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

(Detective Murdoch #3)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  906 ratings  ·  85 reviews
While hunting down the killer of a constable from his station, Jennings' likable detective, William Murdoch, is drawn to the plight of a young wife whose predatory stepchildren plan to shut her in an insane asylum to prevent her inheriting her husband's estate. With her ability to invoke the Toronto of a century ago and its many levels of society, the author finds under st ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 6th 2001 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published February 1st 2001)
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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  906 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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Jan 23, 2014 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 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
Alyssia Cooke
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this although the ending let it down a bit as it finished remarkably abruptly. The theme of suicide at this historical point is interestingly dealt with and the multiple strands of the novel only come together in the last handful of pages. I certainly didn't see where it was going, although there are enough hints that it is intuitive enough that the twists and turns made sense even as you wonder where its going next. An additional final chapter would have left this feeling more complet ...more
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a big fan of the TV series of the Murdoch Mysteries and so while visiting Toronto on business I was happy to find this one in a bookstore there. As luck would have it, the hotel I was staying in was just at the corner of the area covered by Murdoch's police station and I had walked some of the streets described in the book, just a 125 years later.

Of course, the usual problem of reading a book after seeing a movie, or especially a long running TV series, is the mental picture of the actors v
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.
Mar 20, 2009 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
Steven Clark
May 05, 2016 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
Jan 25, 2013 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
Aug 01, 2016 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
Jul 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
1895. Toronto. CSI? Science to study a crime scene? No. A bunch of jokers pulled in to give their opinion about liars and cons. Ridiculous. Also there are a LOT of loose ends not tied up. Why tell me about a toothache for 50 pages when it has NOTHING to do with the story ultimately. I would give this a half a star out of 10. Almost a DNF, but had to see if the idiots saw all the clues that we did. No they did not.
Oct 25, 2013 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 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.
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not really a who done it so much as will all these strands come together in time for Murdoch to keep anything worse from happening.
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 rated it it was amazing
Love the Murdoch Mysteries series!
Carol Palmer
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've heard that "Murdoch Mysteries" is a very popular TV show world-wide. However, in the USA, it is virtually unknown. Lucky me! Our local CBS affiliate shows it at 1:30AM Sundays and I just happened to catch it when they first started running it. So, I've seen the first 9 seasons so far. And I LOVE it! I mention all of this because the TV show is loosely based on the Detective Murdoch series of mysteries written by Maureen Jennings. I say "loosely based" because the atmosphere of the show is v ...more
Mardi D
Mar 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Well, not sure that I really liked this. The story was good and it was evident that research had been done since details were historically accurate but I didn't like the use of sexual innuendo throughout the book in places where it added nothing to the story line. A good story doesn't need that. I would rate it a 2 but since this is the first book I have seen my spouse read in 30 years I thought it must deserve 3 stars.
Rie Rose
Slightly unsatisfying

The story kept pulling me forward, but I felt the ending was a bit of a let down. I wanted a bit more resolution. Still, it's Murdoch, and I will take what I can get.

Intriguing plot until the end. I kept trying to fit the two plot lines together right to the end.
Andy Plonka
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: src
The mystery here takes a back seat to the description of life in Toronto at the beginning of the 20th century. That is all right with me as the history and daily life of the denizens of a more rural Toronto is fascinating.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I always enjoy the Detective Murdoch mysteries. This one was a good enjoyable read.
D. Norman
May 12, 2017 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 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice read. Full review is posted on:
April Wilson
Mar 07, 2017 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
This was an interesting instalment as it gave a window into insane asylums of the time period and the treatment of mental health in women. Ultimately I feel there's a lot in this book that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the mystery itself, though I was intrigued by how things came together at the end.
Aug 01, 2015 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
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
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime, historical, mystery
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 05, 2016 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 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
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
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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

Other books in the series

Detective Murdoch (8 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)
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