The Framingham Fiend

Written by Gregory Harris
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

In Victorian London, several prostitutes are found murdered and viciously gutted. Detective Colin Pendragon, along with his trusted companion Ethan Pruitt, is called upon by Scotland Yard to assist in finding this heinous criminal. The citizens of London fear this is the work of the Ripper, although a man claiming to be the Ripper had been captured several years earlier. Colin is recuperating from a gunshot wound obtained on his previous assignment. Therefore, Ethan must now work alone at first to help Scotland Yard in the investigation.

Along with these grisly murders, a son of a wealthy client is murdered and the only item that can lead to his capture is the pair of expensive shoes worn by the killer. The investigations eventually lead these two sleuths into opium dens and visits to the local morgue for the examination of the corpses and dealing with uncooperative coroners.

The sixth entry in the Colin Pendragon Mystery series. My favorite detectives in Victorian England are at it again, attempting to find and arrest a monstrous killer. The details of everyday life of the inhabitants of London town—the destitute and the rich, the hungry and the well-fed—are eloquently described, giving a fascinating glimpse of the Victorian period. I probably would have benefited from reading the previous book to learn more about Colin’s injury and his near-death coma, although not having this knowledge did not take away from the enjoyment of reading about their new crime story. An excellent, well-written mystery novel, and I look forward to the next entry in the series.