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Let Darkness Bury the Dead

(Detective Murdoch #8)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  305 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Canada's premier author of historical mystery fiction returns with a brand new and highly anticipated Murdoch Mystery, with an older and wiser Detective Murdoch.

It is November 1917. The Great War is grinding on, chewing up young men by the thousands. Initially, in the loyal Dominion of Canada, people are mostly eager to support the Motherland and fight for the Empire. Men
Paperback, 330 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by McClelland & Stewart
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Jill Meyer
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Canadian author Maureen Jennings has a new entry in her "Murdoch Mysteries" series. The book, "Let Darkness Bury the Dead", is set in Toronto in 1917 as it seems war-weariness had hit many Toronto residents after three years of war. There are demonstrations - large and small - by war protesters and resistance by those people who thought the war was worth the losses in lives. Everyone seemed to have a point of view about the Great War, and most, by 1917, were not shy in expressing those views.

Steven R. McEvoy
This was the first novel by Maureen Jennings that I have read, I have been a fan of the Murdoch series for years and have recently been able to get caught up to date with the series. My older two children love watching the show. So I approached this novel with both eager anticipation and a little cautious trepidation. I need not have had any concerns. Now some might ask why I would begin with the most recent, book in a series both in publication order and chronologically. Something about the cov ...more
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s 1917 in Canada, and the war is dividing the community. Some think every able-bodied man should do his duty and enlist. Others think the war is wrong. But you cannot tell who is fit for duty just by looking, and you don’t know who is rightfully exempt due to special circumstances. This is the town that Detective William Murdock’s son Jack returns to with his buddy Percy, both invalided out of the service. But re-entry into civilian life is fraught with problems, and the two soldiers struggle ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Murdoch’s son is home from WWI, and nothing is right. A string of murders is confusing, violent, and may be tied to the shell-shocked Jack, and several other mysteries and dramas flow through the very dark story. The ending is oddly lickety-split for the series and somewhat less effective as a result, but as usual Jennings’s research makes the story vivid, and all the threads tie off, albeit in heartbreaking ways. Halfway through I suspected what would happen, not due to any brilliance on my par ...more
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you have seen the Murdoch Mysteries on television, you are familiar with the characters Maureen Jennings created. She has also written several books, which deal only with Murdoch, since some of other characters are only featured in the television series.

In this latest book WWI is raging, and Murdoch's son, Jack, wounded in combat, has come home to Toronto along with his best friend, Percy. From the moment of their arrival, murders begin to take place, murders of young men perceived to be cowa
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was thoroughly prepared to not like this book. I read the authors' foreward and she said that she had time shifted Murdoch 20 years into the future in order to capitalize on her current interest in the period of the First World War.

I thought, "Oh Boy! Here we go, then. The book will 'Jump the Shark'. Boy was I ever wrong. This is my favourite Murdoch (to date...). There are excerpts from period source material, both soldiers' journals and command handbooks, as well as what I assume to be orig
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
After a series of dud reads, I reached for Maureen Jennings and her historical Detective Murdoch mystery, Let Darkness Bury the Dead. I knew that this type of book would work well to pull me from the reading slump I've been in.

