Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Edison Effect: A Professor Bradshaw Mystery-Bernadette Pajer

The Edison Effect: A Professor Bradshaw Mystery
Bernadette Pajer
Poisoned Pen, Sep 1 2014, $24.95
ISBN 9781464202520

In 1903 Seattle, renowned inventor Thomas Edison arrives at the University of Washington office of electrical engineering Professor Benjamin Bradshaw.  The Wizard of Menlo Park demands Bradshaw assist him in retrieving a dangerous gizmo from Elliot Bay.  Bradshaw respects Edison’s brilliance but distrusts him as avarice and ruthless; so he refuses to help him obtain the gadget invented by a former student of the professor, Oscar Daulton.

Meanwhile at the Bon Marché Department Store, an electrician dies while holding onto Edison’s Christmas lights.  Bradshaw, Henry Pratt and SPD Detective O’Brien investigate the death.  At the same time, a widower with a single child, Bradshaw struggles between his religion and his love for Missouri.

The fine fourth Professor Bradshaw early twentieth century historical (see A Spark Of Death, Fatal Induction and Capacity for Murder) is made fresh by the unflinching look at the complex Edison.  The wizard lives up to his mantra of “Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration”; but a major part of the 90% includes mercilessness in his dealings with others.  Readers who accept that portrayal will enjoy the Edison Effect on Bradshaw and others.

Harriet Klausner

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