Read Night's Child by Maureen Jennings Online


After thirteen-year-old Agnes Fisher faints at school, her teacher, the young and still idealistic Amy Slade, is shocked to discover in the girl’s desk two stereoscopic photographs. One is of a dead baby in its cradle, and on the back Agnes has scrawled a terrible message. Worse, the other photograph is of Agnes in a pose captioned “What Mr. Newly Wed Really Wants.” When AAfter thirteen-year-old Agnes Fisher faints at school, her teacher, the young and still idealistic Amy Slade, is shocked to discover in the girl’s desk two stereoscopic photographs. One is of a dead baby in its cradle, and on the back Agnes has scrawled a terrible message. Worse, the other photograph is of Agnes in a pose captioned “What Mr. Newly Wed Really Wants.” When Agnes doesn’t show up at school the next day, her teacher takes the two photographs to the police. Murdoch, furious at the sexual exploitation of such a young girl, resolves to find the photographer – and to put him behind bars. Night’s Child is the fifth novel in Maureen Jennings’s highly praised historical mystery series. Three of Jennings’s novels have been made into TV movies under the title Murder 19C: The Murdoch Mysteries. Bravo/CHUM is currently developing a series based on the character of Detective William Murdoch for broadcast in 2007....

Title : Night's Child
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780771095528
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Night's Child Reviews

  • Carolyn
    2019-06-05 23:47

    2.5 stars. I have enjoyed the popular and long running Canadian series, Murdoch Mysteries and was unaware that there was a series of books by Maureen Jennings. I did not find Murdoch in this book as likable as in the TV series, maybe because we were privy to his inner thoughts.The plot and the setting (1895 Toronto) were interesting but I found a lot of things were brought up and dropped or failed to lead anywhere. The book centers on pornography, especially in the exploitation of children, women exerting their independence, an early trade union, and the Victorian custom of photos of recently deceased family members, often in their coffins, as keepsakes. This story involves crime solving before the use of DNA and other scientific methods, and depended on a lot of foot work and interviews.A female teacher is shocked to discover pornographic photos in a pupil's desk after 13 year old Agnes faints in school. One photo is of a recently dead baby, a souvenir for the parents. On the back Agnes has written something which horrifies and disgusts everyone who sees it. Discovering the photographer leads nowhere, and we never find out the shocking message on the back of the photo says although it is mentioned many times.There is another photo of Agnes herself in a lewd pose. A photo of a naked young man, dressed only in a turban ornamented with a large brooch has been outlined with a black border by Agnes. This leads Murdoch to think that Agnes suspected or knew he was dead. A similar brooch has been reported stolen but a connection is never made, so why bring it up? When the body of the young man is found, Murdoch realizes that Agnes knew something and that the girl's life may be in danger. Agnes is missing from school and her abusive and impoverished home. Murdoch is determined to find the source of the obscene photos and to save Agnes.The pornography ring is eventually caught. The murder of the young man seems forgotten and we never learn what Agnes knew about him or his murder. In fact we never learn of Agnes's involvement with the photographers. Was she forced to participate or did she go willingly for payment. A shocking story, especially for those who believed that child exploitation and porn only began with the Internet.

  • Alex
    2019-06-05 23:09

    Another great Murdoch mystery! Hard to put down--good cases, I like how the storylines became connected and the development of Murdoch's personal life!

  • Ice Bear
    2019-05-29 23:50

    Toronto is not as clean as it may appear, and nor are the police force.

