*Shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction 2019*
'A fascinating portrait of Victorian London' Observer
'I devoured it in one sitting' Alison Weir
'Excellent' Dan Snow
Early on the morning of 6 May 1840, on an ultra-respectable Mayfair street, the elderly Lord William Russell was discovered in bed with his throat cut so deeply that the head was almost severed.
When Lord William's assassin claimed to having been inspired by a recent sensational novel, it sent shock waves through literary London, and drew both Dickens and Thackeray into the fray. The crime, the investigation, the city's fevered fixation and the mores of the Victorian age are all brilliantly evoked and scrutinized in Claire Harman's spellbinding account of a surprisingly literary crime.
'A scandalous Victorian mystery' Guardian
'Fascinating, entertaining. Harman's tale is never less than rip-roaring' Daily Telegraph
'Vivid and punchy' Spectator An endlessly fascinating, bookish tale of true crime in Victorian England . . . Lovers of Drood, Sherlock, Jack the Ripper, and their kin real and fictional will relish the gruesome details of this entertaining book. * Kirkus Reviews, starred review * Harman effectively uses a novelist's approach to recreate a now obscure 1840 English murder case that was a sensation at the time . . . By exploring concerns about the glorification of criminals in the fiction of the day and addressing some lingering mysteries, such as whether Courvoisier had an accomplice, Harman adds depth to a fascinating true crime narrative. * Publishers Weekly, starred review * A fascinating, exhaustively researched exploration into how art can influence society and vice versa, Murder by the Book
turns an unflinching eye to the ways in which biases born of economic inequality affect the way crimes are investigated and prosecuted. It's a true crime devotee's delight * BookPage * An assiduously researched and superbly written book that ends with Harman examining unanswered questions, and reminding us that truth can be stranger than fiction * Minneapolis Star Tribune * Harman demonstrates a flair for distilling reams of research into a succinct, lively narrative. The book is an exemplar of how to write taut, issue-driven historical nonfiction. With an appreciation for pithy quotations, telling details and amusing gossip, she's quick to spot a fascinating aside . . . As riveting as this true-crime story is, what elevates Murder by the Book
above sensationalism is its focus on how this case heightened concern over the mal
Murder by the Book