Queen Victoria is dead, long live King Edward! Kate and Charles Sheridan are attending the new king's coronation ceremony when an anarchist blows himself up in Hyde Park, with a bomb that was obviously meant for the Royals. Now, it's up to Kate and Charles to discover who is threatening the crown, and how a brash and arrogant American author named Jack London is involved. Who are the terrorists and what dangers do they really pose? Are the anti-terrorists even more frighteningly dangerous? What happens to truth and innocence when Scotland Yard conspires to spin a spider's web of lies and false evidence? If you think these are only contemporary questions, join Kate and Charles Sheridan as they are unwillingly dragged into the real world of turn-of-the-century terrorism.
- "A marvelous Victorian series." —Meritorious Mysteries
- "Eminently satisfying... intricate mystery. Delightful pair of sleuths. A wonderful sense of atmosphere and place." —Gothic Journal
- "Robin Paige has crafted another convincingly detailed Victorian mystery, sure to please fans and new readers alike." —Publishers Weekly
Oops and Errors
Thanks to Frances Barnes of Tulsa OK for pointing out that the Golden Gate Bridge, mentioned on p. 22 of the hardcover edition, did not exist in 1902. Frances writes: "On Nov. 4, 1930, San Franciscans voted for bonds to construct the Golden Gate Bridge. There was a very nervy thing for the people to do. No one bank or organization had the funds to back this audacious undertaking." Thanks, Frances, for correcting our mistake!
For a brief history of the bridge, go here: http://www.buysanfranciscotours.com/cityinfo/golden_gate_bridge.html.
We Beg to Differ
In the Publishers Weekly review posted on the B&N website, the anonymous reviewer takes Robin Paige to task for a "jarringly improbable" allusion to a cell phone (p. 69). Cell phone? Good grief. What Charles Sheridan is imagining (as most readers with any sense of history are undoubtedly aware), is radio. The first broadcast of the human voice occurred in December, 1906, in the U.S. (See Signor Marconi's Magic Box, by Gavin Weightman, p. 209.)
Many turn-of-the-century scientists speculated at the coming "new age" of wireless communications. Professor Ayrton said this, in a lecture in 1897:
What about the future? Well, there is no doubt the day will come . . . when a person [who] wants to telegraph to a friend, he knows not where, will call in an electromagnetic voice, which will be heard loud by him who has the electormagnet ear, but will be silent to everyone else. He will call, "Where are you?" and the reply will come, "I am at the bottom of the coal-mine," or "Crossing the Andes," or "In the middle of the Pacific"; or perhaps no reply will come at all, and he may then conclude the friend is dead."
Also, the same anonymous PW reviewer suggests that Jack London's fans "may be dismayed to see London commit a brutal crime that's totally out of character for the real-life adventure writer and socialist." If this reviewer is dismayed, it's because he or she was taken in by the whitewash commonly applied to Jack London by high school English teachers. The facts of the man's life, as described in the books we list in our resources, entirely support our interpretation of his character.
And if the book reminds some reviewers too much of 9/11, we can only say that this series is designed to make the point that the past is prologue. However, the analogy to 9/11 seriously over-simplifies what's going on in this book and suggests that the reviewer might not have read with much attention. As Bill Albert says, the situation in Death in Hyde Park is more properly analogous to North Korean intelligence masterminding a botched 9/11 plot (with some unwitting help from the FBI) to discredit the Taliban.