This is the second of the Detective Murdoch novels I have read, although it is the third in the series. This time, William Murdoch is dealing with an abscessed tooth (through this device, we learn something about 19th C. dentistry) as well as the body of one of his constables ... who appears to have taken his own life. When conflicting evidence begins to arise during the inquest, Murdoch investigates further into the matter.
A subplot involving a woman being committed to a psychiatric institution show us a great deal of how mental health issues (or alleged ones) amongst women were managed during the time period as well.
I found the book very entertaining, and was actually a little surprised at the end by the "whodunnit" and how all of the subplots came together.