Synopses & Reviews
Seattle, 1901. The race to win an electrical competition incites Professor of Electrical Engineering Benjamin Bradshaw's obsession for invention in the second entry to this exciting historical series. The contest winner's telephonic system will deliver music from the Seattle Grand Theater to homes throughout the city, and Bradshaw is confident he can win.Before he can enter the contest, Bradshaw discovers what is thought to be a gypsy wagon suddenly abandoned behind his house. What happened to the father and child who lived in this cart? Then President McKinley is assassinated, casting Bradshaw and the entire nation into shock. However, Bradshaw is captivated by a crime closer to home: the peddler's child may have witnessed a murder. He follows the girl's trail, plunging into a seedy underworld of bars and brothels. Frustrated by the police department's apathy and caught between power struggles, he doesn't know whom to trust. Each step of his investigation entangles him deeper in crime and corruption until he realizes that to save the child, he must transform his contest entry into a trap to catch a killer. Bradshaw's electrical forensic and investigative skills, combined with a keen understanding of human nature, bring the Seattle police--and murder--to his doorstep during the social and scientific turmoil of the early twentieth century.
"President McKinley's assassination casts a pall over Pajer's somewhat unfocused second mystery featuring electrical engineering professor Benjamin Bradshaw (after 2011's A Spark of Death). In September 1901, Bradshaw is working on an entry for a competition, developing a telephonic system to relay music from the Seattle Grand Theater to area homes, until the discovery of an abandoned gypsy peddler's horse and wagon in the lane behind his house. Both the peddler, who sold patent medicines, and his 10-year-old daughter are missing. Soon Bradshaw is investigating not only the girl's possible kidnapping but her father's murder as well as the source of dangerously adulterated patent medicines. A surfeit of story lines muddles the main action, but Bradshaw will win readers over as he puts his own life and his friendship with Det. James O'Brien in jeopardy in pursuit of the truth. Author tour." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.