Fatal Induction (Professor Bradshaw Series #2)

Fatal Induction (Professor Bradshaw Series #2)

by Bernadette Pajer

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Fatal Induction: A Professor Bradshaw Mystery 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
BookishDame on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I simply want you to know how extraordinary I have found the Professor Bradshaw books to be. It's always fun to me to find a series of books with a great mystery and a protagonist to enjoy coming back to every year, but it's even more fun when the book holds several dear characters. Especially in an adult book format.In addition to the obvious you've read above I found the underbelly of the book gripping; forensics--early investigation in that area of death and discovery; electronic means of criminal investigations; and even early telltale signs of psychology in criminology. Ms Pajer uses these elements with skill and with a delicacy that flavors her book just enough without overwhelming her story. "Fatal Induction" also carries with it the characters I fell in love with in "A Spark of Death:" Mrs. Prouty, the whole "Up-stairs-down-stairs, Downton Abbey staff" in and of herself; (she's bossy and necessary!)Justin, Bradshaw's adorable son; (he's only in trouble because of that Paul next door)Missouri, the lovely "non-niece" of the professor's whom he finds himself "not" thinking of sometimes while she "doesn't" think of him, either; :]and Detective James O'Brien, the Professor's friend--the other investigative man on the "team" who helps solve the mysterious happenings Bradshaw encounters.These are unforgettable and lovable characters, richly developed and singularly interesting. I can't wait to find chapters or paragraphs involving Missouri, for instance. Obviously, she's a favorite of mine. Why can't I have more of her, Bernadette!!???(I wail... So dramatic..)Generally, I'm not a "gagety" person when it comes to electronics and such. I do love my pink, girly hammer and screwdriver things for fix-it projects, and my tiny tools for needlework frames and fixing my unfixable eyeglasses. But, I've not been very involved in large pieces of electrical equipment and inventions, per se.However, Bernadette Pajer and Professor Bradshaw have dragged me in on them! The antique ones, I mean. I even visited the Edison Museum and enjoyed myself very much last year. I'm interested now in several antique inventions. The historical aspects of Pajer's books are an additional bonus I've enjoyed very much. My husband was particularly interested in this book's inclusion of the early police detection invention.This is a good book with lovable characters. It's an oddity amongst mystery novels because of its subjects and inventions. That makes it the sort of book and series that may develop a cult following. I'm on that bandwagon.I would urge you to try the books. Start with "A Spark of Death," then read "Fatal Induction." And give yourself a chapter before you decide... Ms Pajer's next book in the series is soon to be released:I'm rating this book in the series 5 stars.
Stewartry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was fun. It was a Netgalley selection, so to them I give thanks. As I've said before I never know quite what I'm getting with Netgalley books, so it's a happy thing to find something this good. This is the second book in its series, but was fine to read on its own; enough information was skillfully provided about what went before that I'm only slightly spoiled for the first book, and I definitely want to read it. Score one. The hero of the series, Professor Ben Bradshaw, is - almost - a typical absent-minded professor. He is obviously brilliant, but not socially adroit; he lives in 1904 Seattle with his eight year old son and their housekeeper, Mrs. Pouty, a tartar if there ever was one: she cares about her charges, and won't hesitate to prove it by - verbally - beating them about the head and shoulders. On the outskirts of their household is Missouri, the bluestocking niece of an old friend for whom Ben helplessly carries a very bright torch, which for various reasons - not all of which are entirely clear to me - he tries very hard to extinguish. Into a momentarily placid existence wanders one morning a horse, discovered in the passageway behind the house hitched to a patent medicine seller's wagon and eating the beans from Mrs. Pouty's garden. When hours pass without anyone coming to claim the wagon, and when Ben, investigating, discovers a doll and a young girl's clothing among the possessions still in the wagon, he sees to it that the police enter the picture; a missing child is not something Ben is going to leave lie. Add to his growing obsession with the vanished girl's welfare stories that begin to circulate about the patent medicine sold from this wagon being poisonous, bringing illness and blindness and perhaps even death, and Ben finds he's been dropped into a hornet's nest. One aspect of Ben's situation which makes him very much an atypical professor ¿ and, indeed, an uncommon fictional character ¿ is that one of the things Mrs. Pouty is trying to guard him from is his own alarming tendency to work himself to the point that he blacks out ¿ and it