All the young men at the Siegel Cooper department store admire Georgiana Yoke, the charming new clerk just arrived in Chicago ahead of the 1893 World's Fair. They wager it won't take long for some lucky fellow to lure her away from her job, and they're right. After a brief and heady courtship, she marries a charismatic, wealthy entrepreneur.  

A happy ending, but for one catch. Georgiana's affectionate new husband, Dr. Henry H. Holmes, is also a swindler, a kidnapper, and will one day be known as America's first serial killer.  

Carefully researched and closely based on real events, A Competent Witness recasts the infamous story of H. H. Holmes as it unfolded to the woman he cruelly deceived.

Kirkus Reviews has named "A Competent Witness" a 2017 Best Book for Indie Historical Fiction.

"A masterful study . . . Nickels writes very well and researches thoroughly . . . The portrait of Georgiana is wonderfully fleshed out . . . sensitively and well-limned."
-- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A Competent Witness was a semi-finalist in the 2016 Illinois Library Association's Soon to be Famous author contest.

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