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  • HELP I need some new books - Recommendations?

    Hi,

    Like a lot of people here, I have literally thousands of books about true crime. I prefer real books to e-books.

    I have now run out of good reads.

    If I do a run down of my preferences perhaps somebody can help me find some murders that I don't already have in my collection.

    I would prefer Victorian era or onwards, but I'm open to any good read.

    Unsolved crimes are okay because I quite enjoy the whodunnit element.

    I'm sorry to say that I don't really want any more Jack the Ripper books in my collection.

    Anything along the lines of the Julia Wallace murder is the kind of thing that I am looking for.

    If anyone else enjoys these type of whodunnit true murder mysteries then I can recommend a few to them.....my personal favourites:

    The Dominici Affair by Jean LaBorde. I've lost count of the times I've read this gripping story. A very British family were murdered whilst on holiday in France in 1952.

    The Riddle of Birdhurst Rise by Richard Whittington-Egan. Victorian genteel society in leafy Croydon was shocked by these murders, all victims in the same family. The poisoner is obvious (imo) but this person gets away with killing three people, maybe more? I've also read this one a lot of times. Gripping stuff!
    This is simply my opinion

  • #2
    Hi Louisa,

    The Dominici Affair by Jean LaBorde. I've lost count of the times I've read this gripping story. A very British family were murdered whilst on holiday in France in 1952.
    Quite agree! Without giving the game away to anyone who doesn't know about this case but would like to find out more, the Drummonds were not the only Brits murdered on the Continent, post-war, and for long there has been a theory that the killings were linked. As far as I'm aware, no-one was ever brought to book for these murders.

    A great read and a great mystery!

    One of my own absolute favourite unsolved crimes is the 1983 murder of wealthy lawyer Janice Weston, but so far as I'm aware no-one has yet published a full-length account of it - which kind of surprises me.

    Graham
    We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

    Comment


    • #3
      Crikey. I'd not heard of the Dominici Affair before, but the basic details - British scientist and family holidaying in France found shot in a lay by - sound remarkably like the Annecy murders of a few years ago.

      Comment


      • #4
        Fiction, and not a book, but worth mentioning :

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCgHSMHP7hg

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Graham,

          Thanks for your reply.

          Somebody was brought to book for the murder of the Drummonds. A local man whose pride was hurt by this posh English family who camped on (what he considered to be) his land.

          I'm not spoiling the story because this lovable old Frenchman is the prime suspect right from the start - but proving it? And what about the pathetic attempts by his large family to cover up for him?

          His grandson Alain (now grown up of course) is all for the idiotic conspiracy theory, which in my opinion, is frankly ridiculous. Just because Drummond was a scientist he has to also have been a spy - on a secret mission - and using his family as a smoke screen!

          They were simply an English family having a wonderful motoring holiday in the south of France and picked the wrong place to camp.

          The detective was heroic imo and laid the truth bare.

          Fascinating stuff!
          This is simply my opinion

          Comment


          • #6
            Interesting case - Orson Welles got involved in it too. He was in France at the time, raising money for his own films, and was doing a series on French television, and he went to the local of the Drummond murders, and interviewed people involved in the case. It was for his television show, and the French government clamped down on what he was doing. If you look up Welles or Dominici on "You Tube" (and understand French) you can see the surviving film he shot.

            Jeff

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Louisa,

              I can definitely recommend Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery, by Robert Kolker. The book examines the possibility of a Long Island serial killer, with a particular focus on the lives of the victims, and was described by the New York Times as "Riveting and Heartbreaking." I completely agree.

              I could also recommend a couple of e-books that I've read recently: Move to Murder, an exhaustive examination of the intriguing Wallace murder, and Poisoning at the Priory, a nineteenth century mystery concerning the poisoning of Charles Bravo. Was it suicide, murder or a case of misadventure?

              With both of these books you can go onto a website-Cold Case Jury-and vote for your preferred solution, after which you can access the author's own conclusions.
              Last edited by John G; 08-21-2016, 01:09 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Louisa,

                Somebody was brought to book for the murder of the Drummonds. A local man whose pride was hurt by this posh English family who camped on (what he considered to be) his land.
                I think there was a leeeetle bit more to it than that; but I won't be a spoilsport.

