Professor Benjamin Bradshaw responded to an urgent Western Union telegram from Dr. Arnold Hornsby, owner and chief physician at Healing Sands Sanitarium after the accidental death of his son-in-law.
When the young man was killed during an electrotherapeutics session, Dr. Hornsby hoped that Professor Bradshaw could tell him what went wrong with the experimental equipment. Bradshaw was an electrical forensic investigator and instructor working out of the State University, Seattle, Washington.
When Dr. Hornsby insisted the professor bring his five students, and others of his choice, Bradshaw accepted the assignment. It took the group nine hours to travel the 100 miles to the cost of the Pacific Ocean.
Once there, the group met other guests staying at the sanitarium and Hornsby’s family who actively participated in running the place. In spite of the rigid rules regarding eating fermented food, walking around in special slippers, and the partaking of rest cures, the group enjoyed their stay. In the meantime, Professor Bradshaw investigated what turned out to be the murder of the young man.
One of the guests was Arnold Loomis, the man who purchased the designs and patented Bradshaw’s invention in the first place. He called it the Loomis Long Life Luminator and sold the machine to others.
During the investigation Professor Bradshaw realized there was more going on than first appeared. The land where the sanitarium was located was sought by speculators interested in buying in the area. A railroad was coming in bringing new business opportunities as well as the appearance of gas rigs off shore. Unfortunately, more dead bodies appeared before the mystery was solved.
Capacity for Murder was written by Bernadette Pajer, and was the third in the Professor Bradshaw mystery series. The novel was set in 1903 in the state of Washington, specifically on the coast of the Pacific Ocean coast. This basic premise provides a unique and thoroughly enjoyable period mystery.
The characters were well-drawn and easily moved the story forward. The setting added to the intrigue - the dense forest, Washington’s North Beach, and the out of the way sanitarium. All three and more lend a deeper level of pending danger to the tale. The fast pace keeps readers enthralled by the twists and turns of the story.
This is the third book in the Professor Bradshaw mystery. If you enjoy a unique, solid period mystery, you should check out this series.
A special thank you goes to Poisoned Pen Press for providing a complimentary copy for our review. If you are interested in checking out the books in this series, they are available on Amazon.com.