In Karen Odden’s latest mystery (Down a Dark River, Crooked Lane Books 2021) It’s 1878 in London, and Scotland Yard inspector Michael Corravan, a former thief and bare-knuckles boxer, is battling demons, including his urge to drown his troubles in drink. In the wake of a police corruption scandal that threatens to shut down Scotland Yard, Corravan is assigned the case of a young, wealthy woman whose corpse has been set adrift in a small boat on the Thames River. At first, the murder seems to be linked to a stolen heirloom necklace, but then a second dead woman appears and then a third. As the press riles up London and blames Scotland Yard, Corravan’s search for clues takes him from insane asylums to jewelry stores and from brothels to wealthy Mayfair homes. Then his lady friend is threatened, and Inspector Corravan must confront the darkness in his own past to understand the killer and prevent yet another murder from taking place.
KAREN ODDEN received her Ph.D. in English literature from New York University, writing her dissertation on Victorian railway disasters and the origins of PTSD. She has taught at UW-Milwaukee, written essays for numerous books and journals, and edited for the journal Victorian Literature and Culture (Cambridge UP). She freely admits she might be more at home in Victorian London than today, especially when she tries to do anything complicated on her iPhone. All of her mysteries are set in 1870s London. Her first novel, A LADY IN THE SMOKE, about a young woman in a 1874 railway crash, was a USA Today bestseller. In A DANGEROUS DUET, Nell Hallam, an ambitious young pianist stumbles on a notorious crime ring while playing in a Soho music hall. In A TRACE OF DECEIT, Annabel Rowe, a young painter at the Slade School of Art, must delve below the glitter of the art and auction world to uncover the truth about her brother’s murder. DOWN A DARK RIVER is Karen’s fourth novel and the first in the Inspector Corravan series; the sequel, UNDER A VEILED MOON, will be released in November 2022. An avid desert hiker, Karen lives in Arizona with her family and her rescue beagle muse, Rosy.