In 1882, two former English soldiers visit an ailing friend and soon find themselves implicated in a grisly murder.
With the aid of a naive servant and a bewitching spiritualist, can they clear their names and unmask the true murderer stalking the rooftops of Prague?
Targeted Age Group:: 15 – 50
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I've always loved Sherlock Holmes adventures, as well as spooky stories featuring vampires, ghosts, and events that defy explanation. So I had a lot of fun bringing my English sleuths to a brand new location in which to grapple with new mysteries and emotional challenges.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I knew I wanted to have a pair of investigators so they would have someone to bounce ideas off of and turn to for support, but that I wanted them to be closer to the 'everyman' than professional detectives.
I saw a picture of someone who had been struck by lightning, and the Lichtenberg figures it left on their skin, a pretty, fern-like scar. This inspired my character of Sanderson Klein, who has a similar scar on his chest, and I worked backwards from there on how he might have gotten the scar and how it might have affected his life.
His close friend, Jeremiah Fidgett, I created to be the yin to his yang. Fidgett is polite and personable where Klein can be more abrasive, so that their partnership forms a kind of balance.
Telegram from Prague to London January 2, 1882
To Misters Jeremiah Fidgett and Sanderson Klein
DEATH IMMINENT. STOP
COME AT ONCE. STOP
CALLING IN YOUR DEBTS. STOP
Reading the telegram for the fortieth time in a rattling carriage made Sanderson Klein's stomach roil, though the visceral discomfort had as much to do with his former commanding officer's dire summons as it did with all his recent travels. Since leaving the military, he had become the breed of man most comfortable at home, where all variables were accounted for, except for those which he intentionally tested. And, not since he was young had he intentionally set foot near a deathbed. He set the paper on his bouncing knee and sighed, feeling a grimace tug the corners of his mouth. For neither the first, nor surely the last, time on this journey, Sanderson wanted to fling open the door and leap out.
Beside him in the rumbling carriage, a different sort of unpleasantness than the train had been, but far and away preferable to the hated ship, his companion, Jeremiah Fidgett, glanced his way.
"Did you discover anything new this time? Any secret lines we missed, written backwards or in code, perhaps with invisible ink?" A teasing smile peeked from beneath Fidgett's rust-coloured moustache. "A reason why no one met us at the train station?"
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