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A Knife in the Fog

(Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  348 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Physician Arthur Conan Doyle takes a break from his practice to assist London police in tracking down Jack the Ripper in this debut novel and series starter.

September 1888. A twenty-nine-year-old Arthur Conan Doyle practices medicine by day and writes at night. His first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, although gaining critical and popular success, has only nett
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Seventh Street Books
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  348 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Chris Berko
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was an absolute delight! I know nothing of Arthur Conan Doyle other than he wrote Sherlock Holmes books, I know even less about who Margaret Harkness was, and all I really know about Jack the Ripper mainly comes from the Hughes Brothers' movie From Hell. I now feel like I'm an expert on all three. JK but this book was chock full of awesomeness with serious attention to detail in terms of setting, characters, and what was going on. The book itself was fairly short but very fast paced an ...more
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A marvellous mix of fact and fiction which sees Arthur Conan Doyle - creator of Sherlock Holmes - investigating the case of Jack The Ripper.
Set in 1888 at the onset of the Ripper's killings, Doyle is summoned to London by Jonathan Wilkins, an aide to former Prime Minister William Gladstone and is asked to assist the Metropolitan Police as a "consultant" in the hunt for "Leather Apron", later to be known as "Jack The Ripper". Doyle says he will do it, but only if Professor Joseph Bell - his old
Lynn Horton
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Given that fiction is the "willing suspension of disbelief," A Knife in the Fog is a great book. For some reason I've been reading a lot of Sherlockian mysteries lately, and this ranks as one of the best.

The storyline is complex (including a major "didn't see that coming"), the characters are fully fleshed out, and the voices believable. With quite a few characters, Harper is to be commended for crafting each distinctly enough that I had no difficulty keeping them separate. He also does a nice
Kathy Martin
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle is busy building his medical practice in Portsmouth and writing at night. He has published A Study in Scarlet but is determined not to write more crime fiction. However, his detective Sherlock Holmes does bring him to the attention of the former Prime Minister William Gladstone who wants him to look into the crimes happening in Whitechapel which are terrorizing the area and leaving streetwalkers gruesomely dead.

He is met by J. Wilkins who is one of Gladstone's men and hire
Wayne Turmel
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful "what if" story. What if... Arthur Conan Doyle was involved in the Jack the Ripper investigation? In lesser hands it would still be intriguing, but the author's capture of the Victorian tone makes it a terrific read.A Knife in the Fog ...more
When most of us see the subtitle to Bradley Harper's debut mystery, A Knife in the Fog, we'll have a

question. Who is Margaret Harkness? The subtitle is "A Mystery Featuring Margaret Darkness & Arthur Conan Doyle". Margaret Harkness was a journalist and author in the late 1800s who published under the name John Law. And, she, like the other main characters in this compelling story, was a real person.

Dr. Arthur Doyle is a young practicing physician in 1888. He's published one story featuring a det
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
With few exceptions, I'm not a fan of writers appropriating the character(s) of others for their own stories. But rather than "borrowing" Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Harper has employed Conan Doyle, his creator; Dr. Joseph Bell, Doyle's mentor, and Margaret Harkness, a remarkable woman, whom I'd never heard of before, for a brilliant and plausible joust with Jack the Ripper, whose bloody exploits continue to fascinate and remain as shrouded in mystery as the foggy streets of 19th century London.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, 2018-read
For crime aficionados who are fascinated with the Jack the Ripper murders, this should delight them. Not only does the story stay true to the original crimes, but it also incorporates three real-life notables in a fictionalized meeting of the minds: Arthur Conan Doyle, Professor Joseph Bell and Margaret Harkness. Dr. Doyle has been contacted by a representative of Mr. Gladstone and asked to provide insight into the possible identity of the Ripper murderer. He requests the assistance of his forme ...more
Alana White
Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle, Joseph Bell and Margaret Harkness chase Jack the Ripper in the dark streets of 1800s London. Author Bradley Harper beautifully captures the mood and atmosphere of Sherlock Holmes in this clever debut historical mystery that dives deep into the whys and wherefores.
Viviane Crystal
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arthur Conan Doyle is a physician who spends his days practicing medicine. He has also written a novel, A Study in Scarlet which gets the attention of the Prime Minister of England. So unique are the skills in that novel that Prime Minister William Gladstone asks Sir Doyle to help with solving a series of murders that have been terrorizing London, murders that have the same characteristics. The victims have had their throats slit but also have had parts of their internal female organs cut open o ...more
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sherlock-holmes
I highly recommend A Knife in the Fog, for anyone who enjoys a good mystery, and especially for fans of Sherlock Holmes and/or his creator Sir Author Conan Doyle.

