Literary Quotes and Reference Guide
MmBodyDouble Bookshelf

The writers and story editors of Murdoch Mysteries display a great love, if not passion, for a wide range of literary works and admiration for their creators. Throughout the MM Seasons, they have skillfully woven in quotes, references, and the authors themselves into the their plots and story lines.

Season 1

Elementary, My Dear Murdoch

Body Double

  • "Sorry sight...murder!" – MacBeth Act II, sc.2, William Shakespeare 
  • "Out damn spot..."  – MacBeth Act V, sc.1 
  • "If we should fail..."  – MacBeth Act I, sc. 7
  • "Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him, Horatio." – Hamlet Act V, Sc.1, William Shakespeare
  • "Fillet of a fenny snake, In the caldron boil and bake;" – MacBeth Act IV, Scene1
  • "Foul whisp'rings are abroad. " – MacBeth Act V, Scene1
  • "A kind heart he had; A woman would run through / fire and water for such a kind heart." – The Merry Wives of Windsor Act III, Sc.4, William Shakespeare 
  • "False face must hide what the false heart doth know." – MacBeth Act I, Sc. 7
  • "Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player / That struts and frets his hour upon the stage / And then is heard no more. It is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing." – MacBeth Act V, Sc. 5

  • "Lead us not into temptation" – Bible Matthew 6:13
  • H.G Wells books The War in the Air and The Food of the Gods

​Season 2

Mild Mild West

  • There is a reference to the Wizard of Oz, when Murdoch says "We're not in Kansas anymore."

Houdini Whodunit

I Murdoch

  • Murdoch's copy of Steam Man of the Plains, that he intends to give to Alwyn at the end of the episode, was printed in 1876 by Harold Cohen.

Let Us Ask the Maiden

  • The Zohar
  • Songs of Songs, also known as Song of Solomon or Canticles : “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better (more delightful) than wine;”


  • From the Earth to the Moon (French: De la terre à la lune), novel by Jules Verne (published 1865 )

Anything You Can Do...

  • "The Collected Works of William Topaz McGonagall"
  • "The Critical and Explanatory Account of the Poetry of George Gordon Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley" by I. Faith, Chapter on Values, Themes, and symbols
  • Byron’s Death and Darkness poem
  • Shelley’s To A Skylark : “Hail to thee, blithe Spirit! / Bird thou never wert, / That from Heaven, or near it, / Pourest thy full heart.”
  • Poets of the Romantic Era vs Post-Restoration Period
  • Jasper: "Any woman that can recite To A Skylark while opening a human heart is a rare woman indeed, make it right, William."
  • Julia's book of poetry saves Murdoch's life.

Season 3

Future Imperfect

  • H.G. Wells' The Island of Doctor Moreau (published 1896)

The Tesla Effect

Season 4

Monsieur Murdoch

  • Georges Simenon based his Chief Inspector Jules Maigret on Marcel Guillaume, head of the brigade spéciale of the Parisian police judiciaire.


  • Irish author Bram Stoker's Dracula (published 1897), a Gothic horror novel

Murdoch in Wonderland

  • Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (published 1865)

Season 5

Murdoch of the Klondike

Season 6

A Study in Sherlock

Season 7

Return of Sherlock Holmes

Journey to the Centre of Toronto

  • Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth (published 1864)

Season 8

The Devil Wears Whalebone

  • Lauren Weisberger's The Devil Wore Prada (published 2003)

Season 9

Marked Twain

24 Hours Til Doomsday

  • From the Earth to the Moon (French: De la terre à la lune), novel by Jules Verne (published 1865 )

Season 10

Painted Ladies

  • The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen.

From Murdoch to Eternity

  • The "interminable new Henry James" alludes to The Golden Bowl (published 1904).

Hades Hath No Fury

  • Greek Goddesses
  • Aristotle and Socrates

Master Lovecraft

  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet : "Together we shall go/For never was there a story of more woe than ours."
  • Irish author Bram Stoker's Dracula (published 1897), a Gothic horror novel: "Do you believe in destiny? That even the powers of time can be altered for a single purpose? That the luckiest man who walks on this earth is the one who finds…true love?”
  • Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death

Season 11

Dr. Osler Regrets

  • The phrase "salad days", used by Brackenreid to his son John, is an idiomatic expression meaning a youthful time, accompanied by enthusiasm and idealism, coined in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (1606).

Season 12

My Big Fat Mimico Wedding

  • Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice (published 1813).

Pirates of the Great Lakes

  • Allusion to Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island (published 1883).
  • The Bride of Lammermoor by Sir Walter Scott (published 1819).

Six of the Best

  • References to The Adventured of Huckleberry Finn and French author Jules Verne.

Murdoch and the Undetectable Man

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.