47 Sorrows


In this third novel in the series, Thaddeus Lewis and his son journey into the heart of disaster.

When the bloated corpse of a man dressed in women’s clothing washes up on the shore of Lake Ontario near Thaddeus Lewis’s home, nothing is found on the body except a small scrap of green ribbon.

The year is 1847 — "Black ’47" — and 100,000 Irish emigrants are fleeing to Canada to escape starvation. The emigrants bring with them the dreaded "ship’s fever," and soon Canadian ports are overflowing with the sick and dying and entire families are being torn apart.

Lewis’s youngest son, Luke, who has aspirations of becoming a doctor, volunteers in the fever sheds in Kingston. When he finds a green ribbon on the lifeless body of a patient named John Porter, he is intrigued by the strange coincidence. Though dealing with demons of his own, young Luke enlists his father’s help to uncover the mystery, a tale of enmity that began back in Ireland. Their search leads them to the heart of the criminal underworld of Toronto, where the final acts of vengeance play out against the tragedy of the fever sheds.


Praise for Kellough's On the Head of a Pin:

Kellough's book works on several levels; the murder mystery is woven into the larger story of Canada's wild, pre-Confederation era.

Quill & Quire

Praise for Kellough's On the Head of a Pin:

Kellough does a fine job of bringing life to the times and to her ministerial hero on horseback.

The National Post

[Kellough] paints an accurately unsentimental picture of Victorian-era Ontario in a time of plague and disaster.

Publishers Weekly (US) (July, 2013)

"…a tale that intersperses rich historical detail criss-crossing Ireland and Upper Canada with compelling “who-done-it” qualities."

Ontario Historical Society Bulletin

Kellough competently transports the reader back to the days when transport between Southern Ontario towns was tedious, communication was worse, and the suffering Irish were struggling to make a place for themselves in 19th-century Canada.

Historical Novel Society

About the Author

Janet Kellough

Posted by Dundurn Guest on October 30, 2014
Janet Kellough photo

Janet Kellough

Janet Kellough is a professional storyteller who has written and appeared in numerous stage productions featuring a fusion of spoken word and music. Her five books in the Thaddeus Lewis series are On the Head of a Pin, Sowing Poison, 47 Sorrows, The Burying Ground, and Wishful Seeing. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.