Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Beware This Boy (Detective Inspector Tom Tyler, #2)” as Want to Read:
Beware This Boy (Detective Inspector Tom Tyler, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Beware This Boy

(Detective Inspector Tom Tyler #2)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  449 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
This second book in Maureen Jennings' terrific new mystery series brings England during World War II vividly alive: a must for fans of the author's own beloved Murdoch Mysteries and of Foyle's War.
     The summer of 1940 had been a dark one for England, and even darker for DI Tom Tyler's personal life. When several young women doing dangerous war work are killed in an exp
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by McClelland & Stewart (first published January 1st 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Beware This Boy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Beware This Boy

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
"Beware This Boy" is the second installment of Canadian author Maureen Jennings' "The Season of War" trilogy. I read it immediately after finishing "The Dark Season", the initial offering of the series. See my review of "The Dark Season" on Goodreads. This time, Detective Inspector Tom Tyler is required to solve a mystery beyond the confines of his country village of Whitchurch. A serious explosion has taken place at a munitions factory in Birmingham, and he's called in to investigate. This stor ...more
Suzanne Arcand
Sep 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I will definitely read more books by Maureen Jennings. Her main character Detective Inspector Tom Tyler is believable and likable and I wish I had made his acquaintance sooner.

"Beware this Boy" is set in London in 1940 during the Blitz. The atmosphere is relentlessly dark and gloomy. Either it's raining or foggy. All the characters are doing their best to survive the war with their sanity intact. In certain cases the difficulties is compounded by poverty and miserable childhood. Yet in all this
Brenda Hawley
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second in the series of Tom Tyler, detective in England during the second world war and the blitz in 1940, this time Tyler deals with sabotage at an armaments factory, a cell of Communists and Communist patsies and a deserter. Woven within all these stories is Tom's unhappy marriage, his long lost love in Switzerland, feminist awakenings and union struggles. Enjoyable, entertaining and educating.
I really fell in love with this book. It was well written and engaging from the start. I can't wait for the next book in the series!
I was interested to read this as it is set in Birmingham during WW2. My mother often talked about the conditions and her experiences of life in the city at that time. Historically I think the novel has been well researched and certainly enjoyed many of the details.
I continue to be irritated by the inspector's live life. I do think that if an author creates life changing incidents (I'm trying to avoid spoilers here) then they should be dealt with.
I was interested in Eileen and her dilemma. There
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The setting for this book is familiar to anyone who watched Jenning's Bomb Girls, although that series is set in Toronto, and this one in England. In this case, Tyler is investigating an explosion at a bomb factory. Jennings is not afraid to kill or injure sympathetic characters or have people you feel sympathy for (or at least want to have sympathy for) do horrible things.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked her characterizations of people and found the story fast moving, though the ending felt abrupt and there were still some elements of the plot that remained unclear/confusing. Still, I would gladly read more of her books.
Annabelle Solt
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tom Tyler, a police inspector in WWII England, is assigned to investigate an explosion at a munitions factory in Birmingham. Was it an accident or sabotage? An interesting cast of characters.
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 2 of this series, and I'm completely hooked. Tom Tyler is not quite the central character of this book. The Abbott family is front and centre. The plot starts a bit slowly, but progresses quickly and the story is compelling. The author is very skilled at describing place and time in wartime Birmingham. It's a really good series.
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Truly, just awful. I wanted to like it so bad. I read it in two days, there was so much potential in it. But the dialogue was off, completely unbelievable. Especially so for me because the single American character used more British slang than any other character, rookie mistake.