  • Nicola Mansfield
    2019-06-08 21:09

    The seven books in this series have been re-issued with matching covers taken from the television series, which is pleasing for fans of the show but not always appropriate for the later books in the series as the characters shown are not all present once the series progresses. This is actually my first read in this series but I'm no stranger to Murdoch. I've watched the three movies which are based completely on the first three books in the series and I've watched the occasional episode of the television show which is not based on any particular book but is based on the characters from the books. So as I read my fist acting Detective Murdoch mystery I was met with a cast of familiar characters and felt right at home. I really enjoyed the book which set in Victorian Toronto Canada involves a crime centering around a ring of child pornography photographers whose crimes escalate to exploitation and much worse up to and including murder. This is one of Murdoch's most deplorable cases and has many sidelines as well such as rising feminism, a unique form of labour union and Murdoch's continuous struggles with his love life. The case wasn't exactly a mystery as we knew who one culprit was fairly early but the other was a surprise at the end and the book ends off with Murdoch's life taking on a whole new set of circumstances. A great read for those wanting something just a little more than a cozy (but not too much) and for Victorian era fans. Will most certainly be getting around to reading this whole series one of these days!

  • writer...
    2019-05-17 19:51

    Fan of the Canadian Murdoch Mystery tv series, this book's my first read of a Murdoch Mystery novel. Written by British born author, Maureen Jennings, currently a Canadian resident and situated in the metropolis of Toronto in Ontario during the 19th century . As with the series, it is well researched and detailed to the Victorian era, though not an easy topic to read.What I did appreciate by reading the novel over viewing the show was the opportunity provided for insights into Murdoch's thoughts both in his profession and relationships. Especially as this novel covers the dissolution of a current romance and possibilities of new pursuits. It also introduces new directions with the departure of his landlords to Muskoka for health reasons.Adding to my library reading list for future reserves.

  • Sharon
    2019-05-24 21:55

    If you're a fan of TV's "Murdoch Mysteries," as I am, I highly recommend reading the books on which they are based.In this one, teacher Amy Slade comes to Police Station Number 4 after one of her students faints in class. While caring for Agnes, she finds a number of photographs and stereopticon slides in the child's desk ... some of them obscene. She contacts the police to try to find out who took the photographs -- because one of them is of Agnes.When the body of one of the other photo subjects is found murdered, the case becomes even more complicated.Touching not only on women's roles (Amy is a suffragette and Reformer) but also on issues of child welfare in the 19th C., this is a well-crafted mystery with a "whodunnit" that took me by surprise.Well done.

  • Ubiquitousbastard
    2019-06-17 02:46

    Of the series so far, this book probably has the best pacing. I think that's the best thing that I can say about it; I didn't feel like the book was trudging through endless pages for no apparent reason. The plot wasn't all that twisty or really in my area of interest, but the writing was good and kept me reading. I don't think that the actual murder in the book was even paid attention to very much, which I find more than a little perplexing. It seems as though Jennings knew what she wanted to write about, had other events occur, but kept herself focused on what she really cared about. I can understand that, but it also seems a tad lazy (I cringe at saying that) as an author.As far as mysteries go, this was a bit better than most, but still not anything memorable.

  • Biblioblond
    2019-06-14 01:03

    Perhaps my low-rating is due to my high expectations but I was extremely let-down by this novel. My expectations were high because I am a huge fan of the TV show. However, I didn't find any of the elements that I love about the show in this novel. Of the three characters from TV show that are present in the novel, none of them are recognizable to their TV counter-parts; Brackenreid is a drunk who neither has the respect of Murdoch nor seems to care about his cases. George Crabtree is only mentioned for his apparently large figure and provides no aid to the detective and even the "hero" William Murdoch is a completely different character. There is no mention of his love for science or evidence of his great deductive abilities. He solves the case by a lot of leg work and guessing. His character is also obsessed with his desires for the opposite sex and his self-questioning about why and who he is in love with becomes boring throughout the course of the novel. The only element that was shared with the television series was the use of the city of Toronto in Victorian times to create convincing atmosphere. At one point Murdoch says to Enid "If there had been a way for me to contact to tell you that I was going to be late, I would have". An obvious reference to cell phones. Maureen Jennings uses just enough historic references to create a unique and interesting setting without it being burdensome. My other issue was with the pacing of the story-line. Although the plot itself was initially intriguing, it dragged on through too many subplots which made the quick conclusion unexpected and unsatisfying. I am glad that I read a Maureen Jennings' Murdoch novel to see where the inspiration from the show came from but from now on I'll stick to my Yannick Bisson.

