Book Review: The Library Paradox by Catherine Shaw

An interesting and thought provoking story set around the time of the Dreyfus trial.  Vanessa Duncan is  making something of a name for herself as a private investigator.  Called in by a  Professor of Kings College to solve a closed room mystery, she finds herself embroiled in anti-semitism, the Dreyfus case as well as mathematics!  Professor Ralston dies in mysterious circumstances within a University library. 

The problem is that the only suspect left the building seconds before a shot rang out, and eye witnesses testify that no one else was in the building at the time.  How did the killer escape – and who was it?  As Vanessa investigates, it becomes clear that Professor Ralston was not exactly the pleasantest of characters and not exactly popular with his colleagues.  Quite a lot of people would have liked to  seen him dead.

Some interesting insights into the life of Victorian women – even how difficult it was for them to get lunch while out and about in London!  The plot line is well worked out, and keeps you guessing.  Characterisation is a bit thin at times, but this is balanced out by the strong story line.

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