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A Spark of Death    by Bernadette Pajer order for
Spark of Death
by Bernadette Pajer
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD
*   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Seattle, 1901. Professor Benjamin Bradshaw of the University of Washington is not having a good day. He discovers Dr. Oglethorpe dead in an electrical machine in the university's basement laboratory. Accident? Murder?

The professor believes the police are sure that he murdered Oglethorpe. But, good heavens, why? They were not the best of friends. But murder? Never. When Bradshaw survives an attempt on his life, he is sure his death would have cast even more suspicion on him, rather than the true culprit.

The plot of A Spark of Death is a good one and brings President McKinley and anarchists into the story, thereby fueling more speculation about the reason for Oglethorpe's death. The whole concept revolves around the rise of the uses for electricity. Unfortunately, the wonderful research that must have gone into the scenario was too technical for me to follow and so almost put me off the book.

However, when the characters became more prevalent and active and I got to know them better (although not as much as I would have liked), the story picked up for me. I enjoyed the second half of the book but still felt that maybe a little more work on it might have been in order.

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