  • Michael Gallagher
    2019-05-25 02:56

    I thoroughly enjoyed this introduction to Maureen Jennings’s Murdoch Mysteries courtesy of my Canadian friend Suzy. Set in late-Victorian Toronto, it is well researched and beautifully written, with well-drawn characters and a likeable detective who seems smitten with a woman who could prove to be his match. The difficult subject matter is carefully handled. It’s just a pity that Jennings seems to have been led astray when it comes to any technical aspect of photography (the shutter and its cable were attached to the camera body, not to the lens; examining the exposed or unexposed plate in any light other than a filtered dark red would result in its ruin by fogging, not that she would see any difference to it prior to its chemical development; increased exposure gives darker prints not lighter ones, and vice versa)—but, given the quality of the writing, I hardly cared.Since ITV have turned the Murdoch Mysteries into a series, I imagine the books should be available in the UK, and I can’t wait to read more.

  • Pupottina
    2019-05-30 02:45

    Foto stereoscopicheIL FIGLIO DELLA NOTTE, scritto da MAUREEN JENNINGS nel 2005, è ambientato nell'800, quando la tutela dei bambini era ancora limitata all'educazione e non alle vere e proprie cure. Il termine pedofilia non era ancora stato coniato.In quel particolare contesto storico, indaga William Murdoch, detective della polizia di Toronto. L'indagine lo porta a fare attenzione al mondo dei bambini, ad osservare cose si nasconde dietro la loro timidezza, a metà strada tra paura e riservatezza. Molto avrebbero da dire i bambini, ma non possiedono ancora le parole adatte a spiegare che c'è qualcuno che fa loro del male.Il caso di Agnes Fisher entra subito nel cuore del lettore, così come ha catturato l'interesse di Murdoch e, prima di lui, quello della maestra Amy Slade.IL FIGLIO DELLA NOTTE è un giallo interessante, degno di lettura. Desta particolare interesse per l'approfondimento storico, non soltanto per la vicenda narrata.William Murdoch è un personaggio letterario, nato dalla penna di Maureen Jennings, ma è anche l'eroe di una serie tv, I MISTERI DI MURDOCH.

  • Jillian
    2019-06-08 01:55

    Listened to this as an audiobook while stitching and enjoyed it. I like the way this series explores social issues of time and place. I also like the way in which the larger issues are seen through the prism of the small conflicts, tensions and decisions of individuals - Murdoch’s attraction to women set against his desire for something deeper, or even the shock of a woman defying convention by wearing culottes against the admission they make running for the fire brigade more successful. The narrative presents a tidy view of the social disruption as Canadian Society moved into the 20th century.The investigation thread is well-paced and maintained with neat planting of the seeds of future relationships both personal and professional along with sketching in of elements of social order and policing. The book series so far stands quite independent of the TV series.

  • C Valeri
    2019-06-01 00:41

    Jennings flawlessly integrates several seemingly different storylines and always manages to tell parts of the story from such a perspective that you are left on the edge of your seat, trying to figure out how it connects to the bigger picture. Sad stories at the center of this Murdoch mystery but really enjoyed the many layers to the narrative and the continued development of Murdoch's character!

  • Debbie
    2019-06-12 23:41

    Another exploration into the social ills of late Victorian Toronto. In this case it is children exploited for pornographic images. There were some odd ends left loose: why the picture of the dead baby with the raunchy message on the back? what is the female photographer/painter up to? But Murdoch has finally met a woman I can approve of.

  • Susan
    2019-06-14 22:53

    Interesting book, worth reading, really opened my eyes to the plight of what it was like for children in the 1800's. Also read in the back in the author's notes, Gregory S. Kealey my mothers maiden name was Kealey.

  • D. Norman
    2019-05-31 00:02

    This is a great series.

