Someone is digging up the graves at the Strangers’ Burying Ground in Toronto — the final resting place of criminals, vagrants, indigents, and alcoholics — and the only person who seems to care is the sexton, Morgan Spicer. The authorities are unconcerned; after all, for years the growing village of Yorkville has been clamouring to have the bodies moved and the Burying Ground closed.
The distraught Spicer enlists the aid of his old friend Thaddeus Lewis, who has unexpectedly returned to preaching on the Yonge Street Circuit. The graveyard’s secrets lead Lewis and his son Luke into the hidden heart of 1851 Toronto where they discover a trail of corruption and blackmail tied to an old sexual scandal and a dangerous enemy intent on vengeance.
Janet Kellough is a performance storyteller who has written and appeared in numerous stage productions featuring a fusion of spoken word and music. Her previous books in the Thaddeus Lewis series are On the Head of a Pin, Sowing Poison, and 47 Sorrows. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.
This is an engaging historical mystery. The author gets the period detail just right, but she never lets her research overshadow the story, never yanking the reader out of the action with an unwieldy chunk of historical exposition. Fans of Chesterton's Father Brown or of Anne Perry and others who set their mysteries in Victorian England will find this Canadian variation much to their liking.
Love the Murdoch Mysteries? Then you need to discover Janet Kellough's terrific Toronto series set in 1851 and featuring preacher.detective Thaddeus Lewis.
Kellough weaves a tale that is almost as much a history lesson as it is a thrill ride.