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The picture on the left is of the Stratton brothers who where the first two British man convicted of murder on the evidence of fingerprints.

A Little Reminder

Reviews 2020

The Romford Outrage; The Murder of Inspector Thomas Simmons 1885 by Linda Rhodes and Kathryn Abnett

The Romford Outrage by Linda Rhodes and Kathryn Abnett is set in the year 1885 and tells the story of Inspector Thomas Simmons who was shot whilst on duty. Having a interest in reading true crime books especially those written about crimes committed in the 1800s,I was quite surprised and pleased to came across a case I haven't heard of or read about before. And I was not disappointed the book was well researched and well written. The writers do a wonderful job of bring the characters, sights, sounds and smells of Victorian Romford to life. They describe in detail the difficulties faced by the Victorian police force in the pursuit of criminals in an age before forensic science. Highly recommended is set in the year 1885 and tells the story of Inspector Thomas Simmons who was shot whilst on duty.

Having a interest in reading true crime books especially those written about crimes committed in the 1800s,I was quite surprised and pleased to came across a case I haven't heard of or read about before. And I was not disappointed the book was well researched and well written. The writers do a wonderful job of bring the characters, sights, sounds and smells of Victorian Romford to life. They describe in detail the difficulties faced by the Victorian police force in the pursuit of criminals in an age before forensic science.

Highly recommended

Poisoned at the Priory (Cold Case Jury Collection Book 4) by Antony M. Brown

Poisoned at the Priory is the 4th book in this excellent cold case jury series the others are 1. The Green Bicycle Mystery 2. Death of an Actress 3. Move to Murder

An interesting thoroughly researched and well written looking at the at the unsolved murder or was it suicide with poisoning of Charles Bravo in 1876.

I have read many accounts on the Bravo case and this book begins these theories, together in one place. The author gives the reader detailed information on each theory and allows you draw your own conclusions as to murderer or murderers of Charles Bravo. The author also provides his own theory as to what he believes happened on that fateful night in 1876.

And as an added bonus you get to hear Agatha Christie's theory on the case.

Would I recommend this book ?

Definitely it is a great edition to my true crime library and I think it would be especially be of interest to those who are new to the case, as it has all the information you need on the case to draw your own conclusions.

Tales from the Tombstone by S Ballinger (Author), P Coombes (Author

Review by Amanda Lloyd

A delightful book, immensely readable, and I was quite sorry when I reached the last page. The authors take us on a journey to churches they visited and tell us a brief history of each and, more interestingly for me, some of the stories behind the graves in the churchyards. We learn about war heroes, suicides, murder victims, accidental deaths and the sad stories of those who died of disease. We also discover graves of the famous, well known authors and distinguished police offices. All have a story to tell. Accompanied by photographs, census and church records, this is a book difficult to put down.

I definitely recommend.

Best reads of 2019

This years winner in the nonfiction category goes to Amanda Havey Purse

The Krays' London: A History and Guide Kindle Edition by Caroline Allen (Author)

Thank you to Netgalley and Pen and Sword for the ARc.

The Krays London by Caroline Allen is a walk though guide of the areas where the notorious gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray were known to have vacated.It covers everything from where they went to school, the places they lived, the gym they boxed in while growing up, to all pubs they used and their favourite pie and eel shop.

Each of the sections give the reader some of the background information and a brief history of each place and it's association with the Krays at the time of there ruin.The book also includes photos of these places and information on how to get there.

Overall the book has been well researched and is written well and is interesting read if you enjoy true crime it is one not to miss.

Britain’s Unsolved Murders by Kevin Turton

Thank you to Pen & Sword and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy (ARC) of Britain’s Unsolved Murders by Kevin Turton via NetGalley. In exchange for a fair and honest review.

A interesting read about 13 unsolved murders between 1857-1957 in Great Britain.I had already read about a few of cases mentioned in the book but still the book held my interest. Two cases I found most intriguing were the murders of George and Lillian Peach in 1952 a case I had never come across before and the murder of Evelyn Foster in 1931.

Overall the book is well written,very informativy and gives the reader all details he or she needs to know the circumstances surrounding each of the crimes (somebooks briefly outline the case then move on to the next).

Would definitely recommended to true crime readers.

Pre release review of 'The Fall of Rorke's Drift An Alternate History of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879' by John Laband

You can pre-order this book at the link alone

Thank you to Netgallery and Pen and Sword for the opportunity to read this fascinating book.