  • Elena Brescacin
    2019-06-12 23:55

    boh, non mi è piaciuto... mi spiace di solito se do feedback su un'opera -libro o film- mi piace fornire le motivazioni. Ma mi ha annoiato troppo.

  • Lesley
    2019-05-29 02:43

    Not my favourite in the series actually, but still a good one.

  • Hana Pilařová
    2019-06-18 01:01

    Murdoch pátrá po autorovi anonymních dopisů očerňujících seržanta Seymoura a také po fotografovi, který je autorem obscéních fotografií, na kterých figurují děti

  • Selle
    2019-06-11 22:55

    review posted at:

  • April Wilson
    2019-06-07 01:46

    A student faints at schools and her teacher discovers some shocking stereoscopic pictures in the girl's desk, one of which is of the girl herself. When the student doesn't show up for school the next day, the teacher takes the pictures to the police. Murdoch is determined to find the photographer and put him behind bars. The subject matter is disturbing and fills this reader with sadness & disgust. Ms. Jennings did quite well in setting the tone/mood and wrote something that brought about strong emotions while I read. I persevered to the end because I wanted to be sure the culprit or culprits were discovered and dealt with.

  • Beatriz
    2019-06-14 19:51

    This is the first of this author's books I've read. I've watched the series based on the character of Detective William Murdoch and seen the films. I really enjoyed this as a completely separate experience, however, as the Murdoch presented in the book, the films and the series are very different, though equally enjoyable.

  • Kathleen Hagen
    2019-06-02 20:03

    Night’s Child, by Maureen Jennings, A-minus, narrated by David Narantz, produced by audible inc. downloaded from is the fifth book in the Murdoch series. Here, we have the chief inspector upset because someone is sending anonymous letter saying that a particular police officer is doing something bad, he doesn’t indicate what, but says he will release the information to the papers if the police don’t put an end to it. The case is assigned to Murdoch, who hates cowardly informers who try to intimate rumors and innuendos about someone without coming forward. Also, the officer accused is a friend of Murdoch’s. He investigates the case, finds the culprit, close to home, shall we say, and puts an end to the problem. But this investigation brings him into contact with a schoolteacher who is very upset because she has found pictures of a pornographic nature in her student’s desk, and then the student disappeared. He then finds the body of a murdered young man who also had been in one of the photos found in the girl’s desk. He sets out, with the help of the policeman he is rescuing from falsehood, and the teacher to track down the photographer as well as the girl who might be in danger for having seen something she shouldn’t. Again, this is a good book full of the usual characters we’ve come to love and the introduction of some new ones as well.

  • Randy
    2019-05-20 02:58

    Ms. Jenning's Murdoch Mysteries series addresses an 1890s issue in each book along with murder. In this book this issue is child pornography, and Murdoch must find the murderer of a young man who was in some of the pictures. He must also try to find a young girl who is in an obscene photo and is also in teacher Amy Slade's class.Will's current love interest, Enid Jones, has to return to Wales to tend for her father, the Kitchens have decided to move to a city that might be healthier for them, and Will has been asked to be responsible for their home and to find boarders.As with the other books in this series, there are multiple issues for Murdoch to deal with in addition to the pornography and murder. Ms. Jennings has once again woven a complex story where the conclusion isn't evident until near the end.The seven books can probably be read out of sequence, but I would suggest they be read in order because Murdoch's story follows them and was very interesting to me. All of Ms. Jennings' books in the mysteries are well written and provide a real look into what was probably the life and times of Toronto during the late 1800s.

  • Cindy
    2019-06-13 22:02

    Love the Murdoch Mysteries! Not only are there cases to solve, but romance dies and flourishes within! Murdoch is unofficially trying to determine why a 13 year old school girl is missing and how she is involved in pornographic pictures. He meets Amy Slade, the girl's teacher, who genuinely cares about her and wants to help Murdoch find out what has happened to her. He also has been asked by Inspector Brackenreid to find out who has been sending letters about the unseemly conduct of one of his officers. This mystery has him asking his suppose-able amour, Enid Jones, for help with the typewritten notes. Amidst all of the different mysteries he is dealing with, the people that have been a constant in his life are leaving Toronto. These include the Kitchens, whose boarding house he has been living, and Enid Jones, his love interest. But he also makes new friends in the form of co-worker Sergeant Seymour and teacher Amy Slade. Two more books to go before I completer the series! And what a great series it is!

