Guest Author BERNADETTE PAJER showcase, interview, giveaway

The Edison Effect

by Bernadette Pajer

on Tour at Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours October 1-31, 2014

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery

Published by: Poisoned Pen Press

Publication Date: 09/09/2014

Number of Pages: 254

ISBN: 9781464202506

Series: 4th Professor Bradshaw Mystery | each is a Stand Alone novel

Purchase Links:



Inventor Thomas Alva Edison is a ruthless businessman,intent on advancing General Electric and beating all rivals like Nikola Tesla and Westinghouse. Edison has agents in place in Seattle but he’s come himself in pursuit of a mysterious invention lost in 1901 in Elliott Bay. When Edison asks for information, few refuse. But not University of Washington Professor Benjamin Bradshaw who’s earned a reputation as a private investigator where science—electricity—is concerned. Bradshaw hopes that the lost device, one conceived in anger by an anarchist and harnessed for murder, will elude Edison’s hired divers.

Then one December morning in 1903, the Bon Marché’s Department Store electrician is found dead in the Men’s Wear Window clutching a festoon of Edison’s new holiday lights. Bradshaw believes Edison has set a dangerous game in motion. Motives multiply as the dead man’s secrets surface alongside rivalries at the Bon Marché. Bradshaw, his sleuthing partner Henry Pratt, and the Seattle PD’s Detective O’Brien pursue leads, but none spark Bradshaw’s intuition. His heart is not in the investigation but in a courtship that will force him to defy his Catholic faith or lose his beloved, Missouri. Then a crossroads in the case forces him to face his personal fears and his first professional failure. Whatever the outcomes, his life is about to change….


Read an excerpt:

September, 1903

“Bradshaw, it’s Thomas Edison! He’s here!”

Of all the interruptions, this one was so unexpected that Professor Benjamin Bradshaw wondered if he’d not yet fully recovered from his concussion.

It was a warm summer afternoon on the campus of the University of Washington. A box kite danced below billowy white clouds drifting in the blue sky, and a touch of color in the elm saplings hinted at the approach of fall.

Bradshaw stood on the lawn between Lewis and Clark Halls, arms outstretched to Missouri Fremont as she abandoned Colin Ingersoll and his kite. She approached Bradshaw with a smile that took his breath away. This was a moment he’d resisted for two years. A moment he wasn’t sure was wise. The differences between him and Missouri might be insurmountable, and yet,there he was. His heart thundered. He doubted he’d ever been happier—or more frightened—in his entire life.

Little more than a week had passed since he’d been left for dead in a rotting cellar during an investigation of gruesome murders. He’d thought himself fully recovered, other than a dull ache in his shoulder where the weight of a cast iron frying pan had struck, until the shout about Thomas Edison pierced his overwhelmed emotions. For a terrifying second, he thought he might still be back in that cellar, hallucinating.

Certainly, such romantic moments were rare for him. As Missouri approached, he knew he would never forget this moment,the way her dark amber eyes gleamed with joy and affection, the way the golden highlights shimmered in her short mahogany hair. She moved in her summery gown with the grace of a queen and the bounce of a child.

Their fingertips had not yet touched when the shout carried to him again, its urgency penetrating his cocoon of fearful happiness.

“Bradshaw! It’s Edison!”

As he continued to gaze into Missouri’s eyes, he was aware that Colin Ingersoll had turned toward the shout. Colin, a lanky and likable engineering student, was Missouri’s would-be suitor,and he was no doubt confused by Missouri’s abandoning his side to welcome Bradshaw so warmly.

“Hurry!” Assistant Professor Hill came running toward them from the direction of the Administration Building, shouting,“It’s Thomas Edison! Here to see you!”

Missouri’s eyes flickered with delight. She asked, “Is it the Thomas Edison, do you suppose? The Wizard of Menlo Park?”

Bradshaw smiled. “He has been known to attempt to steal the great moments of other men’s lives.”

“Are you and I in the midst of a great moment?”

“Only if you consider me confiding my feelings for you a great moment.”

She gave a little gasp.

And then Hill was upon them, panting and grinning and tipping his hat to Missouri. He grabbed Bradshaw’s arm and pulled. “Come on!”


