A homicide investigator with the OPP, Murdock is Dwyer's lead character for whom unexplained murders and complicated mysteries are as much standard fare as his punishing ways of living, steady diet of Tim's donuts, and tormenting personal losses.
Murder in Muskoka inaugurated in 2004 a series from Muskoka Dockside Reader publishers of Ian Murdock novels in which Dwyer, born in 1923, spins up-to-date tales of intrigue. The follow-on "Murdock in Muskoka" titles are Gold & Greed (2005); Muskoka Cross & Double Cross (2006); Muskoka Death & Diamonds (2007); Muskoka Bound & Betrayed (2008); with the promise of more to come. In each, the crime is solved within the tight compass of 192 pages – not too onerous a read at dockside.
Muskoka settings for these high crimes – from kiddy-porn rings linked to powerful officials, training terrorists in wilderness settings, and drug syndicates' international trafficking – are countered in turn by the latest high-tech police work, sophisticated electronic surveillance, and advanced forensic science. Dwyer wisely stirs in a lot of old fashioned detective savvy, police department politics, competitive rivalries, and tormented loves, too. Nobody dozes on this dock.
Liam Dwyer spins compelling dramas, aided by the steady editorial pen of Brad Hammond, who contributes to the books and, on the most recent, shared credit as author. Hammond is also publisher, through his Muskoka Dockside Reader house. Among retailers doing a brisk business with this popular series is the author's son Jim Dwyer at Scott's of Muskoka Bookstore in Bracebridge. If these arrangements all seem tightly knit, just wait till you crack open one of these novels to see how snugly interwoven a thrilling plot can really be. And best of all, the action is right next door.
— Review by J. Patrick Boyer
Muskoka Dockside Reader, 2004
Paperback, 192 pages, $14.95