Murdoch Mysteries Wiki

"Brackenreid Boudoir", first released as "Brackenreid of the Boudoir",  is the eighth episode of the eleventh season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the one hundred-fifty-eighth of the series. It first aired on December 4, 2017.


While on a camping holiday, Julia and Murdoch discover a man stabbed through the heart. To catch the killer, Brackenreid picks up the paintbrush again to infiltrate an artists' group that the victim had been associated with and attracts a wealthy art patron's very personal attention.

After finding the body of Gavin Caswell, Murdoch and Julia discover a group of artists painting en plein air in the wilderness. These painters are bound together by a mutual pursuit rather than any friendship between them, including Tom Thomson, who is cleared of any suspicion early on in the investigation. Brackenreid learns that they disliked Caswell but his work was held in high regard; they are each jealous of the other’s success and they each are seeking the patronage of Lady Belinda Carlye. Rumour has it that Caswell was to open the new gallery, a prestigious honor — possible motive for murder? It is neophyte Thomas C. Brackenreid who catches the eye of Lady Carlye and receives the coveted honor of opening her newly created Fine Art Gallery, as suspicions are raised about the imperious widow Carlye known to have a violent temper. Caswell was popular with Lady Carlye; According to group member Miss Coyle, taking a patronage is a double edged sword: Lovely if one fulfills the patron's desires, but not so pleasant if one doesn't as the Inspector soon discovers when his inspired nude painting of Nina Bloom is the one he wants to feature in his upcoming exhibition, rather than (his first) nude of her ladyship. Murdoch reminds the Inspector that Lady Carlye remains their primary suspect, so he agrees to repaint Carlye’s nude, but when Murdoch asks to bring Lady Carlye in for questioning, Brackenreid insists the interview happens after his exhibition opens, even upon being warned that her late husband died under mysterious circumstances and that the Inspector could be next.

Meanwhile, to Crabtree’s surprise Detective Watts himself takes on the case of a stolen bicycle belonging to the lovely Miss Faust. The smitten Watts learns more about the free-thinking well-traveled Fiona Faust over ice cream cones from McGillion’s, followed by a round of darts and beer at his watering hole, The Tipsy Ferret, after alerting most of the city's pawn shops and the other Station Houses of the missing bicycle. Feeling stuck in a place that is not the most interesting city in the world, Fiona has no complaints about her present company, Mr Watts – Detective – he asks her to call him Llewellyn. She forthrightly states that she does like him. After Fiona’s bicycle is found at Crawford’s Pawnshop, Crabtree asks Watts when is he going to tell Miss Faust, for George had spotted him wheeling her unmistakable bicycle into the evidence lockup. Perhaps in a few days when he has gotten over her, Watts tells Crabtree, and then he’ll find it for her.

Llewellyn and Fiona attend the gallery opening and witness, with some amusement, the unveiling of Brackenreid’s nude of Lady Carlye (the third and final one of her ladyship) that shocks not only Mrs Brackenreid but also most in the room. Surprisingly the painting that wins the praise of all is Mr. Denton’s landscape, which Julia is drawn to as she was with Caswell’s painting found in the wood that now hangs in her morgue office. Lady Carlye is equally impressed and dismisses Brackenreid as she has found her new artist, to Margaret’s delight, but upon which the Inspector arrests Mrs. Carlye on suspicion of murder.

It is Julia’s keen eye and appreciation of paintings that uncovers the truth about the two landscapes, thus the evidence that leads Murdoch and Brackenreid to the once prodigious painter who has both the motive and opportunity — the artist seeking vengeance: “You can’t steal a man’s soul and expect to get away with it.”

Character Revelations


Historical Reference

  • The return of famed Canadian painter Tom Thomson, who first appeared in All That Glitters, was an inspiration to the "Group of Seven" Canadian landscape artists.
  • Sydney Rosenfeld (1855-1931) was an American playwright and a curious figure in Broadway theatrical history. He wrote numerous plays and adaptations of foreign plays, nearly fifty of them played on Broadway with some success.
  • Det. Watts quotes John Muir (1838 – 1914), 'Father of the National Parks', naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States: "In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks."
  • Constantinople and the Hagia Sophia, an imperial mosque, now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey; It was first referenced in Murdoch and the Temple of Death. Miss Faust also references the Great Sphinx, pyramids of Khufu, and the Nile river when asked about Egypt by Crabtree.


  • Greg David of TV,eh?:"I don’t think enough is said about the comedic talents of Yannick Bisson and Hélène Joy, so I’ll do it now. The two can be flat-out hilarious without the use of scripted words. That is showcased in the first few moments of [this] episode as the two use physical comedy to great effect. Also, Julia utters a saying I had to Google to understand and it’s a pretty interesting term."
  • The phrase "busman's holiday" is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as a period of holiday or leisure time spent doing something similar to one's normal occupation.
  • Pawnshop owner Eddie Crawford was first seen in Toronto's Girl Problem.
  • Filmed in part in Hamilton.


  • The size of the canvas(es) Brackenreid is painting on does not match the size of the finished painting(s).


Main Cast

Yannick Bisson as Detective William Murdoch
Hélène Joy as Dr. Julia Ogden
Thomas Craig as Inspector Thomas Brackenreid
Jonny Harris as Constable George Crabtree

Recurring Cast

Daniel Maslany as Detective Watts
Arwen Humphreys as Margaret Brackenreid
Lachlan Murdoch as Constable Henry Higgins
Erin Agostino as Nina Bloom
Siobhan Murphy as Ruth Newsome
Brock Morgan as Tom Thomson
Craig Brown as Eddie Crawford

Guest Cast

Sonja Smits as Lady Belinda Carlye
Aidan Shipley as Mr. Denton
Kelly McNamee as Fiona Faust
Roanna Cochrane as Miss Coyle
Stephane Garneau Monten as Mr. Armbruster
Paul Johnston as Mr. Foster
Philippa Domville as Doreen

Non-Credited Cast

Tyler Lionel Parr as Gavin Caswell
Nathan Hoppe as Constable McNabb


Murdoch Mysteries Season 11
Up From AshesMerlot Mysteries8 FootstepsThe Canadian PatientDr. Osler Regrets21 Murdoch StreetThe AccidentBrackenreid BoudoirThe Talking DeadF.L.A.S.H.!Biffers and BlockersMary WeptCrabtree à la CarteThe Great White MooseMurdoch SchmurdochGame of KingsShadows Are FallingFree Falling
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