Bernadette Pajer writes a delightful electrically-themed mystery series featuring Benjamin Bradshaw, Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington. And #4 in the series – The Edison Effect – is coming out in September!
I first ran into Bernadette at last year’s Seattle 7 Writers Holiday Bookfest – where some of the best Pacific NW writers do short readings from their works and sell their books, with a portion of the proceeds donated to promote literary. I had just learned that Dead on Her Feet was going to be published and was eager to connect with local mystery writers. She very kindly gave me advice on how to build a career as a writer (hint: take every opportunity you can to connect with readers and just be yourself – thank goodness for that) and I ended up buying the first book in her series.
A large part of the charm of her mystery series is that it takes you back to an academic environment in a (perhaps) more innocent time period. In A Spark of Death, 1901 Seattle and the University of Washington are both vividly brought to life. In this aspect the mystery reminded me a lot of Jack Finney’s Time and Again. But the real strength of this book for me was our hero, Professor Bradshaw. Mild mannered and diffident, Bradshaw finds his courage on a number of fronts by the end of the book, and I rooted for him all the way.
If you haven’t read her work before, start with #1. And be sure to wear rubber soled shoes!