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.
Strangers on a Bridge
The Case of Colonel Abel and Francis Gary Powers
On 10 February 1962, on Glienicke Bridge between East Germany and West Berlin, the American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers was exchanged for Rudolf Abel, Soviet head of espionage in the USA. James Donovan was the American lawyer who defended Abel in court and negotiated his release to the USSR and the return of Powers. First published in 1964, this is the first-hand, inside story of a tense episode at the height of the Cold War. Slightly off-mint.