Excerpt: The Edison Effect by Bernadette Pajer

Title: The Edison Effect 
Author: Bernadette Pajer 

Book description:
Inventor Thomas Alva Edison is also a ruthless businessman, intent on furthering his patents and General Electric and beating rivals like Nikola Tesla and Westinghouse. Edison has agents in place in Seattle but he’s come himself in pursuit of a mysterious invention lost in 1901 in Elliott Bay. When Edison asks for information, few refuse. But not University of Washington Professor Benjamin Bradshaw who’s earned a reputation as a private investigator where science—electricity—is concerned. Bradshaw hopes that the lost device, one conceived in anger by an anarchist and harnessed for murder, will elude Edison’s hired divers. 
Soon, one December morning, 1903, the Bon Marché’s Department Store electrician is found dead in the Men’s Wear window clutching a festoon of Edison’s new holiday lights. Bradshaw believes Edison has set a dangerous game in motion. Motives multiply as the dead man’s secrets surface alongside rivalries at the Bon Marché. Bradshaw, his sleuthing partner Henry Pratt, and the Seattle PD’s Detective O’Brien pursue leads, but none spark Bradshaw’s intuition. His heart is not in the investigation but in a courtship that will force him to defy his Catholic faith or lose his beloved, Missouri. Then a crossroads in the case forces him to face his personal fears and his first professional failure. Whatever the outcomes, his life is about to change….

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Author Bio:

"Bernadette Pajer is the author of the Professor Bradshaw Mysteries, fast-paced whodunits in the Golden-Age tradition. The books in the series have earned the Seal of Approval for Science from the Washington Academy of Sciences (established 1898.) She's a graduate of the University of Washington and a proud member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Northwest Science Writers, and the Seattle7Writers.org. Research is Pajer's favorite activity, and she happily delves into Seattle's past and the early days of electrical invention as she plots Professor Bradshaw's investigations. Pajer lives in the Seattle area with her husband and son." Titles include A SPARK OF DEATHFATAL INDUCTIONCAPACITY FOR MURDER, and THE EDISON EFFECT.

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Chapter One
September, 1903
“Bradshaw, it’s Thomas Edison! He’s here!”
Of all the interruptions, this one was so unexpected that
Professor Benjamin Bradshaw wondered if he’d not yet fully
recovered from his concussion.
It was a warm summer afternoon on the campus of the University
of Washington. A box kite danced below billowy white
clouds drifting in the blue sky, and a touch of color in the elm
saplings hinted at the approach of fall.
Bradshaw stood on the lawn between Lewis and Clark Halls,
arms outstretched to Missouri Fremont as she abandoned Colin
Ingersoll and his kite. She approached Bradshaw with a smile
that took his breath away. This was a moment he’d resisted for
two years. A moment he wasn’t sure was wise. The differences
between him and Missouri might be insurmountable, and yet,
here he was. His heart thundered. He doubted he’d ever been
happier—or more frightened—in his entire life.
Little more than a week had passed since he’d been left for
dead in a rotting cellar during an investigation of gruesome
murders. He’d thought himself fully recovered, other than a
dull ache in his shoulder where the weight of a cast iron frying
pan had struck, until the shout about Thomas Edison pierced
his overwhelmed emotions. For a terrifying second, he thought
he might still be back in that cellar, hallucinating.
Certainly, such romantic moments were rare for him. As Missouri
approached, he knew he would never forget this moment,
the way her dark amber eyes gleamed with joy and affection, the
way the golden highlights shimmered in her short mahogany
hair. She moved in her summery gown with the grace of a queen
and the bounce of a child.
Their fingertips had not yet touched when the shout carried
to him again, its urgency penetrating his cocoon of fearful
“Bradshaw! It’s Edison!”
As he continued to gaze into Missouri’s eyes, he was aware
that Colin Ingersoll had turned toward the shout. Colin, a lanky
and likable engineering student, was Missouri’s would-be suitor,
and he was no doubt confused by Missouri’s abandoning his side
to welcome Bradshaw so warmly.
“Hurry!” Assistant Professor Hill came running toward them
from the direction of the Administration Building, shouting,
“It’s Thomas Edison! Here to see you!”
Missouri’s eyes flickered with delight. She asked, “Is it the
Thomas Edison, do you suppose? The Wizard of Menlo Park?”
Bradshaw smiled. “He has been known to attempt to steal
the great moments of other men’s lives.”
“Are you and I in the midst of a great moment?”
“Only if you consider me confiding my feelings for you a
great moment.”
She gave a little gasp.
And then Hill was upon them, panting and grinning and
tipping his hat to Missouri. He grabbed Bradshaw’s arm and
pulled. “Come on!”


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  1. Thanks so much for introducing us to the new Professor Bradshaw mystery with an excerpt. This is a terrific historical series.


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