Five Dead Canaries

Five Dead Canaries

Book - 2013
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1916. As thousands of Brits are fighting on the Front Line, a new breed of women emerges to hold the Home Front together. Fiercely independent and fiery-spirited, the munitionettes, or 'canaries', are easily recognisable with their chemically-stained yellow faces. Among the raucous group of women is Florrie Duncan, who plans to celebrate her birthday in style at the Golden Goose publishing But the celebrations are cut short when all but one are killed in a brutal explosion. Scotland Yard suggests it's the work of a German spy but Detective Inspector Harvey Marnion and Sergeant Joe Keedy remain unconvinced, believing something more complex and sinister to be at work. With five times the victims there are five times the motives for murder. As the pair begins to piece together the lives of the women, they unearth a tension simmering between many of the locals and the canaries. The dark days of the war has left everyone on edge and suspicion is rife. From marital dysfunction to a failed bomb plot, it seems everyone in the small town of Hayes has a motive, so Marmion and Keedy must work fast to uncover the murderer. Before more canaries are turned to dust.
Publisher: London : Allison and Busby Limited, 2013.
ISBN: 9780749013325
Characteristics: 350 pages ;,25 cm.

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Roundcat
Dec 31, 2016

So you think government regulations are tedious and a block to economic progress. The women who are the focus of this story are turning yellow because the government has them working at handling the ingredients for bombs that turns their skin yellow, hence the name canaries. They also are paid a pittance compared to the men who have jobs that do not involve having their bodies warped by their job; and, to add insult to injury, they are looked down on because they are working away from the home. One of the group, Maureen Quinn, escapes the explosion that kills five of her friends, but she is suffering from shock and seems unable to help Marmion and Keedy. She also spends a good deal of time talking to her priest. What is she hiding? As Marmion and Keedy investigate the backgrounds of the five victims, the list of suspects grows. The number of people who know how to make a bomb and possibly have a grievance against one of the victims, makes it difficult to figure out who the murderer is. The reactions and interactions of the five victims' families and the Quinn family are very well portrayed as are some of the minor characters: The pub owner whining about his damaged property, the regulars at the pub snarling about the victims, and the randy truck driver are just begging for character actors. This is a great series.

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