isn't simply a loss of consciousness. Whether this is something that would happen to anyone who allowed himself to become so engrossed in a project in an occasion of great pressure that he went without food and sleep, or whether it's something ominous and physical (diabetes, perhaps?) or ominous and mental (some psychological result of the major stresses that he encountered in the first book, which left psychic scars), there is no way to know, but it is an unexpected ingredient thrown into the mix which takes the story on unexpected tangents. The integration of the time and place and events of the day into the story is beautifully done. The first book of the series involved Ben in a struggle to stop an assassination attempt on President McKinley - something made quite poignant by the shooting of the president early on in this book. The burgeoning science of the day is exciting - it must have been wonderful to be alive a hundred years ago, as miraculous things began to happen through technology and life began to change at a speed that had to be dizzying. This is the era of H.G. Wells, the end of that of Jules Verne ¿ a time when anything, absolutely anything seemed possible. I wish that feeling could be recaptured now. We're all so jaded ¿ This is an organic story - by which I mean that while it is distinctly (and well) plotted with a clear story arc, it is also written as part of the main character's biography. The character of the city comes through in the course of the story: rather than relying on chunks of description to remind you it's set in 1904 Seattle, Pajer works 1904 Seattle into her storytelling, until the landscape is seamlessly integrated into the characters' actions and reactions. This would be a very different book if it was set in Sheboygan or Manhattan. Also, what happens to Ben in the course of the story will, it seems, affect
herbythehybrid More than 1 year ago
The professor Bradshaw mysteries combine a good who done it format with an excellent glimpse into Seattle at the turn of the last century. For a nerd like me this window on history and technology while solving a good caper is great reading. Ms. Pajer has done her homework about local history and hi-tech of that era and continues to tell us more about the indefatigable Professor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just received the book last week. Haven't read it yet but if it is anything like Series #1 it will be excellent.
Humbee More than 1 year ago
I simply want you to know how extraordinary I have found the Professor Bradshaw books to be. It's always fun to me to find a series of books with a great mystery and a protagonist to enjoy coming back to every year, but it's even more fun when the book holds several dear characters. Especially in an adult book format. In addition to the obvious you've read above I found the underbelly of the book gripping; forensics--early investigation in that area of death and discovery; electronic means of criminal investigations; and even early telltale signs of psychology in criminology. Ms Pajer uses these elements with skill and with a delicacy that flavors her book just enough without overwhelming her story. "Fatal Induction" also carries with it the characters I fell in love with in "A Spark of Death:" Mrs. Prouty, the whole "Up-stairs-down-stairs, Downton Abbey staff" in and of herself; (she's bossy and necessary!) Justin, Bradshaw's adorable son; (he's only in trouble because of that Paul next door) Missouri, the lovely "non-niece" of the professor's whom he finds himself "not" thinking of sometimes while she "doesn't" think of him, either; :] and Detective James O'Brien, the Professor's friend--the other investigative man on the "team" who helps solve the mysterious happenings Bradshaw encounters. These are unforgettable and lovable characters, richly developed and singularly interesting. I can't wait to find chapters or paragraphs involving Missouri, for instance. Obviously, she's a favorite of mine. Why can't I have more of her, Bernadette!!???(I wail... So dramatic..) Generally, I'm not a "gagety" person when it comes to electronics and such. I do love my pink, girly hammer and screwdriver things for fix-it projects, and my tiny tools for needlework frames and fixing my unfixable eyeglasses. But, I've not been very involved in large pieces of electrical equipment and inventions, per se. However, Bernadette Pajer and Professor Bradshaw have dragged me in on them! The antique ones, I mean. I even visited the Edison Museum and enjoyed myself very much last year. I'm interested now in several antique inventions. The historical aspects of Pajer's books are an additional bonus I've enjoyed very much. My husband was particularly interested in this book's inclusion of the early police detection invention. This is a good book with lovable characters. It's an oddity amongst mystery novels because of its subjects and inventions. That makes it the sort of book and series that may develop a cult following. I'm on that bandwagon. I would urge you to try the books. Start with "A Spark of Death," then read "Fatal Induction." And give yourself a chapter before you decide... Ms Pajer's next book in the series is soon to be released: I'm rating this book in the series 5 stars