My interest was held throughout, the story sustained its suspense, and overall was very well researched, especially author’s accurate depictions of life in late 19th century London.

The author creates a clever story line, basing it during the “gap” years between Doyle’s first Holmes story 'A Study in Scarlet' and his second publication
Terry Nienhuis
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed A Knife in the Fog very much. For me it was unusually vivid and interesting, especially in its portrait of late 1880's London. In addition to the captivating plot and characters, the book was filled with very clever craftsmanship. The major challenge was that the author did not have a ready-made, triumphant conclusion involving the historical Jack the Ripper, but Harper created a very successful culminating scene. The story is also socially sensitive, and there are moments of significa ...more
James T Morrissey
What a clever idea! Once you think there is nothing new one could discover about the creator of Sherlock Holmes, you are taken down a new path.
Author Bradley Harper takes you on a creative journey of physician Arthur Conan Doyle, who teams up with his mentor Dr. Joseph Bell and writer Margaret Harkness in the investigation of the Jack the Ripper murders.
One feels that they have entered the criminal world of Whitechapel in his book. I not only enjoyed the book but also felt I traveled in time. K
Gail Baugniet
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More Fact Than Mystery

Reading this novel for a second time as my local book club's September reading choice. I am better appreciating Dr. Bell's powers of deduction this time around.

This entertaining tale involves the murders and mayhem of London's Jack the Ripper presented with a unique twist. The protagonists/detectives include Arthur Conan Doyle and a feisty 19th century independent female - who does most of the heavy lifting. The reader experiences the tension of a romantic comedy woven t
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
Thanks for the ARC of this mystery. If you are a fan of Arthur Conan Doyle, I think you'll be pleased with this Jack the Ripper saga featuring Doyle as an active investigator hired to look into the murders. It was written in a voice similar to Doyle and had the twists and turns expected in a Sherlock Holmes story. I was drawn into the story and enjoyed it thoroughly.
Pat Cray-Hollis
great book. Cannot wait for the next one in the series.
Judy Hall
Arthur Conan Doyle, not yet Sir, published A Study in Scarlet in 1887. He received critical recognition, but only 25 pounds. In 1888 the Whitechapel section of London experienced the first of a series of shocking murders. One day, Doyle receives a letter from former Prime Minister William Gladstone's secretary asking him to come to London on a matter of some urgency.

Doyle, assuming it was medical could not refuse. He was shocked when he discovered that Mr. Wilkins wanted him to investigate the L
Meg (fairy.bookmother)
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copy
As someone who enjoys Sherlock Holmes pastiches and nearly anything revolving around Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's life outside of those stories, I was incredibly excited to see a new mystery (or mystery series, perhaps? Goodreads says it's a series starter!) involving Conan Doyle, Bell, and Margaret Harkness. Bradley Harper's A Knife in the Fog is incredibly well-researched and well-rounded. It's difficult to get the tone and language of the time period to be believable without feeling as if it's fo ...more
Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book introduces Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as a fictional detective called upon to help solve the Jack the Ripper murders. The Ripper case did occur during Conan Doyle's lifetime. I have never read any of the Sherlock Holmes stories. In the book, Conan Doyle is aided by Doctor Bell of Edinburgh (who author Conan Doyle used as the inspiration for Holmes) and Margaret Harkness, also a real-life woman who wrote about the plight of the poor. The book moves at a rather slow pace and I didn't enjoy i ...more
T Cox
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just finished up Col. Dr. Harper's (USA,Ret.) freshman novel. What a relief from the mind numbing boredom of fighting the flu. The author reminds us that a good, old-fashioned, rollicking adventure is the cure to many an ailment. Nicely paced and written in a great voice, I predict you'll quickly be drawn into the Victorian world that birthed Sherlock Holmes, Margaret Harkness, Arthur Conan Doyle, and ... Jack the Ripper.
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was pretty slow in the middle, but the ending was satisfying. I enjoyed reading about Margaret Harkness, and loved the idea that Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories were inspired by a belief in justice.
D.L. Morrese
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There was a four-year gap between the first Sherlock Holmes story and the next. This well-crafted tale tells us what Arthur Conan Doyle was up to during that time. I'll give you a hint. It involves Jack the Ripper.