                Dominici was actually pardoned by Presidential decree, an extremely rare occurrence in France, and questions have been asked with regard to how much certain persons in high office knew about this case.

                Just to whet your appetite and maybe set you thinking, how much do you know - or even, have you heard? - of the Cartland Case of 1973?

                Graham
                We are suffering from a plethora of surmise, conjecture and hypothesis. - Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure Of Silver Blaze

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi, Louisa.

                  Here is a link to a selection of books about serial killers, mostly in the 20th century.

                  http://www.the-line-up.com/8-disturb...erial-killers/

                  I don't know how good any of those titles are, though I did read one book about the BTK killer which was very frightening.

                  My favorite true crime book is Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America.
                  https://www.amazon.com/Devil-White-C...=UTF8&qid=&sr=
                  This book combines the history of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago with H. H. Holmes's "murder hotel", also in Chicago and in operation at the same time. It's very readable and quite fascinating.
                  Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
                  ---------------
                  Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
                  ---------------

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post
                    Hi, Louisa.

                    Here is a link to a selection of books about serial killers, mostly in the 20th century.

                    http://www.the-line-up.com/8-disturb...erial-killers/

                    I don't know how good any of those titles are, though I did read one book about the BTK killer which was very frightening.

                    My favorite true crime book is Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America.
                    https://www.amazon.com/Devil-White-C...=UTF8&qid=&sr=
                    This book combines the history of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago with H. H. Holmes's "murder hotel", also in Chicago and in operation at the same time. It's very readable and quite fascinating.
                    Larson also wrote "Thunderstruck" which is about Marconi's struggles to create "wireless telegraphy" from 1899 to 1910, and the parallel story of Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen and the murder of his wife Cora, whose capture with his mistress Ethel Le Neve fleeing to Canada on the "S.S. Montrose", was due to the use of wireless.

                    Also I recommend Edwards Stears' "Blood on the Moon", an excellent in depth retelling of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Also James Swanson wrote a terrific account of the national response in searching for John Wilkes Booth, named "Manhunt".

                    Jeff

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi, louisa.

                      Here are a few that I have on my shelf and recommend.
                      Not arranged in any particular order.

                      'Murder by Gaslight' by 'Leonard Piper',(1991). Ten murder cases from the Victorian and Edwardian periods, each case taking up a compact twenty or so pages but delivering plenty of intrigue and detail. Unhappily lacking a bibliography or index.

                      'Unsolved Murders in Victorian and Edwardian London' by 'Jonathan Oates',(2007). Twenty-five cases, an introductory chapter on policing in the Capital during the relevant periods and a few useful notes on Londons changing population and that awkward old monetary system. With index and bibliography listing primary and secondary sources.

                      'An Edward Pearson True Crime Reader, Masterpieces of Murder' Edited by 'Gerald Gross',(1963). A compilation of classic essays and articles by the crime writer Edward Pearson(1880-1937).

                      'Victorian Murderesses' by 'Mary S. Hartman',(1977). A somewhat dry but well-researched work, detailing the lives of thirteen murderesses. Rather than a plain retelling of old stories, the author examines the morals and prejudices of the times, giving a fuller understanding of the social pressures and restrictions women faced every day. Comprehensive notes and bibliography.

                      'The Murder of Helen Jewett' by 'Patricia Cline Cohen',(1998).
                      Extensive and engrossing account of the life and death of a prostitute in early nineteenth-century New York and the subsequent trial and acquittal of a suspect. Well illustrated with maps, letters, and portraits and containing over forty pages of detailed notes.

                      'The Blooding' by 'Joseph Wambaugh',(1989).
                      A riveting account of the nineteen-eighties police investigation into the murders of two young girls in neighbouring English villages. It details the first use of DNA fingerprinting and its part in revealing the identity of the murderer.

                      Yours, Caligo.
                      Last edited by Caligo Umbrator; 08-22-2016, 06:12 PM.
                      "I know why the sun never sets on the British Empire: God wouldn't trust an Englishman in the dark."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Murders at White House Farm by Carol Ann Lee
                        An account of the 1985 murders of the Bamber family.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi, louisa.

                          I offer a few more suggestions from my shelf.

                          'The London Monster' by 'Jan Bondeson',(2002).