Author Bio:

Here’s what on her Amazon page: “Bernadette Pajer is the author of the Professor Bradshaw Mysteries, fast-paced whodunits in the Golden-Age tradition. The books in the series have earned the Seal of Approval for Science from the Washington Academy of Sciences (established 1898.) She’s a graduate of the University of Washington and a proud member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Northwest Science Writers, and the Research is Pajer’s favorite activity, and she happily delves into Seattle’s past and the early days of electrical invention as she plots Professor Bradshaw’s investigations. Pajer lives in the Seattle area with her husband and son.”


Q&A with Bernadette Pajer

Writing and Reading: 

  -Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?

While nothing in my Professor Bradshaw series was taken directly from my personal experiences or current events, the emotional threads of the stories are extrapolated from all I’ve lived and felt,  and there are themes that reflect today’s issues. In A SPARK OF DEATH, for instance, the anarchists of that time are much like terrorists today, vulnerable young men going to extreme and lethal measures in pursuit of their goals.

 -Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?

I always know where I’m going when I begin, but I leave room for discovery in the writing process and will change course if the story will benefit.  Mysteries have complex structures, with details layered in such a way that, not only are the sleuth’s deductions learned, the reader is invited to make guesses and participate in the unfolding of the crime. This requires me to know in advance the details of what, how, and why the crime was committed so that the reader and sleuth can be provided with clues.

 -Your routine when writing?  Any idiosyncrasies?

Most of the words land on the page during the hours my son is at school or otherwise happily occupied. But I think about writing all the time. I plot and scheme and imagine scenes while cleaning house, driving, pretty much whenever my brain isn’t required to focus on something else.

 -Who are some of your favorite authors?

I love Ruth Rendell, Dick Francis, Elizabeth George. I enjoy rereading old favorites from authors like Maeve Binchy and Rosamund Pilcher and the classics. My choice often depends on my mood or what I’m currently writing myself. To find a new title to dive into, I know I can’t go wrong by choosing one of the more than sixty authors who are fellow members of the, and of course my own publisher, Poisoned Pen Press, releases several excellent mysteries month. Oh, so many books, so little time!

-What are you reading now?

I’m listening to a Ruth Rendell (with Chief Inspector Wexford) audio book, and rereading John Grisham’s THE FIRM to study the pacing.

Are you working on your next novel?  Can you tell us a little about it?

I’m beginning to do research for the fifth Professor Bradshaw novel which will jump to 1907 when the grounds of the University of Washington were being prepared for the 1909 AYP (Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.) This was a massive world’s fair in Seattle and the preparations disrupted university life for two years. I’m also working on a contemporary thriller (thus the study of Grisham’s pacing), which is new for me. Thrillers are constructed differently than mysteries, and it will be a fun challenge for me to structure the plot so as to escalate the tension. This is done in mysteries, too, but in thrillers it’s accomplished with more action and with the evil villain’s identity usually known from the beginning.

Fun questions:

-Your novel will be a movie.  Who would you cast?

I get asked this a lot, and you know, I really have no actors in mind for any of the characters. Yet, although he looks nothing like my Professor, I would be happy if Benedict Cumberbatch played Bradshaw. He’s such a brilliant, versatile actor, I’m sure he could bring my Professor to life.

-Manuscript/Notes: hand written or keyboard?

Keyboard. I occasionally jot notes, but those become messy and I end up typing them into my files. I currently use Scrivener, a program that helps organize research materials, plot, characters, and keeps them at your fingertips while writing.

-Favorite leisure activity/hobby?

Besides reading, you mean? I love cozy evenings at home with my husband and son, watching a good movie (these days the movie has Marvel characters or Transformers).

  -Favorite meal?

Any meal I don’t have to plan, prepare, or clean up after.

Catch Up:

* Bernadette Pajer photo credit Alex Rae Photography

Tour Participants:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

2 thoughts on “Guest Author BERNADETTE PAJER showcase, interview, giveaway

  1. Terrific interview! Glad to know there will be more Professor Bradshaw mysteries. What an interesting period in Seattle’s history. And a new thriller, too!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.