The plot wandered and the scenes were poorly drawn. There were several times I tried to flip back, thinking I'd missed something, but no. It wasn't there, or it was there, I'd read it, and then apparently the characters
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I love all of Maureen Jenning's books! The Inspector Murdoch books are great, and so are the Inspector Tom Tyler books! This is the 2nd book about Tyler. This one is also set in WWII and takes place in a munitions factory where the women have taken the jobs offered since the men have gone to war. Inspector Tyler is sent to Endicott's factory in Brum to investigate an explosion. As Tyler investigates, there is a soldier who went AWOL that has returned to his grandparents' home in Brum to hide fro ...more
Jan 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book takes place near the beginning of WWII. An explosion occurs in Endicott's munitions factory in Brum, and Tom Tyler is asked to do an investigation. There are a lot of things going on in Brum. Young Jack Walmsley has been coopted by Donny to do some stealing of things from bombed homes, and is also being beaten by him. Jack's big brother, Brian, has just gone AWOL from the army; Jack finds him in one of the bombed houses and takes him to his aunt Eileen, who lives with her parents. Unfor ...more
Kate Forsyth
I had never heard of Maureen Jennings before I picked up this book, but apparently she is best known for a series of historical mysteries that have been televised as ‘the Murdoch Mysteries’. I was interested in this book because it was compared to ‘Foyle’s War’, which I love, and because generally anything set during the Second World War is of interest to me. It’s an unusual crime novel. Yes, there is murder, and sabotage, and spies, and skulduggery, but the action is slow and deliberate, and mu ...more
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book quite a lot, although I liked the first one in the trilogy even more. The other reviewers have alluded to the plot and the amount of research Maureen Jennings did so I will skip those references. Her writing and character development were excellent as always-- I have read her Inspector Murdoch series, as well. The reason that I did not give this book 5 stars is because the main villain was so dark and without redemption that I found the sections about him very depressing. I was ...more
Another great mystery from Maureen Jennings. I am in awe of her ability to blend history and mystery fiction. Her settings come alive - I could feel the fog and damp, hear the bombs and see the fear on the faces of the citizens of Birmingham during the air raids. Her protagonist, Tom Tyler, is a down-to-earth, yet many-faceted character - a competent detective with a secret life.

In her afterword, Ms. Jennings reveals that it was during the writing of this book that she, along with another WWII
Tara Bates
The three stars may be unfair, but I really didn't dig this book. Unfair maybe because this happened to be a book club pick for me, chosen by the library which runs the book club and when I read it I was unaware until the end that it is the second in a trilogy. Being a second book, it lacked the set up and exposition of a first book and the climax and conclusion of a third. Perhaps it would have been better received had I read the first one, but as it is I was mostly confused. Although I was abl ...more
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story was much more about life in an English city during WWII, surviving bombings, rationing and shifts in social roles, than it was about the murders/mystery. The mystery surrounding the munitions factory bombing was a bit sketchy, and the big reveal happened through sheer luck rather than detective work. But the story was fascinating and the characters were wonderful. I wish we could keep some of the characters in future stories, like Nurse Eileen Abbott and "the Yank" Lev Kaplan.

If it's
John Boyko
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished Beware This Boy. It is a good read. The story moves along two lines but the real value of the book, I think, is to see regular people trying to carry on through extraordinary circumstances. In this case, the people of England are living through the WWII blitz. There is courage but the normal trivia of life does not go away. There are still romantics, angry young men, well-meaning families squabbling and making up, companies trying to make money and police trying to keep the bad folks aw ...more
Calvin Daniels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Val Sanford
A tense story of a young man too broken to remain in the Army and the disastrous consequences of his return home, AWOL, crazed and frightened. An accident in a munitions factory leaves three dead, more wounded, and Inspector Tom Tyler is recruited to come help sort out the facts: accident or sabotage. Lies, deception and half-truths connect the families and stories in this second book in the Inspector Tyler series. The police bon homie is more stilted than it should be, but that's about the only ...more
Jan 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-british
"This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both,
and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy,
for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the
writing be erased." Dicken's Christmas Carol

