Murdoch Mysteries season 1
Daniel Pratt, owner of Toronto Electric & Light, has made his fortune by lighting the city streets with direct current (DC). But now council is considering a new form of electricity called alternating current (AC). So Pratt – and a team of high-powered supporters –decides to mount ‘dog and pony’ shows across the city to prove that AC is a killer. But when Miss Toronto Electric & Light, Alice Howard, is electrocuted in a demonstration gone wrong, it’s determined that the switch handle she pulled had been purposely booby-trapped. In a case that’s further complicated by bribery, scandal and dirty backroom dealings, Murdoch must find out who killed Alice – and why.
Lawyer Percy Pollack was last seen a week ago. According to his wife, Clara, Percy had gone to a meeting with his business partner, Dr. Gilbert Birkins, but based on the condition of his body, he died just 36-48 hours ago - which leaves five days unaccounted for. When Judge Henry Scott dies of a similar wound, Brackenreid suddenly recognizes the work of a murderer long thought dead -- and that he himself might be next on the killer's list. The case deeply divides Murdoch and Brackenreid, each pursuing their own line of investigation. But, a grisly new development in Pollack's murder tells Murdoch that he's been trying to solve this puzzle without all the pieces.
While the city celebrates the Queen’s birthday with a display of fireworks, Murdoch investigates a messy case of fixed fights and shady backroom dealings in the dirty world of boxing. After his victory against Sully Sullivan, boxing underdog Amos Robinson is found dead in his hotel room. Amos’ wife, Fannie – found standing over her husband’s bloody body with a gun in her hand – stands out as the most viable suspect. But Murdoch’s strong intuition tells him otherwise, and he must act fast or Fannie will hang for a crime she didn’t commit.
Murdoch teams with his hero, Arthur Conan Doyle, to solve a murder that was revealed during a séance led by medium Sarah Pensall. It seems the victim, Ida Winston – a member of a paranormal watchdog group – had not been convinced of Sarah’s abilities, which makes Murdoch wonder if Sarah killed Ida because she was about to be revealed as a fraud. Despite mounting evidence of the spirit world, Murdoch remains determined to use scientific means to solve the case. Sure enough, evidence starts to stack up against Sarah’s little toady, Lisgar Gall. But when Murdoch accuses Gall of killing Ida in order to protect Sarah, he winds up in the middle of an unexpected lovers’ triangle that further complicates the case.
Wendell Merrick is killed in the church on the day he was to marry Eunice McGinty. At first glance, the murder appears to be a robbery gone wrong. But Father Franks recalls hearing Wendell arguing with his best man, Lawrence Braxton, before the wedding. As suspicion turns to Braxton, the investigation takes an unexpected twist when the pathology report turns up evidence that Wendell was homosexual – which leads Brackenreid to conclude that it was Wendell’s lover who wielded the weapon that killed him. But while fingers are being pointed at possible candidates, including Braxton, Murdoch starts to believe that the issue of Wendell’s sexuality has thrown this investigation way off track.
John Delaney had been on his way home from a ratting match at the local pub and somehow ended up face down in the river. When Murdoch finds the drunken body of his estranged father, Harry, passed out near the crime scene, he's quick to convict the man he's long accused of killing his mother. It turns out that the matches were fixed - just like Harry said - and the detectives seem to be closing in on the case. But when evidence turns up that suggests Delaney may have had a rendezvous after leaving the pub that fateful night, the investigation takes a whole new turn.
A skeletal corpse that falls from the ceiling of the Grand theatre is identified as Virgil Smart. His widow, Stella, now runs the theatre with her new husband and a small troupe, including a pretty young actress and her fiancé – each of whom reports that Virgil had been found slumped over his desk, dead of heart failure. Stella insists her husband was buried at a proper funeral. But if this corpse is Virgil’s, then whose body did she bury? It seems that honour went to an out-of-work actor named Eddie. As if things weren’t complicated enough, Murdoch discovers a secret room off Virgil’s office – obviously designed for seduction. Could these murders be the result of a lover’s quarrel, a jealous husband, or a spurned lover? One thing is for certain: Each of these well-rehearsed actors knows what happened that night – and now Murdoch knows just how to trip them up.
