cover image Fatal Induction: 
A Professor Bradshaw Mystery

Fatal Induction: A Professor Bradshaw Mystery

Bernadette Pajer. Poisoned Pen, $24.95 (232p) ISBN 978-1-59058-614-3

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. (May)