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A Knife in the Fog (Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle #1) by Bradley Harper

Updated: Mar 14, 2022

Physician Arthur Conan Doyle takes a break from his practice to assist London police in tracking down Jack the Ripper in this debut novel and series starter.

September 1888. A twenty-nine-year-old Arthur Conan Doyle practices medicine by day and writes at night. His first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, although gaining critical and popular success, has only netted him twenty-five pounds. Embittered by the experience, he vows never to write another “crime story.” Then a messenger arrives with a mysterious summons from former Prime Minister William Gladstone, asking him to come to London immediately.

Once there, he is offered one month’s employment to assist the Metropolitan Police as a “consultant” in their hunt for the serial killer soon to be known as Jack the Ripper. Doyle agrees on the stipulation his old professor of surgery, Professor Joseph Bell—Doyle’s inspiration for Sherlock Holmes—agrees to work with him. Bell agrees, and soon the two are joined by Miss Margaret Harkness, an author residing in the East End who knows how to use a Derringer and serves as their guide and companion.

Pursuing leads through the dank alleys and courtyards of Whitechapel, they come upon the body of a savagely murdered fifth victim. Soon it becomes clear that the hunters have become the hunted when a knife-wielding figure approaches.

I greatly enjoyed “A Knife in the Fog” by Bradley Harper, his idea of the elusive Jack the Ripper investigated not by the great Sherlock Holmes but by his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

It was a refreshing take to the story, the way the author describes the autopsies shows he knows what his talking about, as he used to be a pathologist. I loved the interaction between the “Three Musketeers” as they become known. The sights and sounds, expertly described, totally immersers you in the story.

Bradley’s interpretation of the ripper is expertly crafted as he’s always one step ahead of the trio, as you’ll find at the end. I was flabbergasted as to whom the killer was, didn’t see it coming.

During my 37 years of active duty as a pathologist, I performed over 200 autopsies, and my clinical years are interwoven with four stints as the commanding officer of various medical units. I was an Infantry officer before medical school, worked in the Pentagon, and learned to speak five languages. Yet, I also happily play Santa each Christmas (with my loving wife as Mrs. Claus). It is this juxtaposition of exploring the body, mind, and humanity that allows me to examine the mysteries of the past. Come and join me, for the Game's afoot!

If you would like to buy it, go to the link on your left at no additional cost to you & I receive a percentage.

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