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"Master Lovecraft"is the sixteenth episode of the tenth season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the one hundred forty-eighth series. It first aired on February 27, 2017.


The discovery of a young girl's body and some grotesque sketches leads Murdoch to suspect a gang of death-obsessed teenagers, which includes a young H.P. Lovecraft.

While investigating a possible murder scene, Detective Murdoch meets a young writer named Howard Phillips Lovecraft. He discovers the young Lovecraft has been drawing the discovered corpse for two weeks after Clinton Hartley informed him that he had found a body while scavenging the abandoned building for valuables. A month earlier, Lovecraft joined a group of young Edwardians rebelling against wealth and more interested in death, Sarah Glass, Ian Potter and Hartley who are living at Logan Smiley’s house at 912 Wellington.

The young Ellen Woods met her death by asphyxiation – smothered with the handkerchief doused with chloroform but Dr. Ogden can't explain the blood on the handkerchief or on her clothes, only that it wasn't hers. A compassionate killing, concludes Murdoch, but where is the pendant that Lovecraft drew her wearing or is it only a figment of his imagination?

After Master Lovecraft has his chance encounter with Mrs. Brackenreid outside the Station House, Dr. Ogden discovers a trembling Margaret in the morgue, clutching her copy of Dracula in one hand and a scalpel in the other, then with some surprise finds Lovecraft in the cold storage, lurking around “the bloody morgue like a lunatic.” Brackenreid has Crabtree keep a watch on him. Though with little evidence, Lovecraft's perverted fascination with death alone - could provide motive for murder.

A love letter is discovered amongst Lovecraft's personal belongs that is filled with youthful angst and melodramatic language but the sentiment is unmistakable– signed by Miss Woods, but not directly addressed to anyone, nor is it dated. When taking a final look at Miss Wood's body, Dr. Ogden discovers something rather disturbing– her left ring finger has been severed. It happened since her arrival. In the meantime, Lovecraft has given Crabtree the slip and delivers a gift to Mrs. Brackenreid’s doorstep. Miss Woods is missing a finger and Mrs. Brackenreid has an extra one, points out Murdoch who gets little from a re-captured Lovecraft. After a witty interview with Julia, she accesses the artistic youth has trouble delineating between reality and imagination and tells William that trying to apply logic to the circumstances may not be helpful in this case.

Then, Miss Sarah Glass calls the Station House stating she knows more about the letter but the phone abruptly goes dead and her lifeless body is discovered at the Logan house. The solution to her murder reveals the woeful tale of Romeo and Juliet taken too literally.

Character Revelations

  • Young Lovecraft sees death everywhere and George Crabtree sees life everywhere, yet they make a bond.
  • There is a strange 'love affair' between Lovecraft and Margaret, more like that of the artist and muse.
  • William discovers that mending a vest button requires a different skill set than Julia's sewing up bodies.
  • George admits to having "spells of melancholy".
  • Mrs. B is the inspiration for H.P. Lovecraft's most famous work and drawing– Cthulhu, but "Margaret can never know of this," exclaims the Inspector as he burns the evidence.


  • Mrs. Brackenreid is still trying to 'keep up with the Jones'– competing with Verna Jones in their book club this time.
  • Crabtree tells the Inspector, "The sun shines, sir, even in Yorkshire." But the Inspector snaps back, "Not on November Mondays it doesn't."
  • Whe the Inspector ask George what does he know about children, George points out, "Well, I was one," and Brackenreid adds, "You still bloody are half the time!"
  • Second time Dracula by Bram Stoker appears; the first time was in Bloodlust, when Julia was reading it and the reason why Margaret's visit to the morgue – to ask her about the book.
  • Second time a murder in progress is heard over the phone; the first was in Dial M for Murdoch.
  • Julia loves it when William reads her Shakespeare. Shakespeare was first quoted in Season 1, Elementary, My Dear Murdoch, then extensively in Body Double.

Historical References

  • The master of the macabre H.P. Lovecraft (20 August 1890–15 March 1937) was an American author who achieved posthumous fame through his influential works of horror fiction, including The Call of Cthulhu and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, but some believe his voluminous correspondence to be his greatest accomplishment.
  • Abraham "Bram" Stoker (8 November 1847 – 20 April 1912) was an Irish author, best known for his 1897 Gothic novel, Dracula. During his lifetime, he was better known as personal assistant to actor Henry Irving and business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London, which Irving owned.
  • The Masque of the Red Death: A Fantasy (1842), is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe.
  • The Penny Arcade has a ‘Balloon Lung Tester’. The Mills Novelty Co. manufactured the ‘Balloon Lung Tester’ in 1904. The 1912-13 Mills Novelty arcade catalog describes, ‘Here’s a machine bound to be popular, because of the interest everyone is taking in aviation just now.’ The object of the game is for the player to blow into the machine and make the balloon reach the moon, which in turn makes the man-in the-moon to light up and smile.’  It is a very rare machine with less than 3 known original examples left today.
  • William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.


  • The second time filming at the Port Hope Golf Course; the first was A Case of The Yips.
  • Murdoch says, "Surely..." ten times in this episode.
  • Arwen Humphreys, who plays 'Mrs. B', is a top-notch scream queen– with three screams.
  • A dark goth style episode appropriate to the Edwardian era (1901-1910) with costume design and music:
    • Costume Designer Alex Reda looked at what Edgar Allan Poe was wearing.
    • Composer Robert Carli listened to a bit of Depeche Mode.
  • Lovecraft's fictional cosmic entity Cthulhu makes an cameo appearance.
  • The late MM writer Jordan Christianson wrote the funniest episode and this, if not most serious, the darkest one of Season 10. Christianson and Peter Mitchell were supposed to co-write this episode, but Mitchell got busy and handed the whole thing off to Christianson who completed the story with the writers’ room and wrote the final script. It was probably one of the scripts that Mitchell touched the least and is quoted saying," He really nailed it."
  • Arwen Humphreys live tweeted during the first airing of the episode, "Li'l known fact. Tom actually had the flu and slept through that entire scene." The snores were... authentic.
  • The chalice that Logan drinks from is a pewter skeleton hand cup brought in New Orleans.



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

Arwen Humphreys as Margaret Brackenreid

Guest Cast

Tyler East as H.P. Lovecraft
Stephen Joffe as Clinton Hartley
Morgan Kohan as Sarah Glass
Callan Potter as Ian Potter
Dyan Authors as Logan Smiley


Murdoch Mysteries Season 10
Great Balls of Fire, Part 1Great Balls of Fire, Part 2A Study in PinkConcocting A KillerJagged Little PillBend It Like BrackenreidPainted LadiesWeekend at Murdoch'sExcitable ChapThe Devil InsideA Murdog MysteryThe MissingMr. Murdoch's NeighbourhoodFrom Murdoch to EternityHades Hath No FuryMaster LovecraftHot Wheels of ThunderHell to Pay
Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10Season 11Season 12