                          The 'London Monster' was the name given to the perpetrator of a series of around fifty physical assaults against females in seventeen ninety. The author reviews these in detail, covers the capture and trial of the supposed offender and considers the related hysteria that briefly engulfed Londoners that year. He further explores other similar but later cases of 'phantom' or 'monster' attacks and collective frenzy. Well illustrated and with twenty pages of references and notes.

                          'Four Against the Bank of England' by 'Ann Huxley',(1969).

                          True crime, Hustle style. Deceit, fraud, and forgery are the tools in trade of four men who take the Bank of England to the cleaners in Victorian Britain. An extraordinary tale containing equal measures of audaciousness and gullibility.

                          'Lord High Executioner' by 'Howard Engel',(1996).

                          Not true crime so much as a somewhat potted account of the fate that those found guilty of a truly heinous crime might end up suffering, as execution methods through the ages changed. The differing means by which the prisoner met their final release is examined in sometimes dreadful detail. Illustrated with documents, tables, and photographs. Good bibliography and index.

                          'Murder Guide to London' by 'Martin Fido',(1986).

                          A useful 'murder digest', comprising of a short, one to three-page description of the characters involved, the commission of the crime (or crimes) and the final consequences for those concerned. Packed with interesting stories and, in each case, one is furnished with all the relevant and required information. As well as containing appealing photographs, there are also included, towards the rear of the book, some helpful 'A-Z' style maps, showing the locations of the incidents, allowing the reader to develop their own 'murder tour' should they wish.

                          Mayerling mentioned 'Manhunt', a title by 'James Swanson'. Should that subject be of interest, there is another book by Swanson entitled 'Bloody Crimes', which more or less picks up the threads of the previous book and tells the joint stories of Lincoln's final journey and the hunt for the Confederate President, Jefferson Davis. A colourful, dramatic and poignant tale.


                          Yours, Caligo
                          Last edited by Caligo Umbrator; 08-22-2016, 11:14 PM. Reason: spelling correction.
                          "I know why the sun never sets on the British Empire: God wouldn't trust an Englishman in the dark."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Wow! Thank you all so much for your help. I'll be going on Amazon shortly to purchase some of those recommended books, some of the cases sound very interesting indeed.

                            I already have books on quite a few of the cases mentioned. The Bamber case is one I know backwards.

                            Getting back to the Dominici Affair, the Annecy case was only similar in that a family were murdered in France. As I recall didn't the brother turn out to be the guilty one, albeit not proven?

                            I have the orson Welles video of the Dominici Affair in my collection but I certainly would not recommend it. It's rambling and boring and time seems to stand still when you're watching it. There is another video of the case which is a lot better. My video is untitled but I recorded it from a TV documentary on the Crime and Investigation channel a few years ago. They were running a series about interesting murders from the past. It's much much more detailed than the Orson Welles effort.

                            The old man Gaston Dominici was tried and found guilty and was later pardoned by DeGaulle, but only because of his age - he was over 80 by this time and had spent a long time in jail already. He certainly wasn't pardoned because of any doubt about his guilt.

                            I have no doubt about it either but I'm certain that his son was also involved; he certainly moved the bodies in his search for......what? A camera maybe? The one the little girl was taking photos with shortly before she died? The camera was never found.


                            Regarding other murders - I already have the book about the Charles Bravo case, and very good it is too.

                            Somebody on this forum (a long time ago) was talking about the case of Mr. Briggs' Hat - a murder I'd never heard of before. I bought the book and it was a very good read. So being on this forum is helping me a lot.


                            For others interested in these type of crimes I would recommend this one:

                            "The Murder At Wrotham Hill" by Diana Souhami

                            Please keep the recommendations coming because I'm finding them very very useful. Thanks so much!
                            This is simply my opinion

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I can heartily recommend "The Burning of Evelyn Foster" by Jonathan Goodman.
                              It is an excellent dissection of a truly strange case.

                              In the realm of JTR, I can recommend "Jack the Ripper: The Definitive Casebook" by Richard Whittington Egan.
                              It is as if you are sitting across from a knowledgeable old uncle as he discusses all aspects of the case, with some gentle barbs lobbed at certain authors that have failed to live up the rigorous standards that RWE expects.

                              Absolutely wonderful!

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