The Amateur Executioner by Dan Andriacco
London, 1920: Boston-bred Enoch Hale, working as a reporter for the Central News Syndicate, arrives on the scene shortly after a music hall escape artist is found hanging from the ceiling in his dressing room. What at first appears to be a suicide turns out to be murder . . . the first of several using the same modus operandi. What s the connecting factor among all the victims? Or isn’t there one? That’s what the dogged journalist Hale aims to find out. Covering the Hangman Murders brings him into contact with a diverse cast of witnesses and interview subjects that include Winston Churchill, William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Alfred Hitchcock, and Ezra Pound. Hale, whose best friend in London is the chain-smoking poet and banker T.S. (Tom) Eliot even makes a pilgrimage to the Sussex Downs to get an opinion on the case from the great detective Sherlock Holmes. The trip is in vain, but he eventually does meet Holmes in a most surprising encounter. Through it all there is another mystery, which perhaps goes to the mystery of the human heart. What is the lovely music hall singer Sadie Briggs concealing from Hale just her past or also her present?