I wasn't worried either about not reading any of the previous Murdoch Mysteries because even Jennings notes that she has specifically set this one when Murdoch is much older than he is in the TV series, so it does not confuse those reading/watching that series. So this par
Kathleen Freeman
I am a fan of this series, however I must admit when I heard that the series was jumping forward to WWI I was surprised. Being a fan of books set around the time of WWI I was intrigued. I am really glad I read this book, for me it was an interesting perspective on WWI, most WWI books I have read are set in either England or France so to read one set in Toronto was a new perspective that was interesting. I hope there are more books to come in this series.
Cheryl Schenk
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quick, enjoyable read. I was familiar with Detective Murdoch from the TV series, but had not read any of the novels prior to this. I did get a chance to hear the author speak at my local library, and from that was encouraged to read this book.
I liked the writing very much, the history given throughout the story, and the engaging cast of characters. I may start at the beginning and read more of this series.
Meg Harrison
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So good. A gentle but compelling read. I liked the time period, I liked the Canadian setting, I liked the minimal, but effective, war references - it never felt like she was trying to write about something she wasnt familiar with.
Perhaps an abrupt ending but anything else would have dragged the book out unnecessarily - I didnt feel it was lacking.
Margaret Hanson
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was really curious what was going to be in the first Murdoch novel since the show came along. I can't say "extensive time jump" was what I expected, but it was a really solid choice. The WWI setting wound up being really interesting, and seeing Murdoch in his new role of senior detective was really interesting. Also I love Madge, she's great, would read a Madge spinoff. With the important role WWI played in Canada's history as a nation, there's a danger in overglorifying it, but Jennings steer ...more
Marielle Authier
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jim Napier
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The eighth and most recent entry in the hugely popular William Murdoch mystery series finds the Toronto detective at first delighted to have his son Jack return alive from the Great War. Only a year earlier Murdoch’s only child marched off to fight in Europe; but now he has returned home after being wounded and gassed, and like so many others, suffering the psychological effects of that terrible conflict. He’s accompanied by his close friend, another ex-soldier, Percy McKinnon.

Jack moves back in
D J Rout
I can't say that I like this shift to World War I too much. This Murdoch Mystery is more about the experience of returned soldiers in Canada than it is about an actual mystery, and the mystery is once again solved by a bit of legerdemain from the author, in which a set of fingerprints is fortunately found in time to prove who the culprit is, and where a man who by all rights should've been murdered by the murderer clings to life and returns to consciousness to give some crucial information.

A sui
It's been a decade since the last William Murdoch mystery was published, and this return to the series is first-rate. Author Maureen Jennings brings us into the year 1917. Murdoch is widowed, now a senior detective at downtown's police headquarters, and his son returning from World War I. Young Jack is only 20, and dealing with demons of his own.

I'm not going to lie; I wasn't fond of Amy, the woman Murdoch married in the previous book. So, I wasn't disappointed at him being widowed. He is also f
Valerie Tate
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to hear Maureen Jennings speak at an event on November 2, 2017. She was an engaging speaker and talked about her research process which is always done first hand. This, the newest Murdoch Mystery, is set in 1917 during WWI. Her research for this novel included time spent at the National War Museum and reading accounts from the day as well as materials used in training the troops. She said it was important to get the facts straight but also to show the attitudes prevalent at the t ...more
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am a fan of Murdoch. I will watch the series when I can. I also have read the books in the past and know from experience that the Murdoch in the books is not the Murdoch (for the most part) of the tv series. If all you know of the Murdoch mysteries is the tv series then you may wish to start with the earlier boos so you have a better grasp of the character development. Not totally necessary but it does help. (The Murdoch film with Peter Outerbridge as Murdoch is closer to the character of the ...more
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is 1917 and Detective Murdoch is now in his fifties. Thanks to the new temperance laws, he spends much of his time pursuing bootleggers and citizens who still enjoy their illegal alcoholic drinks. His 21 year old son, Jack, who has just returned from the war front in Europe, is physically and mentally wounded. Jack and his friend, Percy, struggle with their wounds and their mental state. Meanwhile, young men who have been excused from conscription are being found murdered. Murdoch must solve ...more
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book for Christmas and intended to try not to read it straight away but it didn't last beyond the end of January!
This new Murdoch story is set during WW1. Murdoch is in his 50s, a widower after his wife died giving birth to their second child, a daughter, who also died. Murdoch and his son, Jack, have carried on together, but when the Great War opens, Jack volunteers and joins the Canadian New Army.
Now he has returned from the Western Front, injured in body and mind, with a frien
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow. What a way to end 2017 off with this book. This is my first Murdoch novel I have ever read and I am glad Maureen Jennings made it clear at the beginning that her book will be okay for newer readers - of course this comes off the great success of CBC's Murdoch Mysteries.

