This past weekend saw the release of Lifters by Roger Neale, a historical mystery set in early 20th century Seattle. As a design project, this was a little different from many of my recent efforts. It was a lot of fun to dig into period to find imagery that would be both accurate and evocative.
Emma Prothero is a store detective with a passion for mountaineering who stumbles on a gang of well organized and clever shoplifters at work in the flourishing department stores of 1908 Seattle. Her investigation is disrupted by her discovery that her father is a con man with a dark secret that is destroying her family.
As she struggles with guilt and a fierce need to save her brother from breaking bad, Emma’s journey takes her to a world championship wrestling match and a final fatal confrontation with the leader of the shoplifters on the crevasse-ridden glaciers of Mt. Rainier.
The vibrant boom-town that was Seattle in 1908 — where Emma’s turbulent and dramatic story plays out — has never been more colorfully and convincingly brought to life than in “Lifters,” a must-read for historic detective stories.