I'd known about the writing team of Preston & Child years before I'd read their series with FBI agent Aloysius Pendergast. But you don't have to have read the earlier books to dive into White Fire.
The book opens in London 1889 with a young Dr Arthur Conan Doyle joining Oscar Wilde and wealthy US publisher Joe Stoddart for dinner at the Langham Hotel. Wilde and Conan Doyle don't just begin a friendship; Wilde relates a true story that he heard in the US, this story leaves Conan Doyle deeply disturbed.
Years later, Conan Doyle's diary entry for that night directs Corrie Swanson, a young student of criminal studies, to a topic for her junior thesis and brings her to the former mining town turned playground of the rich Roaring Fork to examine the remains of 6 miners who had reportedly been attacked and eaten by a grizzly bear.
Corrie's research leads her to other mysteries and possible foul play during the early years of Roaring Fork. As she delves further into the past, she catches the attention of powerful leaders in Roaring Fork. Roaring Fork also faces a deadly arsonist who has begun to target prominent families and destroy homes in the town.
FBI agent Pendergast joins Corrie in Roaring Fork to help extricate her from town politics and the growing danger.
Arthur Conan Doyle, a long lost Sherlock Holmes story, and the unusual history of Roaring Fork combine to give White Fire an unusual and gripping story. As a new reader of the Pendergast series, I'm hooked.