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.
The Invention of Murder
How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime
The tradition of British detective fiction developed in parallel with the new Victorian police force as real-life murder cases inspired not only novels but also broadsides, waxworks, melodramas and puppet shows. In her exploration of a century of murder, Flanders uses the stories of the most notorious cases, from Burke and Hare to Jack the Ripper, to build up a picture of Victorian society and the evolving representations of crime and criminals in popular culture.