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  • #91
    I just finished American Predator by Maureen Callahan which is the story of serial killer Israel Keyes.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos...rnFromLogin=1&

    It’s not that often that I read books on modern true crime but I saw this one online and the reviews were all excellent. I’d never heard of Keyes but he’s the kind of serial killer that they make movies about. This is another really good one. Recommended.
    Regards

    Sir Herlock Sholmes

    Comment


    • #92
      This one could be a cracker. It’s out in September.

      https://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos...reative=165953

      Stashower wrote one of the best biographies of Conan Doyle.
      Regards

      Sir Herlock Sholmes

      Comment


      • #93
        I'm sure that the True Crime buffs among you will already be aware of these books, but following a recommendation by a friend I've been reading Gordon Burn.

        I'm not really an avid reader of true crime (other than JtR) as I find some titles a bit salacious and distasteful, but I heard that these books were extremely well written and interesting, employing an approach more akin to Truman Capote's In Cold Blood than the usual tabloid style sensationalism.

        Somebody's Husband, Somebody's Son is an account of Peter Sutcliffe's family background, upbringing and crimes.

        Burn embedded himself in the Sutcliffe family for two years, conducting in depth interviews with family, friends and neighbours, giving a real sense of time and place.

        Well worth a read, if you've not already done so.

        Happy Like Murderers employs a similar technique to the Fred & Rose West case.

        This is also extremely well researched and written, but I personally found the absolutely relentless abuse and violence quite hard to stomach.

        Given the subject matter, I didn't expect it to be a barrel of laughs, but every time a scene was described when an extended family member or friend visited Cromwell St, I found myself naively hoping that they would realise what's going on and blow the whistle.

        Nope! They merely participated in the ongoing child abuse.

        The introduction describes it as "a book to be endured" and I'd say that's spot on!

        Insightful and well written, but TBH I may have preferred to live without such insight.....

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        • #94
          I’ve got 21 biographies of Arthur Conan Doyle and none are better than ‘Teller Of Tales’ by Daniel Stashower, so when I saw two other books of his I thought that I’d give them a go. I’m glad that I did.

          The first was The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe and The Invention Of Murder.

          The body of Mary Rogers was found floating in the Hudson River in July 1841. She’d previously achieved local celebrity status when she worked in a well known cigar/tobacco store where she was known for her beauty and charm. Her murder was never solved but Edgar Allan Poe decided that his fictional detective C. Auguste Dupin would solve it in a follow up to ‘The Murders In The Rue Morgue,’ called ‘The Mystery Of Marie Rogt.’ Although it was a work of fiction Poe claimed that it would get to the truth of what had happened. Stashower’s book follows two strands; the investigation into the murder and Poe’s life, work and attempt at getting at the true solution and he does a brilliant job of it.

          The second book was The Hour Of Peril: The Secret Plot To Murder Lincoln Before The Civil War.

          This one is even better in my opinion. It chronicles Lincoln’s train journey to Washington for his inauguration and the fears of a secessionist plot to kill him based around Baltimore. There’s plenty of interesting stuff about Allan Pinkerton and how he and his agents worked to identify the plotters. It’s fast-paced stuff and it really illustrates how unpopular Lincoln was purely because of his views on slavery and how far the pro-slavery confederates were willing to go to prevent him becoming President. Excellent book.
          Regards

          Sir Herlock Sholmes

          Comment


          • #95
            Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
            I’ve got 21 biographies of Arthur Conan Doyle and none are better than ‘Teller Of Tales’ by Daniel Stashower, so when I saw two other books of his I thought that I’d give them a go. I’m glad that I did.

            The first was The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe and The Invention Of Murder.

            The body of Mary Rogers was found floating in the Hudson River in July 1841. She’d previously achieved local celebrity status when she worked in a well known cigar/tobacco store where she was known for her beauty and charm. Her murder was never solved but Edgar Allan Poe decided that his fictional detective C. Auguste Dupin would solve it in a follow up to ‘The Murders In The Rue Morgue,’ called ‘The Mystery Of Marie Rogt.’ Although it was a work of fiction Poe claimed that it would get to the truth of what had happened. Stashower’s book follows two strands; the investigation into the murder and Poe’s life, work and attempt at getting at the true solution and he does a brilliant job of it.

            The second book was The Hour Of Peril: The Secret Plot To Murder Lincoln Before The Civil War.

            This one is even better in my opinion. It chronicles Lincoln’s train journey to Washington for his inauguration and the fears of a secessionist plot to kill him based around Baltimore. There’s plenty of interesting stuff about Allan Pinkerton and how he and his agents worked to identify the plotters. It’s fast-paced stuff and it really illustrates how unpopular Lincoln was purely because of his views on slavery and how far the pro-slavery confederates were willing to go to prevent him becoming President. Excellent book.
            thanks herlock. both sound fascinating.
            "Is all that we see or seem
            but a dream within a dream?"

