The creator of the acclaimed Detective Murdoch Mysteries turns her exceptional storytelling skills to a murder mystery set in rural Shropshire, England, in the darkest days of the Second World War.
Following the disastrous retreat of the British army from Dunkirk in 1940, England is plunged into a state of fear. The threat of a German invasion is real, and many German Nationals are interned in camps across the country. One such camp is on the ancient moor land of Prees Heath, near the small town of Whitchurch in Shropshire, where Tom Tyler is the sole detective inspector.
Young women from all walks of life have joined the Land Army, to help desperate farmers keep the country fed. When one of these young women is found murdered on a desolate country road, Tyler is almost glad for the challenge; he has been fretting for some time about the dullness of policing in a rural community. In addition, a former lover has reappeared and turned his emotions upside down; his soldier son seems utterly changed by his experience at Dunkirk; and his sixteen year old daughter is unhappy. As he pursues the murderer, Tyler finds himself drawn into an uneasy alliance with one of the Prees Heath internees, a psychiatrist, who claims to be an expert on the criminal mind.
Born in England, MAUREEN JENNINGS immigrated to Canada at the age of seventeen. After finishing high schoool, she earned a BA in psychology and philosophy and an MA in English literature. For eight years, she taught English at the Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University) before becoming a psychotherapist. In the mid-1990s she started to write, and the first novel in her Detective Murdoch Mystery series was published in 1997. Six more novels in the series were published between 1998 and 2007, all of them to enthusiastic reviews. In 2003, Shaftesbury Films adapted three novels in the series into movies of the week, one of which earned the Bravo channel its highest MOV ratings to date. Four years later Shaftesbury, in association with CityTV, Rogers, UKTV, and Granada International, began production on the Murdoch Mysteries television series, starring Yannick Bisson as Murdoch. The popular series, soon to go into its fourth season, is now shown around the world, including on CityTV in Canada, the Alibi channel in the UK, and on most PBS stations in the United States. Maureen Jennings now writes full time from her home in Toronto, where she lives with her husband and their two dogs.
Praise for the Detective Murdoch Mysteries:
"Jennings has a wonderful feel for the places and tasks that give life and context to a character."
- New York Times Book Review
"When it comes to evoking a bygone era . . . Jennings has [Anne] Perry beat hands down."
- Calgary Herald
"Jennings writes with the lilt and assurance of an old hand. She deftly wields historic details without impeding the story."
- San Jose Mercury News
"If you want to step back in time . . . let Jennings be your guide. There's really none better."
- Ottawa Citizen