Capacity for Murder by Bernadette Pajer

Capacity for Murder by Bernadette Pajer
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Contemporary
Length: Full (250 pgs)
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Rose

The Sanatarium offers no cure for murder…

At the dawn of the 20th century, Healing Sands Sanitarium, southwest of Seattle, Washington, sits on the sandy doorstep of the Pacific Ocean. Famed for its restorative rest cures, fermented diets, and Dr. Hornsby’s electrotherapeutics, no one has ever died at Healing Sands. Until now.

When Professor Bradshaw is summoned to investigate, he knows this was no accident, but his only clue to foul play is as insubstantial as smoke—to anyone other than an electrical engineer. Suspects in this isolated location are limited to a handful whose lives—and lies—must be exhumed and examined.

A sinister tale emerges as deep undercurrents turn personal, provoking Bradshaw to make a decision about the woman he loves. And then an everyday object provides the key, alerting Bradshaw that one among them is a walking dead man, and another possesses the capacity for murder.

This is the first book of this series I’ve read, but it definitely will not be my last. Even though it’s not the first book of the series, there are enough clues to the back story that I didn’t have any trouble following the characters and what was going on in their lives. However, the clues did intrigue me enough to want to know the full story! So… I’ll will be getting the first two books in the series very shortly.

The series is set at the turn of the century and features Benjamin Bradshaw, Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington. I have to admit to being a little in love with Professor Bradshaw by the end of this book–even if he doesn’t have a clue when it comes to the women in his life.

The cast of characters is a neat blend– and the mystery to be solved kept me guessing. It reminds me in tone a little of the Murdoch mystery series by Maureen Jennings—they are both set around the same time and both use techniques that are fairly common now, but were new at the time.

If you are a fan of mysteries or historical (i.e., turn of the century) works— give this one a try.

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