Benjamin Franklin Takes the Case: The American Agent Investigates Murder in the Dark Byways of London

Robert Lee Hall, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (227p) ISBN 978-0-312-01735-4
Benjamin Franklin utilizes some of his reknowned skillsand some of his lesser-known oneswhen he adroitly investigates a series of murders that occur while he is on a diplomatic mission to London in 1757. This robust mystery is off to a brisk start when Franklin shows up unexpectedly at a printer's shop, befriends an ill-treated 12-year-old orphan, Nick Handy, and discovers that the shop's owner, Ebenezer Inch, has been murdered in a particularly grisly fashion. Using his considerable acumen as observer and analyst, Franklin discreetly lifts some wampum found at the murder site, notices that the head wound resembles a partial scalping, quietly pockets several other pertinent clues, and then quickly takes the much abused Nick home with him. The keys to the mystery are closely linked to Nick's puzzling identity, and as Franklin investigates further, he uncovers a mammoth theft ring, a profitable trade in slaves and prostitutes, rampant extortion and several strong reasons to believe that Nick is at grave risk. As in his Murder at San Simeon, Hall surrounds a famous historical personage with diverse and lively characters, puts them in an exotic settng, and produces a plot that boils merrily alongagain a winning combination. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-95047-7
Paperback - 227 pages - 978-0-8122-1789-6
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