"Pirates of the Great Lakes" is the tenth episode of the twelfth season of the Murdoch Mysteries and the one hundred seventy-eighth of the series. It first aired on January 7, 2018.


As Murdoch helps an Italian detective recover a shipload of stolen antiquities, Brackenreid considers shipping out.

At Station House No. 4, Detective Flavio Pupazzi from Naples, Italy, interrupts Murdoch and Crabtree who are examining the motor for the dish closet. Pupazzi is searching for a Canadian criminal, Matthew Honeyman, who stole the treasure of Pompeii from the Museo Nazionale. During the eruption of Vesuvius, the museum caught fire and, in the chaos, Honeyman broke in and took the treasure trove – items that are a part of Italy’s identity. Honeyman arrived in Toronto yesterday and is planning to sell the treasure. Pupazzi asks for Murdoch's help in capturing the thief and returning the treasure.

Crabtree soon reports that Honeyman rented a locker under a different name as the clerk recognized a photograph of him. Upon arriving at the storage building, they find the Italian labeled crate – and the lifeless body of Matthew Honeyman inside it; now the search is on for the missing treasure and a murderer.

Character Revelations

  • At the Brackenreids, Margaret has left her wedding band in an envelope for Thomas. She has taken her son Bobby with her to Grimsby to stay at her sister Lizzy’s home.  
  • Ruth decides she wants to help her dear Henry pay the bills and asks Dr. Ogden to teach to her to become a nurse.
  • John Brackenreid becomes the 'man-of-the house' as his father ships out.


  • Crabtree goes undercover again, as dapper Boston Rhodes attired in a velvet suit.
  • The Inspector and Mrs. Brackenreid remain separated – both leaving their home and Toronto.
  • Henry lands himself in a hospital bed and lies about his accident to Ruth again.
  • William is building another closet (dishwasher) for the home as Julia is planning social events at their new house but, out of crime-fighting necessity, invents the outboard motor.

Historical References

  • This episode takes place in Toronto 1906 – Edward VII (Albert Edward;1841-1910) is King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas.
  • Museo Nazionale is today the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli.
  • The 1906 eruption of Mount Vesuvius located on the Gulf of Naples in Campania, Italy. Mount Vesuvius , a volcano near the Bay of Naples in Italy, has erupted more than 50 times. Its most famous eruption took place in the year 79 A.D., when the volcano buried the ancient Roman city of Pompeii under a thick carpet of volcanic ash.
  • Lake Michigan Buccaneer Dan Seavey also known as "Roaring" Dan Seavey, (March 23, 1865 – February 14, 1949).
  • Brackenreid makes literary reference to author Robert Louis Stevenson: "This is not a bloody Stevenson novel."
  • The Bride of Lammermoor, a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott (1819), tells of a tragic love affair between young Lucy Ashton and her family's enemy Edgar Ravenswood; the plot was based on an actual incident. The theatrical stage version was published in 1822, adapted by John William Calcraft.
  • Boston Rhodes (a.k.a. George Crabtree) bids on a chamber pot from The House of Medici, an Italian banking family and a powerful political dynasty that began under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the first half of the 15th century.
  • Antinoüs' (companion to Emperor Hadrian) ring is one of the stolen treasures.
  • Nurse Aides or Assistants, not be confused with hospital volunteer Candy Stripers, were first established during WWI, when the American Red Cross launched a program called the Volunteer Nurses’ Aide Service.



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

Lachlan Murdoch as Constable Henry Higgins
Siobhan Murphy as Ruth Higgins-Newsome
Charles Vandervaart as John Brackenreid
Craig Brown as Eddie Crawford

Guest Cast

Hugh Thompson as Dan Seavey
Paolo Mancini as Flavio Pupazzi
Jeremy Legat as Aldous Germaine
Jeremy Raymond as Lloyd Trammel
Jon Ambrose as Willis
Daveed Louza as Bartender
Michael Rinaldi as Mustache Man
David Snelgrove as Auctioneer
Gordon Fulton as Mr. Stickley
Sherry Schell as Nurse
Kevin Carter as Unruly Guy


Murdoch Mysteries Season 12
Murdoch Mystery MansionOperation: MurderMy Big Fat Mimico WeddingMurdoch Without Borders
The Spy Who Loved MurdochSir. Sir? Sir!!!Brother's KeeperDrowning in MoneySecrets and Lies
Pirates of the Great LakesAnnabella CinderellaSix of the BestMurdoch and the Undetectable Man
Sins of the FatherOne Minute to MurderManual for MurderDarkness Before the Dawn Part 1
Darkness Before the Dawn Part 2
Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10Season 11Season 12
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