  • Maddy
    2019-06-02 20:50

    RATING: 4.5PROTAGONIST: William Murdoch, detectiveSETTING: Toronto, 1890sSERIES: #5 of 5SUMMARY: I'm not a fan of historicals, but this series is an exception. Jennings does everything right. She's created a character that has many facets, an imperfect man who tries to do the right thing. The Victorian setting is perfectly rendered without being cloying. The plot is well developed. Night's Child is the story of an investigation into possible child pornography, a subject one might not have expected to face at this period of time. An alert teacher brought the issue to Murdoch's attention. At the same time, one of the sergeants on the force is being blackmailed. For fans of the series, lots of changes ahead - with love interests and living arrangements - looks like the series is rejuvenating itself.

  • Rene Natan
    2019-06-17 04:04

    Murdoch Mysteries: Night’s Child by Maureen Jennings, McClelland & Stewart, 2010I have always been interested in learning about the lives of Canadians in the nineteen century. In my native country, Italy, one learns a lot about traditions and the living conditions of grandparents and great grandparents, so I was curious to find out what the social and family life of common citizens was about a century and half ago. Even taking into count that the Murdoch Mysteries are works of fiction, I trust that the author, born in England, has done plenty of research on the matter.This aspect has added an extra value to her writing. An interesting and enjoyable read.Rene Natan,

  • Scott Williams
    2019-05-24 23:52

    This is the fifth book in the series and Jennings has really figured out how to make the concept work by this point. This book deals with some very dark material -- pedophilia and pornography. Sadly, these are themes that could have been pulled from today's headlines. Readers will definitely connect with them.The novel provides a good balance between the crime plot line and a personal story for Murdoch. My principle criticism is the same one I've had for the earlier books in the series -- it ends too abruptly. Jennings does a wonderful job of building the mystery but, for me, it all comes together too quickly at the end.

  • Libtechgurugoddess
    2019-06-11 03:46

    Reading the Detective William Murdoch series and thoroughly enjoying these historical mysteries by Maureen Jennings. Her hero is modest and smart, with a few quirks. Her setting is ~1890s Toronto and the plots are intricate. The author has a knack for exploring interesting facets from that historical period in Toronto. The books are quite different from the Canadian television series and even the earlier movie series with Peter Outerbridge. As usual, I like the books better than the TV or movie. Too bad she stopped writing them in 2007 and only wrote 7 titles, several of which were finalists for various mystery awards.

  • Gwen
    2019-05-24 01:46

    No Julia in this one, but Amy is absolutely delightful--and without the class struggles a Julia/Murdoch relationship would have. I'm not sad to see Enid go, and I hope the next books bring a resolution to Murdoch's seemingly never-ending relationship concerns. Excellent pacing with a solid overall plot, although I thought the Callahan police station plot to be weak and the main case's conclusion to be a bit convoluted. I appreciated Murdoch's introspection in this one: how his father's reactions are manifested in his own actions, his growing appreciation for independent women, and how his future will change with the significant upheavals that happened.

  • Alexa
    2019-06-06 20:56

    Just want to say, that I have enjoyed the T.V. adaptation of this series for a number of years, and so far the characters in the book are different from the t.v. characters. Usually I enjoyed books far more then the visual adaptations, but I have to admit, it's pretty hard right now. So I'll have to wait and see how it goes, besides I'm only at chapter 6...Turns out that's as far as I'm getting. I don't usually read murder mystery type novels, so I couldn't get into this. I'm sure it's a great book but it's just not my type.It's not the book, it's me...