It is November 1917. The Great War is grinding on, chewing up young men by the thousands. Initially, in the loyal Dominion of Canada, people are mostly eager to support the Motherland and fight for the Empire. Men perceived as slackers or cowards are shunned. But the carnage is horrendous and with enforced conscription, the enthusiasm for war is dimming.
William Murdoch is a widower, a senior detective who, thanks to the new temperance laws, spends his time tracking down bootleggers and tipplers; most unsatisfying. His wife, Amy, died giving birth to their second child, a girl who lived only a few hours more. Murdoch, racked by grief, withdrew from four-year-old, Jack. This he regrets and would dearly love to make up for his negligence.
As we enter the story, Jack, now twenty-one, has returned from France after being wounded and gassed on the Western Front. It is soon apparent that he is deeply troubled but he’s not confiding in his father. He does, however, seem to be bound by shared secrets to another wounded former soldier, Percy McKinnon.
Murdoch suddenly has much more serious crimes than rum-running on his hands. The night after Jack and McKinnon arrive home, a young man is found murdered in the impoverished area of Toronto known as the Ward. Soon after, Murdoch has to deal with a tragic suicide, also a young man. Two more attacks follow in quick succession.
Increasingly worried that Jack knows more than he is letting on, Murdoch must solve these crimes before more innocents lose their lives.
Exciting news, a short story Maureen wrote back in 1998 is in development for a feature short film. Production is tentatively planned for late this Spring. Maureen is co writer of the script. More details to follow soon.
You can read the original publication of Viaticum in 1998 here in Taddle Creek Press.
©Maureen Jennings 2017
I AM THE BOY ON THE BUS. (March 23, 2017)
I am the boy on the bus
Who begged his mother to sit on the upper level
So he could see the river.
He says, Thames as if the t-h is pronounced hard
I am the girl skipping beside her tall father
Who is in a hurry.
I am the man on the bike
Who is thinking of his dinner.
I am the woman in the ward
Wincing as she turns over,
Wondering why the sirens are screaming
In the street below her window.
I am the postman on his rounds
Who is delivering a parcel to an empty house.
I am the people on the bridge.
Murdoch Mysteries won 5 Canadian Screen awards in the categories of writing, highest rated drama in Canada for 2016 and the Golden Screen Award. Congrats to the entire team.
CBC also announced it was renewing the show for another season, which will include 18 episodes plus a 2 hour Christmas Special.
Link here for the complete details
After writing four WW2 novels featuring DCI Tom Tyler, after a 10 year hiatus, there will be a new Detective Murdoch mystery novel.
The famous detective, now 23 years older since we last saw him, has had many changes in his life since A Journeyman to Grief, and is needed to solve a case set in Toronto 1917.
Stay tuned for updates and teasers throughout the year. The novel will be released in the Fall of 2017.
Link here to view a preview of “The Missing” airing Monday, January 23rd @ 8pm on CBC
Murdoch Mysteries is nominated in the following categories:
Best tv movie Murdoch Christmas
Best Writing Peter Mitchell
Best Actress for dramatic special Helene Joy
Best Music Rob Carli
Best At Direction Armondo and Kent
Best Wardrobe Alex Reda
Best Direction for dramatic special Michael McGowan
Best Makeup and Hair Deb Drennan and Shirley Bond
Best Guest actor William Shatner