Maureen Jennings

Award Winning Author

Acclaim & Awards

In 2014, the 180th anniversary of the city of Toronto,  Maureen Jennings was named by The Toronto Star as one of 180 people who have influenced the history of the city with her Detective Murdoch Mystery novels.

Maureen Jennings was a recipient of the Grant Allen Award in 2011 for her contribution to Canadian Crime Writing.

Praise for The Detective Tom Tyler series

  • No Known Grave was nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award.
  • Dead Ground In Between was nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award.



Praise for The K Handshape

The K Handshape by Maureen JenningsNominated for best novel – The Crime writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award 2009

“The politics of the deaf is a fascinating focus for a mystery novel – the title refers to the American Sign Language hand symbol for the word “kill” – and Jennings has, as usual, done her research well. Christine Morris is a more focused and complete character this time out, and it should come as no surprise that she’s about to become a TV character, just like Detective Murdoch and Kathy Reichs’s Temperance Brennan.”
— The Globe and Mail, March 15, 2008

A Journeyman To Grief by Maureen JenningsPraise for A Journeyman to Grief

Nominated for best novel – The Crime writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award 2008

“A Journeyman to Grief is Maureen Jennings’s best to date… Jennings’ excellent plot takes us into the unknown (to most readers, I think) history of the small black community in 19th-century Toronto. How they came there, how they lived, is as engrossing as the mystery … of the abducted bride.”
– Margaret Cannon, Globe & Mail

“Within a few pages… we are so firmly and happily ensconced in the late-19th-century world she has created that modern contrivances such as computers and jet airplanes seem as far-off and fanciful to us as they would be to her characters… First-time readers can enjoy this as a standalone novel, and will have the additional pleasure of knowing there are six more Detective Murdoch novels waiting to be read.”
– Quill & Quire

“Maureen Jennings’s trademark… is to reveal a long-forgotten facet about life in the city that dispels any notion that it really ever was ‘Toronto the Good.’”
– Truro Daily News

Praise for Vices of My Blood

Vices of My Blood by Maureen Jennings

“[Jennings] brings alive the everyday world of the poor and destitute in the 1890s.”
– Canadian Book Review Annual

“Jennings opens a window on the realities of a late-Victorian city… There wasn’t a whole lot of magic to be found in those times – unlike in Jennings’ writing… If you want to step back in time… let Jennings be your guide. There’s really none better.”
– The Ottawa Citizen

Praise for Except The Dying

Except The Dying by Maureen JenningsNominated for The Arthur Ellis Award, The Anthony Award
Winner of the Heritage Toronto Certificate of Commendation 1998

“Turn-of-the-century Toronto makes an evocative setting for murder in Except the Dying, a skillful first novel that is interesting both for its historical accuracy and its fully realized characters. The plot concerns the murder of a young housemaid, discovered naked in a snowy lane, and the cast of suspects spans the social strata. Yet it is William Murdoch, the detective in charge of the case, who breathes life into what might otherwise have been a conventional murder mystery. As he pursues his quest for justice, Murdoch also mourns the death of his fiancée; his manner of doing both reveals a compassionate, principled man–one whose fictional endeavors (readers hope) have only just begun.”

Praise for Poor Tom Is Cold

Poor Tom Is Cold by Maureen JenningsThe Editorial board of The Drood Review of Mystery, Favourite Novel 2001 (one of eight finalists)

“Turn-of-the-19th-century Toronto springs to life in this affecting series (Under the Dragon’s Tail) from Jennings. Acting detective William Murdoch refuses to believe the findings of a coroner’s jury that the violent death of a young, sensible constable was suicide. Oddly enough, at least one jury member has a dirty secret: he and his siblings will do anything to prevent their aging father’s current young wife from inheriting his money. Contemporary social, religious, and sexual mores frame a strong plot line and delineate a resourceful “hero.” Highly recommended.”
– Library Journal

Praise for Night’s Child

Night's Child by Maureen JenningsNominated for The Macavity/Sue Feder Historical Mystery award for best historical mystery published in 2005
The “Barry” award for best paperback original published in 2005,
The “Bruce Alexander Award” for best historical mystery published in 2005

“Jennings has… a fine eye for telling details and good characters… Jennings handles all the plotlines with aplomb, while never losing her grounding in Toronto history.”
– Globe & Mail

Praise for Let Loose the Dogs

Nominated for The Anthony Historical Mystery award for best historical mystery published in 2003

Praise for Wreckwood

Nominated for best short story, Blood on the Holly- The Crime writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award 2008

Praise for The Weeping Time

Nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story, Crime Through Time 3 (2001)


About Maureen

Maureen Jennings is not only just about the best crime novelist in Canada, she’s among the best writers anywhere - a national and international treasure. —London Free Press

Maureen Jennings is an award-winning author. The Murdoch Mysteries tv series is based on her popular character. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

Full Bio