Okay, I know. You're rolling your eyes. Doyle wasn't actually involved in hunting down the Ripper. This isn't a true account. It's historical fiction. A murder mystery. A Victorian whodunit. And do we really need another Ripper story to add to gazillion already out there? I can't answe
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
An excellent book that is fiction but goes with all the known evidence, the adds a very interesting tale of ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE and Professor BELL the model for SHERLOCK HOLMES and a interesting female MARAGRET HARKNESS. the story keeps the JACK THE RIPPER unknown till the showdown, then adds a reason why the Rippers identity must not become public.
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literary and Mystery readers
Shelves: cozy
I was unable to complete the physical book simultaneously with audio as the book had to be returned to library. However, I did complete with the audio alone and was very pleased with the accuracy of real happenings in the material. Readers can "see" what the protagonists were doing, "visit" the locations they search for clues, and the "feel" their process of thinking that took place to concluded the "business." I will read other material by this author. I believe this author, and this book in pa ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t read this book, but listened to the audiobook! I must say, that I would highly recommend the audio book, as the characters seemed alive in the room with me, as the story progressed. It is a brilliant approach to the Jack the Ripper murders, and great way to bring Bell, Doyle & Harkness alive, to a modern audience!!! Harper has added his experience as a pathologist, into the story with his detailed descriptions!!!
I look forward to book 2, which I understand Mr. Harper is working on, as w
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great new twist on the usual Jack the Ripper storyline. A great new portrait of Arthur Conan Doyle and his life. I enjoyed the plot and characters so much that I will look forward to reading more of the series and other works by the author.
Lorna Holland
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Full review now up on the blog:

The macabre tale of Jack the Ripper is one that has always fascinated me. I also hold a special place in my heart for Sherlock Holmes, the fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, so when I saw that A Knife in the Fog combined the two, I knew I had to read it!

As I am already familiar with the Ripper murders, I found myself skimming through a lot of the middle of the book where Doyle describes the victims. Howev
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mary Roach is one of my favorite authors, and her book "Stiff" is one of my favorites, as it describes in delicious, hilarious detail what happens to our bodies after we die. Now she has created a monster, in a protege Bradley Harper, who is a former military physician and pathologist as well as a part time Santa Claus. But, unlike Frankenstein's monster, Harper is all Paul Newman; perfect from top to bottom.

His debut novel, "A Knife in the Fog," is a re-imagining of the Jack the Ripper saga, wi
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An unusual twist on the Jack the Ripper story, with two investigating doctors named Doyle and Bell.

A cloak-and-dagger mystery with a completely believable, though surprising, ending.

I read this EARC courtesy of Edelweiss and Seventh Street Books. pub date 10/02/18
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Bradley Harper’s debut novel, A Knife in the Fog, involves a young Arthur Conan Doyle joining in the hunt for Jack the Ripper and was released in October 2018. A Knife in the Fog was the winner of the 2019 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion for Best Mystery Novel and was a Finalist for the 2019 Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America for Best First Novel by an American Author.

Harper’s second

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Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle (2 books)
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