Two adventurous female detectives travel from Toronto to Chicago in the 1910s to investigate a Mountie who may have gone rogue.
Jemima DeLuca’s only surprise when she gets fired from her job in Spenser’s Department Store mailroom is that it took them so long to do it. She knows that now that she’s a married woman she’ll be expected to tend to her husband’s every need, though Ray seems more attentive to his sister’s well-being than Jem’s. It’s no problem, because Jem has her own interests, which she hopes will result in a financial payout one day: the ladies detective agency she runs with her friend Merinda Herringford. Merinda, who comes from money, is motivated less by cash flow than curiosity, even nosiness, about the world and her desire to wear pants, as her disguises often permit. Jem and Merinda’s new client, Benefield Citrone, a Mountie almost-flirtatious Merinda dubs Benny, has been searching for his cousin and fellow Mountie, Jonathan. Benny fears Jonathan may have something to do with the explosions in Toronto that police are passing off as accidents. The two detectives are helped in their investigation by their police connection, Jasper Forth, who admires Merinda’s sleuthing skills almost as much as he admires everything else about her. When signs suggest that Jonathan may be heading to Chicago, the whole gang pursues him, though Ray’s already there on his own. He left days before to check on his sister and her son, who live there and appear to be Ray's biggest concern. It’s in Chicago that Jem realizes she may never have Ray’s attention, Benny realizes that Jonathan may have turned to a life of crime, and Merinda realizes she’s not as indifferent to Benny as she might like.
Although the premises and some of the banter are enjoyable, McMillan is less successful with character and plot development, which will have to wait for later entries in the series (The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder, 2016).