May 2012

Killing Dreams by Myssah Lee, William L. McDowellIn Killing Dreams, set in 1885 Denver, a city councilman is found dead, and the police are frustratingly lost on how to proceed. There are no leads and no clear pieces of evidence; only a mysterious untimely death. In desperation, they enlist the help of Dr. William Curtis McDowell, a prominent scientist, former deputy marshal of the Arizona territory, and professor at the Colorado School of Mines. Certainly one of the more unique and multifaceted characters in the mystery genre, Dr. McDowell also known as “Dr. Bill” is a world apart from the typical gruff protagonist of popular mystery or sci-fi novels. He isn’t just a detective; he is an intellectual.
Bill’s wife Patience Annabella, nicknamed “Patches”, who is currently a schoolteacher but was once a deputy marshal right alongside her husband is the only partner Dr. Bill, will accept in this baffling case. The further Dr. Bill and Patches investigate into the councilman’s death, the more certain they become that they have a murder case on their hands. Each day brings more dangerous complications; more related deaths occur, and several attempts are made to assassinate Dr. Bill, making it clear that someone out there doesn’t want this case closed. At the same time, exciting new discoveries in the vital field of forensic science are being discovered; a nod to the historical aspects of the novel which touches on the incredible advances being made in science, psychology and criminal justice during that time.
Killing Dreams takes a lot of different genres and ties them all together in a wildly creative mash-up of sub-genres that will have you on the edge of your seat. This is the type of book that you bring to your favorite chair on a free afternoon and not put down until you’ve reached the end. A thoroughly inventive and satisfying mystery, Dr. Bill and Patches will take you on a thrilling adventure from the first page as they risk their lives to discover that even in a child’s fairy tale, there can be killing dreams.

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