The Fall of Rorke's Drift An Alternate History of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 by John Laband

The title really does say it all what would have happened if Rocks Drift had fallen ? How much of history would have been changed. How would this have have affected High Commissioner Frere's and Lord Chelmsford's Zulu campaign what would have been the consequences of the 1879 war all are are addressed in this fascinating and very convincing book.

Historian John Laband deserves great praise for a wonderfully detailed and thought provoking account of what may have happened if Rorke's Drift had fallen to the Zulu army.

I would definitely recommend this if you have a interest in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, to these who enjoy philosophising over alternative history and to these who enjoy reading alternate history books you won't be disappointed.

Under the Wig A Lawyer’s Stories of Murder, Guilt and Innocence by William Clegg

Under the Wig was given to me NetGalley for free in exchange for a fair review.

All the thoughts and opinions expressed are solely mine.

Under the Wig is the memoir of William Clegg QC who has a barrister for 47 years and is head of chambers at 2 Bedford Row, one of the four leading criminal sets in London.The book is told in alternating chapters.The reader will find one chapter containing the details of cases he worked on including the high profile cases of Jill Dando, Rachel Nickell, Joanna Yeates, the trial of Private Lee Clegg and Dr Lin Russell and her daughter Megan Russell. While in other chapters he tells the reader about of how he became to be a barrister, then a QC.

As a true crime reader I found the book made for fascinating and interesting read, the writing flowed nicely and I found that once you started reading the book it was very hard to put down so I decided to read the whole book in one sitting.

Overall it is excellent account of a barrister’s life and I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in law, recent history or true crime.

The Violent Abuse of Women in 17th and 18th Century Britain by Geoffrey Pimm

The books looks at how women were treated unfairly and very often violently throughout the the 17th and 18th century.

Women during this time had very little to no rights and were treated as objects of scron by the both the males of the households and by the justice system.

An examples of the difference between the treatment of men and women can seen both in the and home and how courts delt with the crimes of petty theft and high treason.For these crimes men where hanged , where's women were hurshly sentenced to death by burning at the stake. The men in any household at the time could and do beat his wife and his female servants with a legal right to do so.

The book is interesting and a fascinating read into how society was compared to today's society. The book is also well researched and a thought provoking book but sadly at times a very hard read due to subject matter.

Would recommend to those with an interested in history, equality and equal rights.


By Daniel Dark (Review) I found this book quite interesting read , the author starts by telling the reader about the history of Catsup ( ketchup ) from its early beings as a fish sauce from China to what we know it as today. Followed by pages of Catsup sauce recipes some of which sound quite tasty while others I don't think I could be persuaded to try.

You will be amazed how many recipes there are for mushroom Catsup, it's hard to imagine how so many different people come with so many different ways to make source but make they did and this book is the prove.

Praise to the author who was recovering from a stroke at the time of producing this wonderful book. 90% of the proceeds of this book goes to the Blood Banks that helped safe the life of author , so not only do you get a great book but you also help contribute to a great cause.

Death and Destruction on the Thames in London by Anthony Galvin

Thank you to Sapere Books and Netgalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Thames runs through the heart of London, and acts as a silent witness to London's history and as unwitting accomplice to death and destruction.

The book looks at the history of the Thames and it's surrounding areas, spanning from the time of the Romans to the present day and covers everything from shipwrecks to murder.

It's a great book for reading front to back or for dipping in and out of whichever you prefer. There were a few errors in historical facts and locations but these can be forgiven as I still found the book to be quite an interesting read and full of fascinating stories.

I don't think anyone can read this book and quite not look at the Thames in the same light again

If you enjoy your history this is definitely a book you should read.

Murder by the Book: A Sensational Chapter in Victorian Crime – 25 Oct 2018 by Claire Harman

In exchange for a fair review I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley

On the morning of the 6th May, 1840, Lord William Russell was found murdered in his bed in a seemingly safe, Mayfair street by his servants.

The author goes into great detail about the police investigation and the subtenant trial of Lord William Russell's Swiss valet ,which makes for interesting reading.

The book also takes a look at a novel about Jack Sheppard which at the time of the murder was very popular. It was also at one time the reason he give for killing his master saying in a statement it had influenced his decision to kill his master.

But I was sadly disappointed with the book, it was not because the book was badly  written because it wasn't .I just felt let down towards the end it felt like book was padded out with paragraphs on the writer's Dickens and Thackeray which made feel like I was reading a different book.

However this is only my opinion and someone other then myself my find this interesting.

Over all a well written and thoroughly researched book and recommended to these who enjoy true crime.

Best reads of 2018

Move to Murder is the third book in the Cold Case Jury Collection .

