I don’t mind starting a series late in the game. If I like the book, that means I’ve got earlier books in the series to pick up, while I wait impatiently for the next to be published. So, after reading Fatal Induction, second in a mystery series about Professor Benjamin Bradshaw, I’m anxious to pick up the first, A Spark of Death.
Bradshaw teaches electrical engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1901. An abandoned gypsy peddler cart attracts his attention, especially since at least one of its occupants is a young girl. Although distracted by President McKinley’s assassination and caught up in an electrical competition, he nonetheless investigates the fate of the girl and her father.
Bradshaw, a single father himself, is an honorable man who digs into corruption and poverty to find the truth. His academic career plays less of part in this book than his skill as an inventor. It’s fascinating to read about the birth of technologies we now take for granted. And, Seattle at the turn of the previous century would be unfamiliar to its coffee-loving denizens today. Pajer captures its rough-and-tumble aspect expertly, while balancing it with enough good characters so we see why Bradshaw would make his home there. I’m off to find the first and looking forward to the third!