The Detroit Electric Scheme
Will Anderson is a drunk, heartbroken over the breakup with his fiancée, Elizabeth. He's barely kept his job at his father's company---Detroit Electric, 1910's leading electric automobile manufacturer. Late one night, Elizabeth's new fiancé and Will's one-time friend, John Cooper, asks Will to meet him at the car factory. He finds Cooper dead, crushed in a huge hydraulic
I'm a bit of a Detroit history junkie myself and was eager to dive into this novel, which is set at the turn of century against a background of the emergence of the auto industry, including electric cars, and the unions. Will Anderson is one of ...more
Corrupt judges and cops, fedoras and wool suits, disfiguring scars, jail, heroin addiction, homophobia, disturbing deaths, and a couple of very flawed main cha ...more
Thriller? Mystery? Early Detroit? For me, these three things right away made The Detroit Electric Scheme a must read.
also included - electric cars - yes - there were electric cars in the early years of the 20th century. Unions. Gangsters. Drugs. Good cops and bad cops. A few murders.
The story itself is very good, very involved with some interesting twists and turns and ...more
Surprisingly, I really liked this book. The time period was interesting, as was the bits about early cars (especially the electrics), and it was all a bit noir which I've always been fond of. The romance caused me a little anxiety at first, until that got settled later ...more
What I didn't like - I personally dislike the 'protagonist falsely accused and has to prove their innocence'. It's been done too often. Thank goodness I didn't have to read through a court case - I hate those the most! Anderson got beat up way too much for my taste and just too abused by the police. And Wes, almost dies and is up and about in no time - not believable.
I haven't decided ...more
I thought the mystery itself was well done, but the protagonist made a ridiculous number of unwise decisions. When he first found the body (not a spoiler, as it's the first sentence of the novel ...more
From the very beginning of the book I was hooked. I thought initially that I was not going to like the main character Will Anderson, but he grew on me as I progressed through the pages. DE Johnson definitely did an amazing job with character d ...more
It's not particularly well-written; the author has a habit of summarizing and glossing over scenes he probably shouldn't, only to turn around and linger on a multi-page description of how attractive certain female characters are. Because that, of course, is relevant to the plot. I was almost willing to forgive that, just because I hadn't realized how much I wanted to read a novel set in 1910s Detroit until I picked th ...more
Set November of 1910, the novel opens with a grisly murder ...more
The author, D.E. Johnson, is speaking at one of the branches of our county library this Thursday as part of a program called Journeys. I hope to hear him speak.
According to his website, this is his first book. That is part of the reason for my 5 star rating. It kept my interest f ...more
I began more impressed with this first in the series featuring Will Anderson, scion of one of Detroit’s leading electric car manufacturers, circa 1910, who by necessity turns detective.
The beginning of the book laid out lots of information about early electric cars and painted a vivid picture of the auto industry of the day.
But once the “mystery” ...more
Pg. 40 Reference to Dr. Miller---“He shook his head. In his world, successful men were, for the most part, gentleman. In the new world of automatic manufacturing, the tycoons, Ford, the Dodges, LelandDurant ¬–were mechanics.
Pg. 62 Advertising – That afternoon, I crammed on board a streetcar, trying to ignore the irritating Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum advertisement. You couldn’t turn around without seeing some sort of advertising of this gum. ...more
For a Detroit story I would probably do better with an Esteleman, however, the real main character here is the city of Detroit. I come from a line of eastern European immigrants and union men who settled in Detroit, so reading about a shallow, pri ...more
There were several things setting me up not to love this book.
1) I'm generally not a fan of 1st person POV books.
2) I like to be able to like the character whose head I'm in. I just didn't find Will Anderson to be very sympathetic. He made a turnaround by the end, but it was too long coming.
3) I'm not a "car p ...more
A murder has occurred in the electric car plant owned by Will Anderson's family. Unfortunately it is the fiance of the woman who used to be engaged to Will. Obviously that makes him the prime suspect.
A good read set in historic Detroit during a fascinating era. Some characters are a bit ...more
I was fascinated by the history of the beginnings of the Detroit electric automobile industry which surround the mystery. As an avid reader of both history of the early 20th century and of great mystery stories, I cer ...more
Dan is a history buff who has been writing fiction since childhood, but had to hit his midlife crisis to realize he should get serious about it. He and his wife ...more