If you scroll through the podcast app on my phone you will find that about 80% of the ones I have and still listen to tend to be in the true crime genre. I love anything to do with unsolved crimes or wrongful convictions, I find myself getting far more involved than I should (I lose hours on google looking up crime scene photos!).
One area I hadn’t really explored was true crime books and I recently picked up a few to add to my autumn reading pile and thought I would share for those of you who are also true crime junkies!
Firstly is a book which bridges the gap between true crime and fiction – See What I have Done by Sarah Schmidt (£11.08) has the Lizzie Borden murder at it’s heart but is Sarah’s reimagining of what happened on the day when Lizzies dad and step mum are found brutally axed in their home. Lizzie becomes the main suspect but was never convicted of the crime. The story also focuses on the other players who had their own motives and their own stories to tell: Lizzie’s unmarried older sister, a put-upon Irish housemaid and a boy hired by Lizzie’s uncle to take care of a problem. The book is incredibly descriptive and also focuses on smell to give a real picture of that day in the house. A great read but not for the faint hearted!
Speaking of podcasts the next up on the list is Untold: The Daniel Morgan Murder Exposed (£13.78) which is actually based on a podcast of the same name. This focuses on the murder of Daniel Morgan at the back of a south London pub in 1987. This is a crime which was never solved but Daniels brother, Alister did some of his own investigating seeing this murder linked to police corruption and to the more recent phone hacking scandal at News of the World. The podcast is still worth a listen but this just goes into more detail to really build a picture and narrative around this brutal murder.
Finally is the most recent release so I haven’t read this one yet – but it grabbed my attention when the author was speaking on TV! The Mile End Murder (The Case Conan Doyle couldn’t solve) by Sinclair McKay (£16) is set back in 1860 when 70 year old widow turned landlady, Mary Emsley was found dead in her own home, killed by a blow to the back of her head.
What followed was a murder case that gripped the nation, a veritable locked room mystery which baffled even legendary Sherlock Holmes author, Arthur Conan Doyle. With an abundance of suspects, from disgruntled step children concerned about their inheritance and a spurned admirer repeatedly rejected by the widow, to a trusted employee, former police officer and spy, the case led to a public trial dominated by surprise revelations and shock witnesses, before culminating with one of the final public executions at Newgate.
Autor Sinclair McKay has finally solved this murder so it is a true ‘whodunit’ novel which I can’t wait to get stuck into!
If you have any other true crime novels please leave them below so I can add them to my list!