Question: What's the craziest thing you've ever done for your writing?
In my second novel I feature an anarchist assassin armed with an air rifle who attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria during her Diamond Jubilee ceremony outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London. I found the old boarding school for the boys’ choir was just down a side street and a rifleman from the third story window would have an unobstructed view of the carriage as the queen sat there (she remained in her carriage during the entire ceremony). So I dodged traffic to pace off the distance from beneath the window to the plaque where it says her carriage rested. Then I knocked on the door and explained myself to the staff why I was there, and they gave me an escort to walk through the building and take pictures. I was able to confirm that the window was the perfect place for my sniper. I can’t believe the staff was so helpful, as a large busload of French schoolchildren had just arrived and were about to occupy one floor (the old building is now a youth hostel). I just showed up at the site of the ceremony, looked around for a sniper position, and everything fell into place. The book is scheduled for release in early October and named Queen’s Gambit. Look for it wherever books are sold!
About Bradley Harper
I’m a retired US Army pathologist with experience in forensic death investigation who began writing at age 62. My debut novel, A Knife in the Fog, features a young Arthur Conan Doyle in a battle of wits with Jack the Ripper, and is a finalist for the Edgar award for Best First Novel by an American. (Ceremony April 25, 2019). My website is below, and I do a newsletter twice a month.
Bradley Harper can also be found online at:
About Bradley Harper’s Novel, A Knife in the Fog:
From Kirkus Reviews:
“Sherlock Holmes’ creator and a crusading British journalist team up to hunt for Jack the Ripper.
In September 1888, no less a personage than Prime Minister William Gladstone writes to young doctor and author Arthur Conan Doyle with a vague entreaty to save “many lives.” Not surprisingly, Doyle’s first-person narrative is reminiscent of Holmes-ian amanuensis Dr. Watson. When Doyle meets Gladstone’s personal secretary, Jonathan Wilkins, he’s surprised to learn that this is not a medical matter but a criminal one. Impressed by the astuteness of Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, Gladstone would like him to investigate the Whitechapel homicides, searching for the killer Scotland Yard calls “Leather Apron.” Wilkins puts Doyle in touch with “one of the new breed of ‘emancipated women,’ ” crusading journalist Margaret Harkness, who’ll be his guide through the dangerous streets of Whitechapel. (Under the pen name John Law, Harkness was a real-life radical writer.) As in the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a leading feature is the vivid, thorough questioning of a colorful cross-section of Londoners, here including brash Cockney boy John Richardson, inept but loquacious Dr. Llewellyn, and beat policeman Sgt. Thicke, known on the street as “Johnny Upright.” Oscar Wilde also makes a cameo appearance. At length Doyle does indeed stir the interest of the serial killer who calls himself Jack the Ripper, and he and Margaret get close enough to him to rescue an intended victim.
Delightful chemistry, plummy prose, and believable period detail lift Harper’s debut above the throng of forgettable Baker Street imitators.”
For the Houston Chronicle review, click here.