The Herringford and Watts Series: Praise, Tidbits and Pictures


"Utterly delightful....highly, highly recommended" -- USA Today review The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder
"McMillan’s delightful debut is an original, humorous tale. The author describes the 1910 Toronto setting incredibly well, immersing the reader from the beginning. Jem and Merinda are perfect foils for each other; levelheaded Jem balances impetuous Merinda. With shades of Sherlock Holmes, tongue-in-cheek footnotes and a great whodunit, put this one on your must-buy list."-- Romantic Times review, 4 stars

VERDICT Canadian author McMillan makes a terrific debut with this Edwardian mystery, mixing ­Sherlockian deduction with humor and a side order of romance. Her protagonists—the mischievous Merinda and the more level-headed Jem—are sure to delight readers who will also enjoy the snappy dialog and plot twists. Historical fiction fans will be intrigued by the fascinating details on Toronto’s early ­20th-century theater scene. A solid choice for devotees of Rhys Bowen’s mysteries-- Library Journal, Starred Review Debut of the Month April

McMillan knows her history and takes imaginative license with it, producing period details that are accurate but still fictional; the handbooks for ladies liberally quoted from are convincing and amusing. The romance is squeaky clean. Fans of inspirational cozies will rejoice. --
Publisher's Weekly

"Fresh and beguiling, the Bachelor Girls are an engaging new addition to the mystery scene. They tackle criminals with a combination of unique moxie and an irrepressible sense of adventure. I want to be friends with the Bachelor Girls!"
—Deanna Raybourn, New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey Mysteries

"In her fabulous debut, Rachel McMillan brings 1910 Toronto to rich and wonderful life. The intrepid Jem and Merinda make a winning detective team. Full of romance and derring-do, The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder will keep you turning pages."

—Nancy Herriman, author of No Comfort for the Lost

"Smart, sassy, and chic. The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder is all that and more. A fabulous historical. Encore, Rachel McMillan!"

—Laura Frantz, author of The Mistress of Tall Acre

"A wonderful romp! McMillan's delightful debut introduces us to a beguiling and intrepid crime-solving duo. The two lovely ladies defy expectations and social norms as they lead us across early twentieth-century Toronto and into the heart of a compelling mystery...with a dash of romance on the side. Can't wait for more of these two and the adventure they'll lead us on next!"
—Katherine Reay, author of The Bronte Plot

The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder April 2016

A Singular and Whimsical Problem: a Herringford and Watts novella  Dec 2015

Of Dubious and Questionable Memory: a Herringford and Watts novella July 2016

A Lesson in Love and Murder September 2016

Conductor of Light: A Herringford and Watts novella Winter 2017

The White Feather Murders Winter 2017

Jem and Merinda's Toronto

 The Girls.... 
Jemima Watts: pretty, befuddled, helplessly romantic, the scent of lavender follows her everywhere.  Longtime lodge-mate and associate of Merinda Herringford.  Unamused when detection gets in the way of her chance at domestic bliss. 

Merinda Herringford: Smart, sarcastic, steps way outside the lines of propriety and is more comfortable in trousers than ladies’ garments. Corset? Don’t mention it.  Spends her Saturdays at the lab conducting odd, smelly experiments with Jasper Forth. The Morality Squad’s Prime target. Has a trunk full of nifty disguises at the ready and knows every Sherlock Holmes story by heart.
Sherlock Holmes Stories published during the time of Jem and Merinda's adventures

Their Guys....

Jasper Forth: long time Toronto Police Constable, still has traces of his families’ east coast accent. Hits every door frame. Good detective demoted to traffic duty for letting Jem and Merinda to a murder scene.

Ray DeLuca: Muckraking reporter for the twice-weekly newspaper the Hogtown Herald. Dreams of being a respectable reporter for the Globe; but his exotic looks and heavy accent inspire more prejudice than opportunity amongst Toronto’s old boys' club papers.  Supports his sister Viola and nephew Luca while attempting to protect them from his abusive brother-in-law. 

Benfield Citrone (Books II and III): Royal Northwest Mounted Policeman in disguise. Late of the Yukon, heralding from British Columbia, trailing after the man he suspects killed his brother Jonathan.  He finds Merinda instead. 

Note: The Toronto Archives and the Toronto Reference Library are a hotbed of information for Edwardian Toronto. So well-documented in Photographs


In the Skin of the Lion, Michael Ondaatje

The Murdoch Mysteries by Maureen Jennings

Ragtime by E L Doctorow

Rilla of Ingleside by LM Montgomery

Deafening by Frances Itani

And other stuff that is helpful....

Toronto's Girl Problem, Carolyn Strange 

Toronto Girls Go On Strike 

Lost Toronto 

Panorama of Toronto, 1910

Reporting Toronto at the Toronto Archives

BlogTo: Toronto of the 1910s

History of Italians in Toronto 

Social Housing in Toronto

In the Shadows of Osgoode Hall

The Toronto Police were made up for alderman, appointed citizens  The Toronto Police regulated street-level business: cab drivers, street vendors, corner grocers, tradesmen, rag men, junk dealers, laundry operators. Under public order provisions, the Toronto Police was responsible for the licensing and regulation of dance halls, pool halls, theatres, and later movie houses. It was responsible for censoring the content of not only theatrical performances and movies, but of all literature in the city ranging from books and magazines to posters and advertising.

Toronto Police Cyclist 1909

Immigrant men in a Flop House in the Ward 

A family in a Toronto slum in 1914
The Ward


The Bridge of Sighs 

Torontoist: The Forgotten Urban Squalor of the Ward 

Toronto Savvy: the Ward 

Follow rachel's board Edwardian Toronto on Pinterest.

Italian Heritage in Toronto
Italian Immigration in Toronto

The History of the Elgin Winter Garden Theatre: the oldest vaudeville double-decker still in use 

TRC Crash: 1911 

Merinda is on Twitter:

Follow rachel's board edwardian ...etc.... fashion on Pinterest.

Emma Goldman 

History of the Gibson Girl
Makeup in the Edwardian era 

Mail and Empire article, Feb 1911

Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Toronto's Social Upheaval

Historicist: Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman 

In Chicago

The 1912 Republican Convention

Miss Mary Minty: Toronto's First Female Police Officer 


The Toronto Star Article
Canada at War, 1914

Soldiers kiss loved ones goodbye as they prepare to depart Toronto's Exhibition Camp for the battle overseas in 1914. Feb. 5 is the International Kissing Day, reports Citron
Kissing Day at Union Station

Italian Reservists Going to War, Marching on Yonge Street, Toronto by  Unknown Artist
Italian Reservists ready for war 

Hundreds of Toronto women learned military drills to defend the home front during WWI. Decades before they were allowed in the army, when tending wounded soldiers was as close as they got to the front lines, hundreds of Canadian women picked up arms.
women learning military drills to protect the homefront


Amanda Dykes said...

Edwardian mystery glory!! Love all of this so much, Rachel.

Leah said...

YAY :) So very excited for your book release :) Love the pictures, the information, and your passionate enthusiasm!

Faith Hope and Cherrytea said...

Amazing amount of research resourcing - and fab pics. Well Done, Rachel!

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