November, 1940. Tom Tyler, Detective Inspector of the small Shropshire town of Whitchurch, is a troubled man. The preceding summer had been a dark one for Britain, and even darker for Tom's own family and personal life. So he jumps at the opportunity to help out in the nearby city of Birmingham, where an explosion in a munitions factory has killed or badly injured several of the young women who have taken on dangerous work in support of the war effort.
At first, it seems more than likely the explosion was an accident, and Tom has only been called in because the forces are stretched thin. But as he talks to the employees of the factory, inner divisions -- between the owner and his employees, between unionists and workers who fear communist infiltration -- begin to appear. Put that together with an AWOL young soldier who unwittingly puts all those he loves at risk and a charming American documentary filmmaker who may be much more than he seems, and you have a page-turning novel that bears all the hallmarks of Maureen Jennings' extraordinary talent: a multi-faceted mystery, vivid characters, snappy dialogue, and a pitch-perfect sense of the era of the Blitz, when the English were pushed to their limits and responded with a courage and resilience that still inspires.
MAUREEN JENNINGS was born in England, and emigrated to Canada as a young woman. Her first mystery series, set in Victorian-era Toronto, featured Detective William Murdoch. The first Murdoch mystery, Except the Dying, was shortlisted for both the Anthony and the Arthur Ellis Best First Novel Awards. It was followed by Under the Dragon’s Tale, Poor Tom Is Cold, Let Loose the Dogs (shortlisted for the Anthony Best Historical Mystery Award), Night’s Child (shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award, the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award, the Barry Award, and the Macavity Historical Mystery Award), A Journeyman to Grief (nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award), and Vices of My Blood.
Shaftesbury Films adapted the first three novels into movies of the week, which were then developed into a series called the Murdoch Mysteries, now going into its fifth season, and broadcast in over one hundred countries around the world.
Maureen’s new trilogy of mysteries set in World War II–era Shropshire, England, will be launched with Season of Darkness in August 2011. A new six-part television series entitled Bomb Girls, produced by Back Alley Films and Muse Entertainment for Global Television and inspired by the second book in the trilogy (Beware This Boy), will air in early 2012.