Readers that are new to the written works regarding Detective Murdoch should be aware of two important facts: Firstly, this is the third book in the series, and secondly, you must dismiss from your mind all and every thought of the TV series.
There is absolutely no connection to the TV program in respect of his conditions of work, or his forays into the early days of Forensic Detective Work, although Constable George Crabtree is in evidence.
The book takes the reader deep into the workings and poverty of the Toronto of the time, and is a both stark and powerful insight into to the era. It is very descriptive and immerses the reader into another world which proves to be a real eye-opener.
Although I would heartily recommend this book for so many reasons, I would advise newcomers to the Genre to begin their adventure with the first book and progress through the seven adventures in the correct order, beginning with "Except the Dying"
A good series of books: enjoy your journey!