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Reviewed by Paul Johnson for Readers' Favorite
Two young boys were playing on the wharf in Toronto Harbour just a few days before the end of Christmas break. It started out as a normal day, but all that quickly changed when they spotted something on the nearby beach. Their discovery was the body of a man washed up on the shore. It was January 7, 1884. The only identification on the body was a partial name inside his coat collar and a washed out train ticket in the pocket. Solving the case falls to Detective Albert Hodgins. When the identity of the man is determined, the trails leads to the small hamlet of Stouffville where Hodgins finds some major players with involvement in the death. At a time before forensic analysis, Detective Hodgins must to use his experience, intuition, cunning, and resolve to determine which of his major suspects killed the young man and why. But, someone wants him off the case.
Body in the Harbour is a nicely written, simple period mystery story. I’ve always liked period fiction and the author attention to detail gives the reader a good view of late 1800s Toronto and vicinity. The author has also put together a strong cast of characters, some likable, some not so much. The plot moves along at a steady pace with the reader uncovering clues along with the detectives. It was refreshing to read a solid mystery story without explicit language, violence, or sex, proving that a good, well written story can stand alone. I liked it very much.