Murdoch Mysteries Wiki

"Murdoch in Ragtime" is the tenth episode of the seventh season of Murdoch Mysteries and the eighty-eighth episode of the series. It first aired on January 6, 2013.


♪Nobody knows ♪ The trouble I've seen ♪ Glory ♪ Hallelujah ♪

The murder victim is Nathan Peters, the founder of the Canadian Jubilee Singers and Imperial Orchestra. His wife reported him missing that morning. Currently performing at the Grand Theatre, they are a popular act, most famous for their renditions of traditional plantation and spiritual songs. Mr. Peters' wallet is missing, a possible robbery gone wrong but Murdoch asks, “ What was a respectable man doing down at the docks in the middle of the night?”

Inspector Brackenreid points out, “...not a very good advertisement for Toronto the Good.” Meanwhile William and Julia can hardly believe James Gillies is really dead. Julia decides she shall enjoy this feeling of well-being. “You must. It suits you,” Murdoch tells her followed by a kiss.

After Mrs. Peter and Ozzy Hughes identify the body, Dr. Grace informs the Detective that not much blood was lost; however, the impact led to subdural bleeding in his temporal lobe and the wound has a distinctive mark.

Murdoch questions Jeremy Hardy who has been playing with the Jubilee Singers since the beginning. They all started in gospel halls in Hamilton, but Buddy Duncan joined the group a year or so ago. Hardy tells Murdoch, “…Nathan was fond of a game of dice, and not particular about who he played with.” Murdoch suspects they are concealing something more. Back at the Station House, Constable Crabtree has another complaint from Miss Hamilton of the Temperance League. She insists that the Constabulary shut down The Blind Pig, a den of iniquity near the docks, playing the devil's music.

Brackenreid reminds Murdoch dockers are not known for their racial tolerance. Murdoch spots a cart's wheel tracks leading away from the docks to blood and possibly where Peters was killed. But then why move the body?

♪ There'll be a hot time in the old town ♪ Tonight ♪ At The Blind Pig, Murdoch spots members of the Jubilee Singers in the ragtime band. They tell him, Nathan had " some notion that ragtime degraded Negro music" and he wasn’t there. But he was known to gamble in the back room, though the owner claims he didn’t play that night. Still Murdoch is convinced Nathan Peters was killed behind the building. Nathan Peters' trumpet is found at McGinnis's Pawn Shop, hocked by Mick O'Shea. After Brackenreid’s usual 'gloved questioning', O’Shea says he found the wallet and trumpet at 11pm. Now the timeline doesn't fit, Murdoch deduces Mr. Peters' assailant assumed that he was dead and moved his body, and he died later. The evidence begins to point to one of the Jubilee Singers.  

George discovers that the night Buddy joined the Jubilee Singers in Buffalo, a man name Sam Brooks was murdered. Chloe Peters reveals it was self-defense. “ A man has the right to defend himself, and a Negro man has the same right, sir. Nathan rescued Buddy from sure death. A mob or the courts, they'd both put a noose around his neck.” At the same time, Cora Brooks, widow of Sam Brooks, arrives at the Station House looking for Buddy with their baby in her arms. “ I never knew what happened. I tried to find Buddy, but he was gone.” Nathan Peters learned the truth from Cora Brooks the night he died. Sam Brooks set upon Buddy Duncan because the man was having relations with his wife. Nathan's very upset with Buddy for not telling him the whole story. Buddy Duncan may have killed Sam Brooks in self-defense, but he set in motion a series of tragic events.

Character Revelations


Historical References


  • Julia and William have three remarkably long, passionate kisses.
  • The closing credits music is Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" that was played during the episode.
  • This episode was awarded the 2015 CSA for Best Costume to Costume Designer Alexander Reda.
  • Filmed at the The Custom House, Hamilton, Ontario.
  • MacGinnes' pawn shop is mentioned from Season 6 episode Victoria Cross.
  • Mouna Traoré auditioned for the role of Hattie Carter but her friend Tenika Davis won the role. While this episode remains a favorite one, Mouna is grateful that she didn't get cast in it now as it allows her to be Rebecca James.


Main Cast

Yannick Bisson as William Murdoch
Hélène Joy as Julia Ogden
Thomas Craig as Thomas Brackenreid
Jonny Harris as George Crabtree
Georgina Reilly as Emily Grace

Recurring Cast

Giacomo Gianniotti as Leslie Garland
Helen Johns as Jean Hamilton

Guest Cast

Miranda Edwards as Chloe Peters
Cle Bennett as Ozzy Hughs
Ronnie Rowe as Buddy Duncan
Tenika Davis as Hattie Carter
Dalmar Abuzeid as Jeremy Hardy
Jonathan Llyr as Mick O'Shea
Darren Anthony as Nathan Peters
Laura Nordin as Cora Brooks
Tony Craig as Bar Owner


Murdoch Mysteries Season 7
"Murdoch Ahoy" • "Tour de Murdoch" • "The Filmed Adventures of Detective William Murdoch" • "Return of Sherlock Holmes" • "Murdoch of the Living Dead" • "Murdochophobia" • "Loch Ness Murdoch" • "Republic of Murdoch" • "A Midnight Train to Kingston" • "Murdoch in Ragtime" • "Journey to the Centre of Toronto" • "Unfinished Business" • "The Murdoch Sting"•"Friday the 13th, 1901"•"The Spy Who Came Up to the Cold"•"Kung Fu Crabtree"•"Blast of Silence"•"The Death of Dr. Ogden"
Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10