A Knife in the Fog: A Mystery Featuring Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle. Bradley Harper. Prometheus Books. October 2018. 288 pp. ISBN#: 9781633884861.
Arthur Conan Doyle is a physician who spends his days practicing medicine. He has also written a novel, A Study in Scarlet which gets the attention of the Prime Minister of England. So unique are the skills in that novel that Prime Minister William Gladstone asks Sir Doyle to help with solving a series of murders that have been terrorizing London, murders that have the same characteristics. The victims have had their throats slit but also have had parts of their internal female organs cut open or removed.
To accomplish this task, Arthur Conan Doyle engages the help of Margaret Harkness, an inquisitive and bright lady who knows “street life” and can guide Doyle to places he would not know. Also helping is Professor Bell, a renowned surgeon and thinker. The police “allow” the threesome to join the investigation but initially regard them as an intrusive presence. The killer knows of the search and is timing his murders to their work, mocking their search and investigation.
The public eventually would come to know this serial killer as “Jack the Ripper” but at this time far little is known about details and even causes for these murders; but eventually the reader will discover the minutiae behind many murders through the wiliness of these three investigators who fear neither man nor beast.
The answers to questions that arise through one’s readings are satisfying, including the more than satisfactory ending. Stay tuned! Kudos to the author who has fashioned the investigation of a notorious killer.