The body of Richard Hartley, the newest member of a prestigious men’s rowing team, is found washed up on a beach after a night of drinking with his teammates. According to his fiancée, Minerva Fairchild, Hartley had just replaced the team’s top rower Horace Briggs, who admits he’d been disappointed when he was bumped from the team – but not enough to kill. As the evidence mounts, it seems increasingly apparent that Hartley was killed in an initiation hazing gone wrong. Sure enough, the team’s coach admits that Hartley would have cost them a spot at the Olympics, so he instructed the boys to put him out of action so they could bring Briggs back. When things got rough, Hartley panicked and ran into the lake – but he was a strong swimmer; they never dreamed he’d drown. Still no closer to the truth, Murdoch orders a test on the water in Hartley’s lungs – and that’s when the investigation finally blows wide open.
Roddy Grimesby is found dead from a lethal ingestion of varnish. When the police show up at the crime scene, the victim’s son Harcourt – a ventriloquist – is found hiding in the closet with his look-alike dummy Mycroft. Even more disturbing than the similarity, is the roiling bond between the two – much like hostile brothers. Although Harcourt confesses to the murder, Murdoch spots inconsistencies in the story that make no sense – unless there was a third party involved. Harcourt had been in the room when Roddy was killed. He would have seen the killer, but why is he protecting his identity? In a shocking turn, Murdoch learns that Harcourt has a twin brother named Mycroft. Maybe Mycroft killed Roddy; and Harcourt is protecting him. But just when it looks like the case is solved, Murdoch sees something in a Grimesby family photo that puts a whole new twist on things.
Howard Rookwood, philanthropist and co-owner of a glue factory, is found dead after returning home from a fundraiser. Although the scene suggests he was trampled by horses on their way to the rendering vats, the blow to the back of Rookwood's head was not caused by a horse's hoof. When a short-handled shovel wielded by someone child-sized is finally determined to be the murder weapon, suspicion turns to the boys who work at the glue factory – and one young boy in particular, Charlie, who turns out to be the long-lost brother of Rookwood's adopted daughter, Eva. As evidence starts to stack up against Charlie, Murdoch learns that Rookwood's disgruntled ex-valet had long been receiving hush money from his former boss for keeping a secret – one so repugnant that it would drive anyone to murder.
Dr. Grout, a co-founder of a medical research institute, is found with arrows jutting from his back, and the letters "Wy" written in blood on a nearby rock. According to medium Sarah Pensall, the killer is a grim reaper with a crossbow. He’s accompanied by the spirit of a woman, and he will strike again. As associates of the institute are systematically killed off by the hooded specter, Murdoch finally gets a tip - a letter bearing only the word, "Wykeham." Whatever it means, Grout wanted them to know about it. Finally, with Pensall’s help, Murdoch discovers that, in 1893, a young woman died in a fire at Wykeham - a lodge once leased to Grout’s partner, Dr. Greyson. Things start to look worse for Greyson when a reaper’s costume is found stashed away in his office. Despite how things look, though, Murdoch knows Greyson’s not their man. But it’s not til he spots a photo of the young woman with her fiancé that the mystery is finally solved.
Murdoch and Crabtree are assigned to protect Prince Alfred during his visit to Toronto. But, on the very night that British Aid David Jennings warns the authorities about a possible Irish threat against the Prince, an Irish girl wearing a Brotherhood ring turns up dead. A tattoo on her shoulder is found to be covering another - the symbol of the Brotherhood; and a cipher found in her stomach is believed to hold the key to a plot against the Prince. In a town where Irish ire continues to fester against the constabulary, not even his good friend Eddie Cullen will help Murdoch in the case. In a race against the clock, Murdoch must track down the girl's killer and decipher the secret message before the insidious Brotherhood can carry out its deadly plan.
By all appearances, Martians are responsible for the hanging death of Rouge Valley landowner Henri Gaston, a Martian-obsessed loner with a shop full of telescopes, charts and journals. Gaston's observations could have had something to do with his demise, but a letter on his desk from Rouge Valley Lands Ltd. suggests that the reason for his death is decidedly more terrestrial. According to head honcho, Terrence Meyers, RVL had been trying to buy up the valley in order to build an electrical generating station. Gaston was the only hold-out - a sure incentive to get rid of him. Still stymied by Gaston's murder, and ordered to cease his investigation of RVL, Murdoch finally witnesses what Gaston had been writing about - a light in the sky, and a shape emerging over the cornfield. As quickly as it appears, it's gone - but, with the help of Gaston's journals, Murdoch vows to track it down. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, Murdoch remains sure that the strange events are all related to the land sale. What he doesn't know is that this threat is much more menacing than any Martian invasion.