In each succeeding historical mystery set in late 19th century Toronto, Jennings has not only placed her readers vividly in the period and the place, but has also given them an involving story. Her books have the added spice of a blend of conventionally defined crime and the often more egregious failures of the periods social system. Finally, she has steadily fashioned and filled out the character of her protagonist, Acting Detective William Murdoch, until he joins the select group of fictional beings who become more real to the reader than most flesh and blood acquaintances. We have met a human being.
In Let Loose the Dogs Murdochs job and his life combine tragically. He learns that his beloved sister, who long ago fled to a cloistered convent to evade their drunken and abusive father, is on her deathbed. Meanwhile, Harry Murdoch, the father whom Murdoch had long ago wiped out of his life, and who may have caused his mothers death, has been convicted of murder. Harry calls on his estranged son to prove his innocence and to save his life.
In the midst of these family crises, Murdoch can at least rejoice that his struggling romance seems to have some promise.