Reviews by Jen Chapin-Smith
Canadian Murder Mystery
»
This is the fifth season of a Canadian murder mystery television series set in late 19th century Toronto. Detective Murdoch continues to employ modern-day science and forensic techniques to uncover clues and Holmes-like logic to solve cases.

This season includes an episode dealing with the opera "La Boheme," which a brief period of singing.

In general the show offers an interesting slice of the era. The characters meet Nicolas Tesla, Harry Houdini, and other scientists and celebrities of the era. Although the show has one, then another, medical examiner who is a woman (which was unusual for the era), it does portray many of the prejudices of the era--against women, gays, people of color, the Irish and Catholics.
Canadian Murder Mystery
»
This season of "Murdoch Mysteries" begins in the Yukon, where our hero is now prospecting for gold, having left his job as a Toronto police detective after letting a suspect escape from jail. Of course, he finds a murder mystery to solve, proving that he's a far better detective than miner.

This is the fifth season of a Canadian murder mystery television series set in late 19th century Toronto. Detective Murdoch uses modern-day science and forensic techniques to uncover clues and Holmes-like logic to solve cases. The show also shows an interesting slice of the era. The characters meet Nicolas Tesla, Harry Houdini, and other scientists and celebrities of the era. Although the show has one, then another, medical examiner who is a woman (which was unusual for the era), it does portray many of the prejudices of the era--against women, gays, people of color, the Irish and Catholics.

*Spoiler alert*
Rest assured, our hero eventually returns to the Toronto Constabulary (which is confusing, as it appeared that he had lost his job at the end of the last season) to continue the series in its original course.
Werewolves Hunt Serial Killers
»
The fourth in Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega series about werewolves in the modern-day, "Fair Game" is focuses on married couple Charles and Anna as they join the FBI to find a serial killer (or killers) who have been attacking werewolves and the Fae (fairies). It helps to have read the other books in the series first ("On the Prowl," "Cry Wolf" and "Hunting Ground") or at least some of the author's Mercy Thompson novels about the same family.

"Fair Game" is at times quite disturbing, with graphic details about what the serial killers do to their victims, as well as Anna's memories of those who first turned her into a wolf. At other times the novel is as predictable as an episode of "Law and Order," whose police procedural pattern it follows.
Pride and Prejudice and....zombies?
»
This is the sort of book that Jane Austen fans, particularly literature majors, will love so long as they can remember this book is a joke. Seth Grahame-Smith admits in the description of the authors that Austen is a world class novelist, whereas this is his first book and a joint effort at that. The novel humorously melds the classic Regency romance novel and a modern zombie story, complete with the Bennett sisters as trained ninjas. We get some of the original witty prose and most of the same plot line, with ridiculous items added in, such as Lizzy fighting zombies at all times, including during the dinner parties that feature strongly in the original novel.

Read this for a laugh and don't take it at all seriously in order to enjoy what is just brain candy. If you do enjoy it, take a look at "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters."
Sea Serpents
»
Jane Austen fans, particularly literature majors, will enjoy this novel so long as they can keep it mind that it is just a joke, not high literature nor an attack on a classic novel.

In the same vein as Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith's co-authored book "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," this novel takes the original characters and, for the most part, the same plot line, but adds in ridiculous monsters, rituals and underwater high society. In parts it reads just like the original novel, but set in a submarine, or with monsters nearly killing our characters as would happen in a modern horror film.

For the sake of alliteration, Ben H. Winters really should have titled the book "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Serpents," but we'll just let that one go.