London beyond time and place London beyond time and place,Talks beyond time and place Episode 15: Bradley Harper | Topic: A Knife In The Fog

Episode 15: Bradley Harper | Topic: A Knife In The FogEpisode 15: Bradley Harper | Topic: A Knife In The Fog


Bradley Harper is a retired US army pathologist and after he retired from service, he took up writing. His first novel is “A Knife in the Fog“*, in which the unlikely company of a young Arthur Conan Doyle, Miss Margaret Harkness and Professor Joseph Bell, who many believe to be an inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, are involved in the hunt for Jack the Ripper.

“A Knife In The Fog” & “Queen’s Gambit”

In the Crime/Mystery Fiction novel “A Knife In The Fog”, Jack the Ripper meets Sherlock Holmes’ Arthur Conan Doyle. In Bradley’s second novel “Queen’s Gambit“*, the adventure continues with Margaret Harkness racing to save Queen Victoria herself. Bradley Harper was also featured in “How to Write a Mystery: A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America“*, which was published in April 2021.




0:00:00​​​​​​​​​ London beyond time and place Intro

0:01:05​​​​ Introduction

02:46 Can you tell us a bit about your career as an US army pathologist and how you ended up writing fiction?

12:00 Do you remember the first Holmes story you read?

14:13 How and when did your interest in Jack the Ripper begin?

15:00 Professor Bell and Arthur Conan Doyle are two of the main characters in “A Knife In The Fog”. Was it difficult to work with “real life characters”?

17:16 The character that most surprised you but also was the most fascinating was Margaret Harkness. Can you tell us a bit about her and her involvement in the story and also how her character developed?

20:42 You also portray Inspector Frederick Abberline in a very realistic way in comparison to the film adaptations.

22:32 When writing about the Ripper it is always dangerous to lean too much on one particular suspect. Why did you choose to describe and write about the Ripper the way you did? How did you “create” this character?

24:12 Do you have a personal theory about who the Ripper was?

26:43 In the novel, you contrast the events in Miller’s Court, where Mary Kelly was murdered, with the Lord Mayor’s Day ceremony on the morning of the 9th of November 1888.

29:53 During your military years, you performed multiple forensic examinations. I believe that must have been very helpful when reading the autopsy reports of the Ripper victims?

32:24 Do you think the criticism of the police by the press was justified?

34:33 Our mutual friend Richard Jones helped you with some of the facts concerning the Ripper history and you also did a tour together through the East End for your first novel. For the second novel “Queen’s Gambit”, you researched the area around St Paul’s Cathedral. Was it helpful being in the area?

40:57 I often talk to writers and many of them – including me – say that the research often takes more time and can be as fun as the writing itself. Did this also apply to you?

43:38 In your second novel “Queen’s Gambit” Margaret Harkness is again the main character. Can you tell us a bit about the novel?

47:47 You also appeared in an anthology called “How to Write a Mystery: A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America” (Edited by Lee Child with Laurie R. King), which was published in April 2021.

50:38 You and your wife have a very different kind of job around Christmas time! Tell us about playing Santa Claus and Mrs. Santa!


Bradley Harper – An author examining the mysteries of the past…:

Philipp Röttgers and Dorothee Schröder fully immerse the reader into the sinister world of Whitechapel during the “Autumn of Terror” of 1888, when a shadowy figure called Jack the Ripper defied the world’s largest police force, and left a legacy of gore that lingers to this day.

Bradley Harper about my German book “Jack the Ripper – Die Whitechapel-Morde 1888: Eine Chronologie”


The Jack the Ripper Walk through Whitechapel’s “Ripper” streets by London beyond time and place


Talks beyond time and place” is a series of online conversations by author Philipp Röttgers of “London beyond time and place“. Philipp and his guests chat about how London influences their lives. In every episode, they cover certain topics, depending on the individual guest. Among his guests are scholars, historians, tour guides and more and the atmosphere feels like a conversation in a pub.

Music by Bryan Kolarczyk

Philipp Röttgers Talks beyond time and place
Philipp Röttgers Talks beyond time and place

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