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A Knife in the Fog

A Mystery Featuring Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle
Narrated by: Matthew Lloyd Davies
Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

September 1888. A 29-year-old Arthur Conan Doyle practices medicine by day and writes at night. His first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, although gaining critical and popular success, has only netted him 25 pounds. Embittered by the experience, he vows never to write another "crime story". Then a messenger arrives with a mysterious summons from former Prime Minister William Gladstone, asking him to come to London immediately.

Once there, he is offered one month's employment to assist the Metropolitan Police as a "consultant" in their hunt for the serial killer soon to be known as Jack the Ripper. Doyle agrees on the stipulation his old professor of surgery, Professor Joseph Bell - Doyle's inspiration for Sherlock Holmes - agrees to work with him. Bell agrees, and soon the two are joined by Miss Margaret Harkness, an author residing in the East End who knows how to use a Derringer and serves as their guide and companion.

Pursuing leads through the dank alleys and courtyards of Whitechapel, they come upon the body of a savagely murdered fifth victim. Soon it becomes clear that the hunters have become the hunted when a knife-wielding figure approaches.

©2018 Bradley Harper (P)2018 Tantor

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Outstanding!

This is a very good book. It is interesting (I couldn't put it down), and powerful. The author is distinguished in his ability to make the story hold the reader's attention, without having to resort to gutter language as so many authors have done. Excellent!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great fun!

I don't typically read fiction based in this time frame, but it was recommended by a friend. I'm so glad I listened! The narrator is fantastic and brought the characters to life. The plot was well paced and delicious! You'll be happy you took the time to enjoy this gem.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mixed, because of the horrors described

I generally steer clear of anything to do with "Jack the Ripper" or violence against women of any kind. But I was intrigued by this debut novel by a former Army surgeon and pathologist because of the historical characters he has peopled his story with. The author, Dr. Bradley Harper, is certainly in his element. I have long wondered what would draw a person into the the profession of medical examiner. I think this novel helped me to understand that it is perhaps a desire to solve murders and bring justice and closure to violent crimes.

I found that I could generally avoid most of the disturbing descriptions with a few 30-sec skips, but still found the theme upsetting. I gratefully acknowledge that a brave and intelligent, but caring, woman is given a prominent role and portrayed as some who, as in the poem "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley, can proclaim:
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

The story is based on the real biographies of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; his mentor and inspiration for Shelock Holmes, Dr. Joseph Bell; and the author and human rights activist Miss Margaret Harkness. This gives the story a real piquancy and makes their relationship quite believable, although not factual in the case of Miss Harkness.

The narrator was generally very good, but his truly awful rendition of a German accent cost him a star. However, his Scottish burr is genuine and captivating.

For anyone interested in the Bell-Doyle relationship, there is a great TV series produced by the BBC and WGBH starring Ian Richardson as Dr. Bell. The pilot for the series is "Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle - The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes". The four subsequent episodes are grouped under the title "Murder Rooms - The Mysteries of the Real Sherlock Holmes." Both are available as DVDs from Amazon.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful