by Amanda Flower

The more I learned about Katharine Wright and her brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright, the more I learned about the other historical personalities that they were tied to. Here’s a list of four who had the most influence on the siblings.

Bishop Milton Wright

The siblings’ father. Bishop Wright was a bishop in Church of the United Brethren in Christ and traveled a great deal while the children were growing up. In 1881, he was involved in a schism in the denomination because he feared that the denomination was growing too liberal. He began a new church, Church of the United Brethren in Christ (Old Constitution). Around 1900, he accused publisher Millard Keiter of embezzling the church and was entangled in a legal battle over it until a ruling was made in the bishop’s favor in 1905. The lawsuit put a great strain on the whole family.

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Dunbar is known as the first influential American Black poet. He was born and raised in Dayton and was childhood friends with Orville Wright. As an adult he published a Black newspaper, and the Wrights, who ran a printing press at the time, printed it for him.

Octave Chanute

Chanute was an engineer and businessman with a special love of aviation. He dedicated much of his time to studying the power of flight. After Wilbur read Chanute’s definitive work, Progress in Flying Machines, and wrote to Chanute, the two built a strong friendship. Chanute championed the Wrights and their efforts to fly.

Glenn Curtiss

Curtiss was a motorcycle and aviation engineer. He built an airplane in 1908 that the Wrights insisted infringed on their 1906 patent. The Wright sued Curtiss a number of times over patent infringement and won every case, but the ongoing battle to protect their invention put a great strain on Wilbur Wright’s health and wellbeing. Wilbur died in 1912 at the age of forty-five.

While not as famous as her older siblings Wilbur and Orville, the celebrated inventors of flight, Katharine Wright is equally inventive – especially when it comes to solving crimes – in USA Today bestselling author Amanda Flower’s radiant new historical mystery series inspired by the real sister of the Wright Brothers.

December 1903: While Wilbur and Orville Wright’s flying machine is quite literally taking off in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina with its historic fifty-seven second flight, their sister Katharine is back home in Dayton, Ohio, running the bicycle shop, teaching Latin, and looking after the family. A Latin teacher and suffragette, Katharine is fiercely independent, intellectual, and the only Wright sibling to finish college. But at twenty-nine, she’s frustrated by the gender inequality in academia and is looking for a new challenge. She never suspects it will be sleuthing…

Returning home to Dayton, Wilbur and Orville accept an invitation to a friend’s party. Nervous about leaving their as-yet-unpatented flyer plans unattended, Wilbur decides to bring them to the festivities . . . where they are stolen right out from under his nose. As always, it’s Katharine’s job to problem solve—and in this case, crime-solve.

As she sets out to uncover the thief among their circle of friends, Katharine soon gets more than she bargained for: She finds her number one suspect dead with a letter opener lodged in his chest. It seems the patent is the least of her brothers’ worries. They have a far more earthbound concern—prison. Now Katharine will have to keep her feet on the ground and put all her skills to work to make sure Wilbur and Orville are free to fly another day.