Saturday, March 28, 2020

Ten of the best Seattle crime novels

J. Kingston Pierce is a longtime journalist in Seattle, Washington, and editor of The Rap Sheet, which has won the Spinetingler Award and been nominated twice for Anthony Awards. In addition, he writes the book-design blog Killer Covers, serves as the senior editor of January Magazine and as a contributing editor to CrimeReads, and is a columnist for Down & Out: The Magazine.

At CrimeReads Pierce tagged ten titles highlighting "Seattle’s potential as an ideal milieu for crime fiction," including:
A Spark of Death by Bernadette Pajer (2011)

Pajer has thus far delivered four assiduously researched historical mysteries starring Benjamin Bradshaw, a UW electrical engineering professor. The first, A Spark of Death, takes place in 1901, at a time when Seattle was fast outgrowing its frontier roots, thanks to successive gold rushes in the Canadian Klondike and Alaska. It imagines Bradshaw having to clear himself of suspicion in a homicide. Fellow educator Wesley Oglethorpe has been electrocuted in convoluted fashion, and Bradshaw not only disliked that gent, but knew how to make such a fatal frying appear unintentional. As part of his defense, the inordinately perspicacious prof must ascertain who else had a motive—his wife, perhaps, or his abused students?—and whether this crime is linked to President William McKinley’s upcoming swing through the Pacific Northwest.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 69 Test: A Spark of Death.

My Book, The Movie: A Spark of Death.

--Marshal Zeringue