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24 August 2016

Rambling About.. A Lesson in Love and Murder by Rachel McMillan

Rachel McMillan has done it yet again! And by "it," of course, I mean "totally occupied my every waking non-working moment" (and quite a lot of my working moments, too, to be completely honest!).

A Lesson in Love and Murder is the second full novel in her Herringford & Watts Mysteries series and once again we're in Toronto with Merinda, Jem, Ray and Jasper. Jem and Ray are having difficulty adjusting to married life. She lost her job at the department store because she's married and he's been spending far too much at his newspaper office covering the recent activities of anarchists. Merinda is still Merinda and still chasing the next case and Jasper is still secretly in love with her.

Oh, Jasper. You wrench my heart practically every time I see your name on the page. She so doesn't deserve you.

To make matters worse for my beloved Jasper, who's already stressed because his boss at the police station is blowing off any real investigation into the fact that someone keeps blowing up trolley cars and people, Merinda and Jem are hired by Benfield Citrone. Benny's a Mountie and is afraid that his cousin might be involved in the anarchist movement -- particularly the blowing stuff up part of it. Merinda is immediately fascinated ... by the case and by Benny.

But ... but ... JASPER!!!


I know, I know. He's fictional and even if he wasn't the book takes place is 1912 and he's only  27. I'm currently 40 in 2016. There's a bit of an age difference.

In spite of my ongoing obsession with Jasper I was still able to get all wrapped up with Benny's case, thanks in large part to the inclusion of Emma Goldman. Her story in general has always fascinated me. While horrible things were done by her followers in the name of anarchism (you know, like blowing up trolley cars and people), she did so much that was good for so many. Anyway, she's the reason that Benny thinks that his cousin is in Toronto and Merinda hatches a plan to become involved with Goldman in order to find him -- even if it means she and Jem have to blow things up themselves.

Needless to say, Merinda's potential involvement with Goldman gets Jasper all protective and flustered and furious (and me all swooney -- which probably isn't even a word). Jem, of course, is the voice of calm reason as per usual and pulls them all together at least momentarily. Well, all except for her husband who has taken off for Chicago to help his sister.

I'm going to stop my ramble here (or in a minute or so) because I really don't want to give too much away. I have a feeling that I could just let it all ooze out of me and turn into a huge spoiley spoiler. I will say, though, that I love this book. I was quite enamored with The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder and you should really read that one first, but this was even better. I felt like the characters came into their own a bit more and the further we get into things the more complex they become -- without losing the bits that made me fall in love with them in the first place.

And finally, because I can't resist ...

**************Faves on 4s**************

p14 - Jasper wondered if Merinda knew that her smile made his heart complete. That she was the only person in the world: Merinda Herringford and her test tubes and her detection and the voice of her hero, Sherlock Holmes, pealing through her head.

p74 - "If Sherlock Holmes met Jack London," Merinda said to Jem, "that would be Benny Citrone."

p124 - Merinda shrugged if off and pasted on a scowl, but Benny noticed it didn't match her eyes. "You can't have Herringford without Watts," she said.

p194 - It can save lives when we take time to look at one person and not just see them as the bottom rung.

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