kept my interest, with well-developed, exciting charact ...more
Mar 19, 2016 Paul rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, crime, historical
Constable Oliver Wicken is dead -- the result of an apparent suicide while on duty. But Murdoch doesn't buy it, so he starts to investigate only to find a woman who claims to have just jilted him, hence the suicide. He still isn't satisfied, but with nothing else to go on, what can he do? Then another woman comes forward to say SHE was his girlfriend -- a second one and neither had ever been mentioned to his mother with whom he lived!
I liked the investigation trail
Jan 25, 2013 Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, canlit
To start, a confession: I only discovered Murdoch through the television show, and am now starting in on the books (of which I mistakenly thought this was the first). As such, that's my frame of reference going into this.

The book was very different from the show I've grown to love - some characters are missing, others are very different, and the tonality of the entire story is completely different. Enough that it feels like a completely disconnected story from the Murdoch Mysteries television sh
Jan 05, 2016 Chris rated it it was ok
There were elements of this book that I absolutely loved, starting with the intriguing title, the whole reason for my purchase from a resale shop! Detective Murdoch's character, as well as those of the other members of the force is interesting and in keeping with the period of late-1800's Toronto, a unique and compelling historical setting. I enjoyed the tidbits about period dental care, cooking, courtship, forensics, and the legal system. All excellent and left me wanting more.
While the author'
Miłośniczka Książek
Aug 28, 2016 Miłośniczka Książek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: krymina
"Kto powinien sięgnąć po tę powieść? Może i się powtórzę, gdyż pisałam o tym przy okazji omawiania poprzednich tomów, ale w tym wypadku powinno zostać mi to wybaczone – bowiem zdania nie zmieniłam i, jak sądzę, już nie zmienię. A więc, kto powinien sięgnąć po tę książkę? Miłośnicy kryminałów, zwłaszcza tych retro. Amatorzy detektywistycznych zagadek rozwiązywanych w starym, dobrym stylu. Pasjonaci spraw, których wyjaśnienie do samego końca pozostaje tajemnicą. Czytelnicy ceniący towarzystwo wyra ...more
Oct 06, 2014 Sharon rated it it was amazing
This is the second of the Detective Murdoch novels I have read, although it is the third in the series. This time, William Murdoch is dealing with an abscessed tooth (through this device, we learn something about 19th C. dentistry) as well as the body of one of his constables ... who appears to have taken his own life. When conflicting evidence begins to arise during the inquest, Murdoch investigates further into the matter.

A subplot involving a woman being committed to a psychiatric institution
Aug 01, 2016 Randy rated it it was amazing
The title comes from Shakespeare's "King Lear," and, as you might expect there is the death of a young police constable that is initially thought to be a suicide. The book mostly deals with an extremely dysfunctional family composed of a father, his son and daughter, a step-son, and father's third wife (younger than his daughter). Murdoch is dealing with a bad tooth and is dreading going to a dentist, is attracted to a young widow and her son who are boarding in the same house, and gathering evi ...more
Creepy. It opens on some strange notations and it keeps going with some unusual occurances. Besides a good mystery I would like to comment on a religious theme. This isn't Christian fiction but I find Jennings is very upfront about our Detectives religion and the struggles he has with anti-catholic people. I like that Murdoch often does (opr says) things that reflect his beleifs without preachy. He's a real catholic and I appreciate that, it's actually unusual in my experiance, to read a book wh ...more
Okay, so this really wasn't any better than the previous book, but thankfully it's so short that I don't feel angry about having wasted time reading it. Oh, do I think it was a waste of time...probably. The Eakins family parts were so horrendously boring that I don't even know how to describe how bored they made me. Well, they managed it in a <400 page book so pretty freaking boring, I would say.

Then there's the fact that I STILL can't connect to the series' characters. I really thought that
Aug 29, 2014 Cindy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Love the Murdoch Mysteries! Poor Constable Wicken supposedly committed suicide over a lost love. This is hard for Murdoch and the other police officers to believe, so Murdoch is told by Inspector Brakenreid to dig deeper. Meanwhile, Mrs Nathaniel Eakin (Peg) has been committed to an asylum because she thinks someone from the Eakin family killed her young son. As it turns out, the Eakin family is involved with the Constable's death. All loose ends are tied up and Murdoch once again saves the day!
Nov 28, 2014 Judith rated it it was amazing
This third volume is the best of the three so far with its description of the insane asylum, treatments, and compassion of some of the attendants. While we know the suspects in the murder, it is unclear to the end (at least to me) which of them did it. The ending is a cliff hanger, as it is possible that one of the main characters will indeed die if there is no rescue in time. More romance--or hopes for it--for Murdoch, who, to my mind, is an appealing a character, perhaps even more so, that the ...more
Steven Buechler
Oct 06, 2014 Steven Buechler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jennings has done something wonderful by taking the murder mystery and setting it in 1890s Toronto. She carefully describes the era in detail, not only the physical descriptions of settings but gets into the moods and thoughts of the people of the time. Poor Tom is Cold was the third book featuring William Murdoch as he investigates the apparent suicide of a fellow officer. While the corner finds the evidence to be irrefutable, Murdoch follows the leads to find the situation is not what it seems ...more
Jul 07, 2013 Gordon rated it really liked it
I found the setting and language details to be well in keeping with the historical setting. The treatment of Chinese characters and those in the "looney bin" rang true. The book tackles many of the social issues and mores of the day and does it well.

The characters are well drawn, although quite different from those in the television series. They tend to be less refined just like the story is cruder and more bawdy.

The mystery is not so much a whodunit but more of a "how will the truth be discove
Estelle Golding
Jan 28, 2015 Estelle Golding rated it really liked it
Good story. A family of characters to get your head around who they were and other characters too, but got there in the end. Always something at the end of one page to make you turn over. You think you might read a chapter and leave it there, but no, you have to keep reading. Maureen Jennings has a knack of ending a story quite abruptly, and yet still settling on answering all the questions of who, what, why, when and how. On to book four 'Let loose the Dogs'
Kalendra Dee
Sep 10, 2013 Kalendra Dee rated it it was amazing
Murdoch investigates the disappearance of Constable Oliver Wicken. Retracing the constable’s steps, he finds Wicken’s body in an abandoned house, the victim of an apparent suicide. His mother and friends, however, are not convinced. Re-opening the case, Murdoch soon realizes that the answer to this puzzling death involves wealthy families and secrets; secrets that someone is willing to kill to keep from coming to light. A puzzling mystery set in Canada at the end of the 19th century.
Oct 27, 2015 Drtaxsacto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For those of you who have seen the Murdoch Mysteries on CBC - these are the books that created the series. William Murdoch is a turn of the (20th) century detective in Toronto - with an inquisitive mind, a good moral sense (both about the criminals he works with and the young ladies he is interested in). The TV series was very good - nine seasons - but these are also entertaining and quick reads. Well worth the time.
Aug 05, 2008 Teri rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of murder mysteries, Victorian Toronto
Recommended to Teri by: my sister, who lives in Toronto
I'm not quite done with this, the third in the Detective Murdoch series. Jennings must enjoy doing some detective-like research of her own, as this novel has a bit of detail about cutting-edge (no pun) dentistry in 1895 Toronto.

Now that I've finished it, I can say I liked it as much as the others. I'm glad the local libraries stock Jennings's books because, now that I'm sort of hooked on them, it will be too expensive to buy them all!
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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)
  • Let Loose the Dogs (Detective Murdoch, #4)
  • Night's Child (Detective Murdoch, #5)
  • Vices of My Blood (Detective Murdoch, #6)
  • A Journeyman to Grief (Detective Murdoch, #7)

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