This time the author invites the reader to be cold case jury member looking into the murder of Julia Wallace in Liverpool in 1931 which has to be one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of all time.

 In brief, a telephone call was received at the Liverpool Central Chess Club asking for a message to be passed on to Mr William Wallace husband of the victim Julie Wallace . The caller, called himself R M Qualtrough, and he was eager to take out an endowment policy on his daughter, and wanted Wallace to visit him at his home, 25 Menlove Gardens East, the following evening to discuss it. After receiving the message and discussing it with his wife he travelled across the city using several trams. Only to discoverer that the address did not exist , disappointed I'm missing out on a commission he returned home to find his wife beaten to death and a small amount of money stolen. William was treated as the main suspect by the police was soon arrested, tried and convicted of the murder of his wife, and given the death.

However an appeal saw the conviction overturned, and nobody else was ever found guilty of the crime.

Move to Murder examines five possible theories as to what could have happened that fatal night including .Could Wallace have been the perpetrator after all, did he arrange the murder or was he completely innocent?

I liked how each of these theory's where backed up by evidence.The book also has an excellent selection of photographs, some of which show the actual crime scene itself. I found myself completely absorbed in this book and would go as far as to say it was even better then the first two in the series.

Highly recommended

Well done to the author can't wait for the next in the series.


Inspector Reid: The Real Ripper Street Paperback – by Amanda Harvey Purse (Author)

'Inspector Reid :  Real Ripper Street' by Amanda Harvey Purse

The author provides the reader with a perfect balance of family history and criminal history. She has thoroughly researched and investigated the life and times of Edmund Reid and this comes through in her writing. The book delivers exactly what it says on the tin, and introduces the reader to the real Inspector Reid.

One of the things I really love about the book is the way it is the writing style, it's like Amanda is actually in the room talking to you, I have find myself talking to myself only to release I'm the only one in the room 😁😁. I also like the fact she never over complicates the book and it's easy flowing for me this is also important as I'am dyslexic.

Highly recommended for the crime enthusiast and family historians.

Well done Amanda, another great achievement I look forward to many more years of reading your work.

The Denham Massacre Kindle Edition by Neil Watson

Publisher: Mango Books (26 Mar. 2018)

In May 1870, the Marshall family home in Denham Buckinghamshire become the scene of a bloody and horrible crime , seven members of the same family were horribly bludgeoned to death not with one weapon but three a sledgehammer, an axe and a poker all by a single man. Among the victims an elderly woman , three children and a bride-to-be.

This book caught my eye as I have a interest in Victorian true crime cases and had never come across this case before.  I was not disappointed the book gives an excellent account of the Denham tragedy of 1870. The book has been thoroughly and carefully researched. The author has included extracts from newspaper articles, reports and illustrations from the time which makes it even more interesting.

Even though the story was heartbreaking to read, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in true crime.

Woman At The Devil's Door: The Extraordinary True Story of Mary Pearcey and the Hampstead Murders by Sarah Beth Hopton

Publisher: Mango Books (6 April 2017)

On 24th October 1890 he dead body of a woman was discovered on a pile of rubbish in Hampstead, north London later identified as Phoebe Hog the next day the body of her baby daughter was found. The trail of evidence led police to the door of Mrs. Mary Eleanor Pearcey the mistress of the dead womens husband.

What follows is thoroughly researched and interesting account of one of the most famous murder cases of Victorian England, that I found most enjoyable.

Was Mrs. Pearcey evil or mad ?  Did she act alone was there an accomplice ? two lingering question that are still open open debate.

Read the story and decide for yourself.

Blackmail, Sex and Lies: A Victorian True Crime Murder Mystery by Kathryn McMaster

Publisher: Drama Llama Press; 1 edition (30 Aug. 2017)



This a fictionalised account of a true crime case from nineteenth century Glasgow.


The author tells of the love affair between Madeleine Hamilton Smith and Pierre Emile L'Angelier with a mix of know facts and fiction. The affair ends in tragedy when Pierra is poisoned and Madeleine stands accused of his murder. 


The relationship was doomed from the very start, Madeleine was from a high-class family where's Pierre was working-class and would never have been accepted into her society.


Blackmail, Sex And Lies details every aspect of their relationship though the letters they exchanged over the course of their two relationship. What I found enjoyable was the way author gives the reader all the known facts about the case allowing for him or her to make up their minds up about the guilt and innocence of Madeleine Smith. Followed by her own theory at the end of the book. 


Definitely a five star read and I definitely would and will  recommend this to anyone with an interest in the case