cover image The Edison Effect: A Professor Bradshaw Mystery

The Edison Effect: A Professor Bradshaw Mystery

Bernadette Pajer. Poisoned Pen, $24.95 (254p) ISBN 978-1-4642-0252-0

In Pajer’s appealing fourth historical (after 2013’s Capacity for Murder), Benjamin Bradshaw, an electrical engineering professor at the University of Washington, tangles with Thomas Edison. In September 1903, the celebrated inventor visits Seattle, where he goes to Bradshaw’s office to request his help finding a highly dangerous device invented by one of Bradshaw’s former students, Oscar Daulton. Bradshaw, who admires the Wizard of Menlo Park but deems him greedy, declines in no uncertain terms. Edison doesn’t drop the matter, apparently prepared to sue Daulton for patent infringement. When an electrician is found dead “clutching a string of Edison’s Christmas lights” in a show window of Seattle’s tony Bon Marché department store, Bradshaw is sure there’s a link between the electrician’s death and Edison’s machinations. Meanwhile, Bradshaw and his true love are at odds over religion. This is homely fare in the best sense—solid, comfortable, welcoming but no less winning for it. (Sept.)