The principal viewpoint in this 4th in the series, though, is Luke’s. He’s a charming character with aspects of his past he’d prefer to keep secret, even from his father, but a chance encounter with two young women draws him into situations that become steadily more worrisome. Luke is a straight-laced fellow, which creates some amusing episodes. True to his shy nature and Methodist upbringing, he’s alarmed at the thought of attending a soiree downtown (“If there was to be dancing, it was a good excuse to stay home”), but his employer knows that his mixing with the wealthier classes will help him fit in and increase their income. Dr. Christie’s burly and irascible housekeeper, Mrs. Dunphy, adds more doses of humor.
At times the historical backdrop gets lecture-y, particularly the long recap of the 1837 Rebellion, but otherwise mid-19th-century Toronto is richly evoked, with its political and religious divisions, bouts of deadly illness, the beginnings of urban sprawl, and the reputed miracle cures of Irish-born “Holy Ann” (a real person). Americans in particular may appreciate seeing how their country’s antebellum policies on slavery play out north of the border. Kellough also keeps readers on their toes by fleshing out her plot with unexpected turns throughout.
The Burying Ground was published in July by Canada's Dundurn Press, which sells books to both Canada and the US (304pp, paperback, $11.99 in both countries). I reviewed this for August's Historical Novels Review from a NetGalley copy. This is the first in the series that I've read, and I'd be interested to hear if anyone here has read the others.