I was pretty excited to begin this book. I love books about art crime (Mostly the gentleman thief variety). Art and antiquities crime is a huge international black market. Truly harrowing to think about.
Adam Worth was a master criminal, known for his frauds and deceptions, but also for stealing a painting of Georgianna Cavendish (Duchess of something) by Thomas Gainsborough. There are run-ins with the Pinkertons (before they became totally union busting jerkfaces), safe cracking, crimes across Europe and America.
Adam Worth is also the supposed inspiration for Moriarity in the Sherlock Holmes books. Allegedly. Ben Macintyre does talk about this in one of the chapters, so fun to read about it.
I actually took a lot of detailed notes for this book, which is nice because it's been awhile since I read it. I've already read a few books since then, so it's not as fresh in my mind. I had not heard of this story, this woman, or this book. For some reason, I assumed there was a mafia connection (there isn't...that's another case).
There are black and white photos in the book. I have a photo of them, the photos are on the same paper as the print. Sometimes there's a glossy insert but this isn't the case here.
The book is split into several sections, which makes it easy to split into short bursts if you find it gruesome. The author, Glenn Puit, interviewed Brookey Lee West in 2003. Puit has written other books, including two on cases I'm familiar with (the Kathy Valentine poisoning was one) and two I'm not.
The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science by Douglas StarrRead Now
Oh, this book was a revelation! It's one of those multi-storied books. We get the story of a serial killer and his apprehension, a story on how the lawyer changed how to prosecute, and the story of how a scientist used forensics to catch the criminal. We also get to have the culture of France at the time, the history aspect really. It's one of my favorite type of book set ups. I'm not sure if it has a name. Popular History? But with this multiple arcs.
That being said, it's a lot of information. Obviously, any of these aspects could fill multiple books by breaking it down in detail. I got enough to understand everything though.
Douglas Starr is a new author to me. He has another book, aptly titled Blood, about how blood became valuable in the medical field. I do like my nonfiction to be science or history, so I might see if I can pick that up soon.
This was actually the first book I finished in 2019. I'll be honest and say that I did put it down a few times as it was hard to read (the content was difficult to read, the actual prose is fine). Also of note, I've kept up with this story via the news, documentaries and write-ups (one being from the author himself, via Medium).
The RWA shitshow is still ongoing. I'm not shocked by the excuses or oblivious refusal to see issue from some of the white authors (who benefit from the money and work put in by others) but I'm a bit surprised it's still ongoing since it's hit so many news outlets. I'd like to think people have some form of self-preservation. Speaking of, one of the women who complained about Courtney Milan retracted her statement (only in a newsprint interview) admitting it was false. I think her agent got a hold of her and told her to stop making an international mess of herself. What I do like is that the majority of authors I like to read have signed on saying they do not agree with the RWA's actions or decisions here or in reference to other AOCs (the ones that I can find that is). It's always nice to know the people you buy books from aren't arseholes.
I picked this book up pretty much the moment it was released. I kinda talked about it but I didn't ever review it. I really like Skip Hollandsworth's articles and writing style so even if I wasn't interested in the topic itself, I knew that this book was going to be right up my alley. Of course, it's a real life historical mystery, so it's absolutely something I'm interested in.
This book is about a series of murders that took place in Austin in the 1880s, after the Civil War. Some of these murders (if not all of them) are thought to have been perpetuated by one person--presumably America's first serial killer. This was around the same time as Jack the Ripper and like his/her British counterpart, these series of crimes remains unsolved. It's somewhat difficult to write a long book about a series of unsolved murders, committed in the past, with unreliable evidence, so Hollandsworth also brings in the changing culture of Texas (a Confederate state). He covers politics (Austin was the new capital city), politicians (quite a few Confederate soldiers came back to run the state), new inventions, society changes (how servants lived) and how crime was taken care of during this time period.
Skip Hollandsworth has about 30 pages of articles from Texas Monthly if that's of any interest. His newest (as of today) article is titled The Serial Killer of Laredo: The Serial Killer That Hid In Plain Sight Among the Border Patrol's Ranks. One of the most fascinating articles he wrote is called "Midnight in the Garden of East Texas," about how Bernie Tiede murdered Marjorie Nugunt. The town (Carthage, Texas) rallied around Bernie during his arrest and trial (and his release). Honestly, it's one of these true-crime cases that is just...bizarre.
Both of these books were ARC from NetGalley. I've been a slow reader with all these books because sometimes the format is not ready for commercial use yet.
A Few Right Thinking Men is a fictional book, set in Australia in the 1930s. It's by Sulari Gentill and is the first of her Rowland Sinclair series. The Last Stone is a true-crime book about a cold case investigation that was solved.
A Few Right Thinking Men by Sulari Gentill
This book is highly recommended on a forum I visit about unsolved mysteries, which may or may nor be an odd hobby. Robert Kolker didn't take the normal approach to this serial killer, which I really like. Kolker focuses on the women that went missing and were later found on Long Island deceased.
Apparently Netflix is creating a movie/series on the book and case. Also, the 911 audio recording of one of the victims mentioned in the book is supposed to be released, although I'm not sure if that will do anything.
I bought this on a whim. It's a nonfiction, historical, murder mystery. It's my jam! The copy I bought was an older library version (from Philly!). It's my first Kate Summerscale book but I have another one of her books on my bookshelf and the television series on my list. I'll get around to it eventually.