Crime's Strangest Cases
Extraordinary but True Stories from Over Five Centuries of Legal History
Convinced that God would save him, John Lee was calm in the face of the executioner at Exeter Prison in 1885. His confidence proved well founded when three times the hangman's trapdoor failed to open, resulting in his reprieve. This collection of crime and punishment oddities ranges from a 13th-century ‘trial by battle’ to a phantom villain at Derby Magistrates Court in 2001.
Pinkerton's Great Detective
The Amazing Life and Times of James McParland
Created in 1850, Pinkerton's National Detective Agency used operatives renowned for their skills of subterfuge, infiltration and investigation – and none more so than James McParland, who even featured in a Sherlock Holmes story. This detailed but very readable biography from the author of Nimrod charts the famous cases of this real-life super-sleuth, including his infiltration of the Molly Maguires and his hunt for the Wild Bunch, and sheds new light on Pinkerton's cloak-and-dagger methods.
Murder on the Home Front
A True Story of Morgues, Murderers, and Mysteries during the London Blitz
Giving up her job as a junior reporter in favour of becoming secretary to pathologist Keith Simpson, Molly Lefebure spent the war years attending autopsies and crime scenes and consorting with policemen and criminal lawyers. Against the backdrop of the London blitz, this memoir, dramatized in the 2013 ITV drama of the same title, recounts the stories of dozens of mysteries and crimes unravelled by the work of forensic pathology.