I will definitely make an effort to go back and read books 1 - 7; Jennings writing is so captivating and approachable. She truly does an amazing job with her background research that makes the world come to life.

"Let Darkness
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Murdoch is much older in this long-awaited addition to the series, and has been promoted to Senior Detective. I heard the author speak and she said she wanted to distance her character from the popular TV series, and this was one way to do it - set it far enough into the future that the TV series wouldn't have gone there. The book is set in 1917 (the third year of WWI) and conscription has been implemented. There is wonderful detail here; it is evident Jennings has done much research. There are ...more
Carril Karr
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I haven’t read any of the Murdoch stories but did see two of the TV series.
I was born in Toronto, I know a bit about the history of the city too, so I was very interested to find this book. World war 1 commemorations have been very much the background for three and a half years now. This story is very poignant based as it is midway in the war when Canadian troops have been sorely used and abused by the top command. Murdoch’s boy is invalided home with a bad arm and lungs affected by gassing. Th
I don't know if I have a rating. I don't even think I could give it one as stars can't describe the emotional pull this particular Murdoch Mysteries had on me. Rightly so, it has a completely different feel to the others, yet there is familiarity in Murdoch, his relationship with other members of his department, and the Toronto landscape.

Here we see that crime and death is complex, that context and experience have control, and that sometimes the reasons are beyond our understanding.

I thought I
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, historical, crime

The eighth book in the Murdoch Mysteries jumps the story 17 years from end of book seven, apparently due to the TV series. I've not seen the TV series, so didn't know if there was anything I needed to know before reading this book.
After reading the book, I don't think I've missed anything from not seeing the TV series.

There are a lot of differences in this book from the original seven, mainly due to some characters no longer being a part of Murdoch's life. I wont' give any of the details away, b
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Love the Murdoch Mystery books! This is the last written so far and has Murdoch in his fifties and being the senior detective at a different station. His son, Jack, has recently returned from the front (WW I), where he received an injury. Murdoch and his son seem to be on different time schedules and never get the chance to discuss what happened during his time on the front. Jack’s time is spent taking care of his friend, Percy, who has also been injured and has returned home. The first night th ...more
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well written mystery novel, for those who like historical mysteries. I was especially interested in learning about the effects of 'shell shock' on WW1 soldiers, the treatment of deserters by the military in the first world war, the treatment of 'shirkers' by civilians and the anti-war movement at the time.

It made me realize, though, that historical fiction has it easier than contemporary stories in one important way. Historical writers get the benefit of history's future verdict on a situation.
Pam Masters
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am a pretty big fan of the show, Murdoch Mysteries, and this is the first book the series is based on that I have read. That said, I had to adjust my thinking quite a bit as there were some big differences between the show and the series. So I am basing my review solely on the book.

While this book is part of a series, it also works well as a stand alone book, given the time gap between this book and the previous ones. The characters are a believable lot. The setting is also believable.

I was
Virginia Van
It is 1917 and Inspector Murdoch is busy dealing with rum-running crimes brought on by the new Temperance Act when his 21 year-old son Jack and his friend Percy McKinnon return from France after being badly wounded at Passchendaele. The night after Jack and Percy arrive home, a young man is murdered in the notorious Ward district of Toronto - the first of a series of deaths of young men who had been exempted from conscription. Jennings is an excellent writer who brings the past alive; however in ...more
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lynn Lerch
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have not read the other Inspector Murdoch books but now I will look for them. This story is set in WW I and Murdoch's son, Jack, has returned from the war. Someone is a killing men who for different reasons have been allowed not to sign up to serve. Meanwhile Jack is trying to help his friend, Percy, who returned with him. Maureen Jenni vs is very informational about this war. It is interesting how it was from Canadian viewpoint . It also shows what has helped to Inspector Murdoch since he los ...more
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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)
  • Poor Tom Is Cold (Detective Murdoch, #3)
  • 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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