            -Edgar Allan Poe


            "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
            quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

            -Frederick G. Abberline

            Comment


            • #96
              Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

              thanks herlock. both sound fascinating.
              Both good ones Abby. I’ve just started Lincoln by David Herbert Donald and have ordered two books today, Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind The Legend, and Almost A Miracle: The American Victory In The War Of Independence, so reading-wise I’m spending more time in The States than in the UK lately.
              Regards

              Sir Herlock Sholmes

              Comment


              • #97
                Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                Both good ones Abby. I’ve just started Lincoln by David Herbert Donald and have ordered two books today, Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind The Legend, and Almost A Miracle: The American Victory In The War Of Independence, so reading-wise I’m spending more time in The States than in the UK lately.
                In terms of reading, I am currently in The US too.

                Rural Utah to be precise.

                Am in the middle of Norman Mailer's "The Executioners Song".

                It's a behemoth, so I'm going to be hanging out in Mormon country for a while longer!

                It is superbly written and completely gripping so far.

                Thanks for the above tips.

                I like the sound of the Poe one.

                Will take a closer look at it when I'm splurging on Amazon!

                Comment


                • #98
                  Originally posted by Ms Diddles View Post

                  In terms of reading, I am currently in The US too.

                  Rural Utah to be precise.

                  Am in the middle of Norman Mailer's "The Executioners Song".

                  It's a behemoth, so I'm going to be hanging out in Mormon country for a while longer!

                  It is superbly written and completely gripping so far.

                  Thanks for the above tips.

                  I like the sound of the Poe one.

                  Will take a closer look at it when I'm splurging on Amazon!
                  The Executioner’s Song is a classic Ms D although it’s been many years since I read it.
                  Regards

                  Sir Herlock Sholmes

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                    The Executioner’s Song is a classic Ms D although it’s been many years since I read it.
                    Yeah, it reminds me of In Cold Blood, but for some reason it had completely passed me by until now.

                    All I really knew about Norman Mailer previously was his big spat with Gore Vidal!

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

                      Both good ones Abby. I’ve just started Lincoln by David Herbert Donald and have ordered two books today, Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind The Legend, and Almost A Miracle: The American Victory In The War Of Independence, so reading-wise I’m spending more time in The States than in the UK lately.
                      Hello Herlock,

                      If you are interested in legends of the Old West I recommend "Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend by Gary Roberts." Doc was a fascinating character and a true legend.

                      https://www.amazon.com/Doc-Holliday-...%2C442&sr=8-14

                      c.d.

                      Comment


                      • And of course Doc stood with Wyatt and his brothers at the legendary O.K. Corral gunfight.

                        c.d.

                        Comment


                        • An interesting note - Margaret Mitchell, author of "Gone With The Wind" said that she based the character of Melanie Wilkes (whom Ashley marries instead of Scarlett) on Doc's cousin whom he intended to marry but she abruptly entered a convent. Some speculate that his broken heart was the impetus for Doc going west.

                          c.d.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by c.d. View Post

                            Hello Herlock,

                            If you are interested in legends of the Old West I recommend "Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend by Gary Roberts." Doc was a fascinating character and a true legend.

                            https://www.amazon.com/Doc-Holliday-...%2C442&sr=8-14

                            c.d.
                            Hi c.d.

                            I have that one on my list of ‘to get’ book thanks. Sadly, I’ll need to sell a kidney to buy them all but hey…

                            I saw a few Old West documentaries recently which led me to branch out a little. Some interesting characters. I was disappointed to find that Calamity Jane looked absolutely nothing like Doris Day though.
                            Regards

                            Sir Herlock Sholmes

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Ms Diddles View Post

                              Yeah, it reminds me of In Cold Blood, but for some reason it had completely passed me by until now.

                              All I really knew about Norman Mailer previously was his big spat with Gore Vidal!
                              I just read about his argument with Vidal on the Dick Cavett show.

                              I have Oswald’s Tale by him and a friend once recommended his novel Harlot’s Ghost which I never read (the fact that it’s over 1300 pages long probably put me off; especially for a novel)
                              Regards

                              Sir Herlock Sholmes

                              Comment


                              • Hello Herlock,

                                You have an interest in the Civil War it seems. You have probably read "The Killer Angels" but if not I highly recommend.

                                Another good one is "Company Aytch" by Sam Watkins. A diary of a confederate private. It was heavily quoted in the Ken Burn's documentary on the Civil War.

                                https://www.amazon.com/Company-Aytch...s%2C784&sr=8-1

                                c.d.

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