Mel Bradshaw studied English and philosophy at the University of Toronto and continued at Oxford. His first novel, Death in the Age of Steam, was shortlisted for an Arthur Ellis Award for best first crime novel. He lives in Toronto.
Quarrel with the Foe
After surviving the horrors of the Great War, Paul Shenstone works as a police detective in 1920s Toronto, rooting out petty criminals and rumrunners. The unusual murder of a prominent industrialist gives him the biggest case of his career and a not entirely welcome opportunity to make his name on the force. The waters are muddied when the investigation starts uncovering connections between the deceased Digby Watt and soldiers Shenstone knew in Flanders. What will Shenstoneâ€™s choice be if he has to arrest one of his own comrades? He has promised Wattâ€™s attractive and independent daughter that he will bring the perpetrator to justice, but bonds forged in war are not easily broken. In the end, what does justice require, restitution or punishment?
...vividly written, tightly plotted, meticulously detailed and replete with richly developed characters.
Mel Bradshaw dazzled many readers with his historical mystery Death in the Age of Steam. His ability to capture the sounds, smells and actions of the people of early Victorian Toronto was superb. Now he's done it again, but we've moved ahead to 1926.
Bradshaw has a winner here, and potential for a series.
Life all well-crafted historical mysteries, this novel is a double delight. Not onyl does it tantalize with a deliciously circuitous unraveling of the crime, it also totally immerses the reader in another and fascinating world...Bradshaw is especially effective at conveying the feel of postwar Toronto - its grimy street, utilitarian tramcars, stuffy offices, and "blind pig" saloons. Following Shenstone around is as fascinating in its own way as accompanying Sherlock through the thoroughfares of Victorian London.
Bradshaw does a very good job of developing his characters and setting his scenes while being concise in his descriptions...I enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to those who like historical mysteries.