BOOK REVIEW ~ The Kray’s London

The Kray’s London: A History and Guide

This is a guide to all places Kray involved when it comes to London for anyone who is a fan or interested in them. It covers everything from where they went to school, the places they lived and the gym they boxed in growing up, to all of their favorite haunts, whether for pie and eel, or other delicacies and where they liked to go on a night out. They opened their first club at age 20, The Regal in 1954. Other clubs would follow. They used them as a place to hang out with their cronies and discuss their criminal dealings.

I found it quite interesting, the background and the anecdotes on the twins themselves that are weaved throughout. If you have an interest in the Krays or East End crime in this period, you might want to check this out then. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Caroline Allen, and the publisher.



Publisher: Pen & Sword – 176 pages
Publication:  Dec 19, 2019
RATED: 4/5 Stars

The Author– Caroline Elvin is an author and journalist. Her grandfather cut the hair of the Kray twins for ten years and was even picked up and taken to ‘secret locations’ whilst they were on the run. Caroline has spent her life researching and hearing stories about them and would like to share her knowledge to help people build a picture of the real Kray twins.

BOOK REVIEW ~ Britain’s Unsolved Murders

This book is about 13 murders in Britain that went unsolved between the mid 1857 and 1957, each laid out in separate chapters. These murders were all ones I hadn’t already read about, so that was even more interesting to me. I dived right in and found them enjoyable reading, starting with Chapter 1. The Poisoning of Emile L’Angelier – The Madeline Smith mystery, 1857. Chapter 2. Bradford’s Jack the Ripper – The murder of John Gill 1888. Chapter 3. The Country House Shooting – The murder of Windsor Dudley Cecil Hambrough, 1893. Chapter 4. The Baby Killer- The murder of Rees Thomas Yells Brandish, 1897. Chapter 5. The Peasenhall Mystery – The murder of Rose Harsent; Chapter 6. The Camden Town Murder- The murder of Emily Dimmock. Chapter 7. The Summer House Shooting – The murder of Caroline Mary Luard 1908. Chapter 8. The Kidwelly Poisoning- The murder of Mabel Greenwood 1919. Chapter 9. The Railway Murder -The murder of Florence Nightingale Shore, 1920. Chapter 10. The Burning Car Mystery – The murder of Evelyn Foster, 1931. Chapter 11. A Case of Ballistics – The murder of Doctor Angelos Zemenides, 1933. Chapter 12. The Country Estate Murders – The murder of George and Lillian Peach, 1952. Chapter 13. The Freezer Murder – The murder of Anne Noblett, 1957.

This is a good read for true crime lovers who enjoy a mystery and like cold cases. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Kevin Turton, and the publisher.




Publisher: Pen & Sword
Publication: Dec 19th, 2019
RATING: 4/5 Stars

The Author- Born at Bradgate in Rotherham, Kevin Turton has been writing books on true crime and local history for over twenty years. Now based in Northamptonshire, where he has lived for twenty-five years, he has also written about the counties involvement in both World Wars and its murderous past and is currently researching his own family history.

Murder by the Book

Murder by the Book: The Crime That Shocked Dickens’s London

This book is set in 1840’s London and starts out discussing the murder of Lord William Russell in his Norfolk Street home after he retires to bed for the night to do some reading. He is found the next morning by his servant with his head gaping open from the blow of an ax which has been left nearby. There is evidence of coins and a watch taken, among other things. Lord William had previously complained of a locket with his late wife’s picture inside going missing, that he carried all the time. A doctor is sent for, along with the police, and an investigation is begun. There is also a running commentary with certain authors of the day such as William Ainsworth and Charles Dickens about a couple of their books involving criminal characters, and whether or not they encourage people to commit crimes after reading the books or seeing them acted in plays, as some folks have claimed. Kind of like the debate about violent movies and video games today, and whether they play a part in people committing crimes later after viewing them.

The book is very detailed and gives a lot of connected side information to kind of flesh out the story from just the actual murder. There is also a lot of supposition of various ways the crime might have happened, and who else might have been involved also. It turned out to be a decent true crime book for this time period. My thanks for the advance electronic copy that was provided by NetGalley, author Claire Harman, and the publisher for my fair review.


Publisher: Knopf – 272 pages
Published: March 26th, 2019
RATED: 3.5/5 Stars

The AuthorCLAIRE HARMAN is the author of Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart; Sylvia Townsend Warner, for which she won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize; biographies of Fanny Burney and Robert Louis Stevenson; and Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a frequent reviewer. She divides her time between New York City and Oxford, England.

Stone Free


Stone Free: Jimi Hendrix in London, September 1966-June 1967

In many respects, Jimi changed the sound of rock far more than the Beatles. You know, they brought songwriting to rock and roll, but Jimi changed the sound of the guitar.

— Pete Townshend

This is a great book for most any Jimi Hendrix fan, it focuses on the nine month period of time when he went to London and really changed the entire trajectory of his career. He worked his behind off developing everything from his wardrobe, his performing skills, expressing himself vocally, etc. Making use of every moment he morphed himself from a backup player to the headlining star he was meant to be. He got a bass player and a drummer, Noel Redding, and John “Mitch” Mitchell, and formed a trio, Jimi Hendrix and the Experience, and they rehearsed some songs until they felt they were ready to go on stage as an opener for another group. This is how he developed himself into a full act, moving from the back of the stage to the front. Then Chas Chandler, formerly of the group The Animals, along with Animals manager Mike Jeffery, who’d gotten Hendrix to go to London in the first place, and were co-managing him, got the band some work in France, Germany and in England to give them the experience they needed.

In October 1966 Chandler also got the band their first studio recording session for “Hey Joe”. Hendrix was still uncertain about his singing voice and wanted to bury the vocals under the music. Chandler wouldn’t allow it though and made Jimi turn the volume back down. Once he got that song down, they needed a song for the B side and Jimi was told he needed to write his own songs in order to get publishing royalties. So, no problem, Hendrix transitions from player to player/songwriter, boom. “He had attempted writing songs before, but the true flowering of Jimi Hendrix, composer, occurred after his move into Hyde Park Towers.” “Stone Free” was his first official composition for the Experience, written in the Hyde Park Towers a day or two after the initial “Hey Joe” session. Soon after, he was playing it in clubs and recording it. Other songs soon followed. Jimi also jammed with lots of other artists, many of whom were world famous names like Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, etc. His very shy, polite manner made him easy to get along with.

The book follows him through that whole period of time, as he transforms from a veritable unknown to someone everyone has heard of and are eagerly awaiting his show back in the US. My thanks for the electronic copy that was provided by NetGalley, author Jas Obrecht, and the publisher for my fair review.

University of North Carolina Press   256 pages
Pub: Nov 12th, 2018

RATED:  4/5 Stars


The Author– Jas Obrecht is an award-winning music journalist and former editor of Guitar Player magazine. He has written for Rolling Stone, Living Blues, and many other publications. His many books include Talking Guitar: Conversations with Musicians Who Shaped Twentieth-Century American Music. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.