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The Authentic William James

The Authentic William James

by Stephen Gallagher

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Publishers Weekly
★ 07/04/2016
British author Gallagher gives Sebastian Becker another puzzle worthy of his quirky sleuth’s acumen in his outstanding third pre-WWI mystery (after 2012’s The Bedlam Detective). As the special investigator to the Lord Chancellor’s Visitor in Lunacy, Becker is charged with investigating “the psychology of anyone with a fortune or an income that might be put at risk by their erratic behavior.” When a fatal arson at a Sussex theater claims the life of a German prince, Becker’s superior is eager for him to demolish any claim that the prime suspect, showman William James, was insane when he set the fire. After meeting James, Becker is prepared to give some credence to the man’s claims of innocence. That comes back to haunt him when James manipulates him into facilitating his escape, leading the detective on a search for the fugitive—and the truth—that takes him to Pennsylvania and an apparent dead end. Gallagher makes the most of his unusual concept in the service of a twisty but logical plot line. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Morhaim Literary. (Sept.)

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Subterranean Press
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6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

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