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The Blood Detective
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About the Author

Dan Waddell is a journalist and author who lives in west London. He has published ten non-fiction books, including the bestselling Who Do You Think You Are?, which tied in with the BBC TV series. This is his first novel.

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In British journalist Waddell's solid fiction debut, a police procedural, Scotland Yard recruits genealogist Nigel Barnes to assist in solving a grisly series of murders in London. The victims vary in gender, age and means of death, but the corpses are all marked with "1A137." Barnes determines that the number refers to the death certificate of Albert Beck, an 1879 murder victim who was stabbed to death in a churchyard on the same date as one of the modern victims. Digging deeper, Barnes discovers that Beck was one of five victims attributed to the so-called Kensington Killer and that Eke Fairbairn was tried and executed for the crimes. Evidence suggests that Fairbairn was wrongfully convicted and that a distant descendant is taking revenge on the relatives of those involved in the 19th-century prosecution. Waddell's adept characterization and pacing make for an exciting start to a new series, though some readers may find the coincidence at the denouement too improbable. (June) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

There's panache aplenty in this intriguing tale. Sharp plotting, elegant writing, engaging characters, a cracking climax. A series is promised. Bring it on! * Reginald Hill *
There's panache aplenty in this intriguing tale. Sharp plotting, elegant writing, engaging characters, a cracking climax. A series is promised. Bring it on! * Reginald Hill *

The numbers carved into the mutilated body of a man found in a London graveyard lead Det. Chief Insp. Grant Foster to hire genealogist Nigel Barnes to do further research. It seems the numbers refer to a file in the city archives that contain birth and death certificates and marriage licenses. This series launch by a British journalist divides the investigative work between the West London Murder Command and Barnes, who knows how to ferret out information in the Family Records Center and the National Newspaper Library. This first novel introducing an unusual sleuth will warm the hearts of many reference librarians and all those who love a good hunt through library materials. For most collections where British mysteries are popular. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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