Continuation of the Victorian mystery series, except this book has now moved into the Edwardian era following Queen Victoria's death. Fingerprints have finally been upheld as evidence in a court of law in this volume! Jack London is the key "real life" person figuring prominently in this book.
This book deals with Anarchtists and is again featuring Lady Sheridan and her Husband Charles. The author always includes people of the era and this one includes Jack London. It's a fictional historical novel about the Victorian-Edwardian period.
The real person who appears as a character in this Paige historical mystery is Jack London, probably not very realistically, but still it's a good story.
I wanted to try this author because I love historical mysteries, but nothing about this book really grabbed me. I found the pace slow, and my attention often wandered when it was plowing through historical facts. It is 1902, on the coronation day of King Edward VII. An anarchist accidentally kills himself when his bomb explodes prematurely, and Lord Charles Sheridan is asked to discreetly investigate for the King. This takes the reader into the world of the anarchists of the time, and throws in the added novelty of the involvement of novelist Jack London, who is researching the slums of London for his next book. While the historical background of the anarchists, the burgeoning womens' rights movement, and the breakthrough of fingerprints in forensic science was fascinating, and indeed these were what kept my attention, I found the characters merely interesting, not riveting. The mystery itself was flat and lukewarm, the ending unsatisfying. I would give this series another chance by reading another book (since this is book 10 I should probably start from the beginning), and decide from there whether or not to pursue the rest of it.
Another in a great series with wonderful historical side notes
Jack London, one of my favorite authors, is presented in an unflattering role here, but he probably deserves it. One thing I learned long ago, is never read biographies of your favorite authors or movie stars. They will never again appear in your eyes as they once did.
That having been said, the authors have Kate and Charles Sheridan dealing with anarchists in this novel. Anarchists were very much in the public mind for a short period in this time of history. Fortunately, their time "in the sun" was even shorter than that of the real American cowboy.