The second in a series that centers around a munitions plant in Birmingham, England that builds bombs to be used in the War effort (TV show Bomb Girls comes immediately to mind). The question that Tyler is brought into investigate: was an explosion at the factory an accident or
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite good. Even better than the first book in the series. Inspector Tom Tyler is sent to Birmingham to investigate industrial sabotage during WWII. The detail of the lives of women who work in munitions factories, the randomness of the German bombings, and the dissatisfaction of Irish and Welsh nationalists who are for the workers rather than the Alliies is very well done. There is also a subplot about an AWOL soldier who has not been in battle, but is already exhibiting signs of PTSD just from ...more
Sep 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second in Maureen Jennings' series of books set in wartime England. It is early winter, 1940, and Detective Inspector Tom Tyler is sent from sleepy Whitchurch to the big midlands city of Birmingham to investigate an explosion at a munitions factory. His mission is to determine whether the explosion was an accident or terrorism.
The author's descriptions of the bleakness of life during this period invoke feelings of unease and worry, and her characters are well drawn. I will read the
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second instalment in the popular Inspector Tom Tyler series set during WWII. Inspector Tom Tyler travels to Birmingham to investigate an explosion at a munitions factory. Several women are severly injured in this explosion. In the same city a young soldier goes AWOL and is hiding in his grandparents house. Once again Maureen Jennings writes vivid descriptions of daily life, food rations and the general unease the villagers are living through in Britain. Looking forward to the next bo ...more
Carole Moran
While this book was interesting reading, it is not what I've been used to by Jennings. Compared with other of her books, this one came across as almost a propaganda-morality play set in WWII in Birmingham, England. The characters are well drawn, but the circumstances surrounding some of them are puzzling and/or downright unbelievable. Still, I'm glad I read it from a historical perspective and Jennings is always good reading, regardless of the subject or plot.
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, even more so than the Murdoch series - possibly because of my penchant for all things WWII, particularly when they're British. Even though I started with the second book (the only one the book store had), I was able to delve right into the story without any trouble. The characters were well-developed, and the time period was brought to life in vivid detail. I will definitely be on the lookout for the other Tom Tyler books!
Misty Shadows
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story takes place in London during the Blitz of 1940. Takes place in a munitions factory where the women have taken the jobs offered since the men have gone to war. Inspector Tyler is sent to Endicott's factory in Brum to investigate an explosion. In the end an air raid hits the town, causing damage and death of the soldier as he is murdered by the blackmailer who was part of a ring bent on planting bombs around the town.
Sep 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, mystery, ebook
This was a most frustrating book. It started well but ended so weakly I went back to see if I had missed things. I really like Maureen Jennings' books and I particularly like this set of characters, so I will read the next one but I sure hope it's tighter. More than one storyline was completely dropped before the end of the book.
Cindy Fisher
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hope the final book in the trilogy ties up the loose ends from this installment. Tom Tyler is slightly out of his element in London during "the Blitz" of WWII, but the historical-fiction elements of this mystery, blackouts, bombing raids and shelters, fire-fighting, communist-infiltrators, etc., are wonderfully incorporated.
Mar 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 2nd in a series about WWIi England. Tom Tyler is the continuing main character. I enjoyed the first one more than this book. The detailing of life in England during the war is excellent, well researched and documented. I thought there were too many other characters and that Tom was almost an after thought in a story that could have been told without him. Still, looking forward to #3.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Coventry
  • Rag and Bone (Billy Boyle World War II, #5)
  • Tides of War
  • Buffalo Jump (Jonah Geller #1)
  • Until the Night (John Cardinal and Lise Delorme Mystery, #6)
  • Goodbye Piccadilly (War at Home #1)
  • One Summer at Deer's Leap
  • Anatomy of Evil (Barker & Llewelyn, #7)
  • Daughters of Eden
  • The Palace Tiger (Joe Sandilands, #4)
  • Mrs. Tim Gets a Job
  • A Spider on the Stairs (Phillip Bethancourt and Jack Gibbons Mysteries, #4)
  • Lehrter Station (John Russell, #5)
  • The Dead Shall Not Rest (Dr. Thomas Silkstone #2)
  • The Great Escape: A Canadian Story
  • Raising Hope
  • A City of Broken Glass (Hannah Vogel, #4)
  • Shrouds of Holly (Pennyfoot Hotel #15)
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 Inspector Tom Tyler (4 books)
  • Season of Darkness (Detective Inspector Tom Tyler, #1)
  • No Known Grave (Detective Inspector Tom Tyler, #3)
  • Dead Ground in Between (Detective Inspector Tom Tyler, #4)