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Being Jack The Ripper

Patricia Catacalos
Patricia Catacalos Author Interview

Bedeviled by Her Suspicions follows a woman who fears that her cousin could be Jack the Ripper and hires a detective agency to find out the truth. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

I wanted to write a series involving three brothers who operate a detective agency in Victorian England. When researching that era for famous murderers and their crimes, Jack the Ripper was of course a prominent figure. Researching that case and the various individuals suspected of being the Ripper inspired Bedeviled by Her Suspicions.

Isabel is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

Isabel is intrinsically good and is torn between doing what she feels is morally correct, seeking the truth to save lives, and the guilt she harbors in suspecting her cousin of being Jack the Ripper. This laid solid ground work for her character development.

I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this story. Was the mystery planned before writing or did it develop organically?

When I began research for my Zane Brothers Detective Series, I found a female criminal whose crimes were mimicked in Book 1 of the series. But because I chose my setting to be in 1888 London, naturally the crimes of Jack the Ripper and the Torso Killer needed to be intertwined with that mystery. That led to the mystery in Book 2, Bedeviled by Her Suspicions, in which historical suspects in the Jack the Ripper case were incorporated into the historical mystery. So, in the case of Bedeviled by Her Suspicions, I knew how I wanted the mystery to develop.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Currently I am writing my 26th book, Medley of Murderous Intent, which takes place in 1908 London where the 1908 Olympics were being held and during which the first African American won a gold metal. A new generation of Zane brothers must determine who is threatening the Olympian contestant…the historical personality John Baxter Taylor, Jr. This historical mystery will be available late 2021.

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London, 1888… Leather Apron (Jack the Ripper) is mutilating women in Whitechapel. And Isabel Haynes achingly fears that her cousin, the enigmatic Thomas Haynes Cutbush, could be the serial killer. She hires the Zane Brothers Detective Agency to determine if her fears are founded. The roguish Noah Zane is determined to find the truth while protecting the captivating Isabel to whom he is losing his heart.

Bedeviled by Her Suspicions

Bedeviled by Her Suspicions (Zane Brothers Detective Series Book 2) by [Patricia Catacalos]

Bedeviled by Her Suspicions (Zane Brothers Detective Series Book Two) by Patricia Catacalos is a historical fiction mystery set in London in 1888. Isabel Haynes is a milliner who suspects that her cousin, Thomas Haynes Cutbush, might be the serial killer known as Leather Apron (Jack the Ripper), murdering women in Whitechapel. She enlists the help of the Zane Brothers Detective Agency to prove that her suspicions are wrong. Isabel feels drawn to Noah Zane from their first meeting. Noah pretends to be Isabel’s beau so that he can remain close to her. Can he protect her from harm as they search to find the truth?

I enjoyed reading this riveting historical thriller. I love mysteries that keep me guessing throughout the story. Part of this story is told from the point of view of the killer, and the few clues that are given match up with Thomas, but could also indicate several other characters. I was immediately suspicious of every man described with a handlebar mustache, since that was the only identifying physical feature that was mentioned about the killer. Although this is the second book in the series, it is not necessary to read book one to enjoy this story. This books can be read as a standalone mystery story. Book One, The Mystery of Her, features Noah’s older brother, Zachery. Book Three and Book Four both feature Noah’s younger brother, Evan.

While I enjoyed this story, I felt that the romance happened a bit too quickly for me, with Noah and Isabel declaring their love for each other within a week of their first meeting. I liked the historical Victorian setting of the story, which was vividly described, but I felt that some of the descriptions of actions were unnecessarily specific and distracted from the flow of the story.

With that said, Bedeviled by Her Suspicions is a compelling murder mystery that will appeal to anyone looking for an alluring mystery that will keep them guessing throughout this entertaining book.

Pages: 238 | ASIN: B01NCM4HJY

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