Book Review ARC ~ I SAW THE DEVIL’S FACE

I Saw the Devil’s Face: My Life With Joseph Michael Kalady

by Teresa Giglio


SYNOPSIS – “You better hope to God the cops don’t come,” my babysitter, Joe Kalady, threatened me that day on his boat at Burnham Harbor. He and the other man were planning to rob a liquor store. My divorced dad, who was on his way to pick me up, didn’t know anything about that — or the prostitution Joe had used me for at age eight. So he took me out for an Italian ice to stop me crying.

When we got home and mom found my panties missing yet again, it clicked. She forbade Kalady to babysit, and me to ever speak of it again.

Fifty years later I’m here to talk about the marauding Kalady, the children he raped with impunity, the near-death experience I had on his yacht, and the toddler he kidnapped on a whim. I can tell you what I’ve learned about his mafia involvement, and introduce you to the homeless man he eventually lured to his death in a vain attempt to avoid spending the last of his days in prison.

This is my personal story of one of Chicago’s most ruthless and successful undetected child predators. I knew a man who spent his whole life in and out of jail, the terrorist-adjacent thief, con man, and murderer Joseph Michael Kalady.


MY THOUGHTS – This is a heartbreaking book by a very determined lady. She suffered so much in her young life, but her resilience shines through. It’s frustrating to see how this man was able to dodge responsibility his entire life for his crimes against children. But at least his story is being told now by someone he hurt, who has spent a long time finding her way back.


I SAW THE DEVIL’S FACE

PUBLISHER – Ind. Published – 276 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – Oct 31st, 2022

MY RATING – 5/5 STARS


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Teresa Giglio is a veteran firefighter and paramedic living with multiple disabilities. She writes true crime for survivors. Find her at teresagiglio.com


Book Review ~ BLOOD AND INK

Blood & Ink: The Scandalous Jazz Age Double Murder That Hooked America on True Crime

by Joe Pompeo


SYNOPSIS – Vanity Fairs Joe Pompeo investigates the notorious 1922 double murder of a high-society minister and his secret mistress, a Jazz Age mega-crime that propelled tabloid news in the 20th century.

On September 16, 1922, the bodies of Reverend Edward Hall and Eleanor Mills were found beneath a crabapple tree on an abandoned farm outside of New Brunswick, New Jersey. The killer had arranged the bodies in a pose conveying intimacy.

The murder of Hall, a prominent clergyman whose wife, Frances Hall, was a proud heiress with illustrious ancestors and ties to the Johnson & Johnson dynasty, would have made headlines on its own. But when authorities identified Eleanor Mills as a choir singer from his church married to the church sexton, the story shocked locals and sent the scandal ricocheting around the country, fueling the nascent tabloid industry. This provincial double murder on a lonely lover’s lane would soon become one of the most famous killings in American history—a veritable crime of the century.

 The bumbling local authorities failed to secure any indictments, however, and it took a swashbuckling crusade by the editor of a circulation-hungry Hearst tabloid to revive the case and bring it to trial at last.

Blood & Ink freshly chronicles what remains one of the most electrifying but forgotten murder mysteries in U.S. history. It also traces the birth of American tabloid journalism, pandering to the masses with sordid tales of love, sex, money, and murder. 


MY THOUGHTS – This is an interesting look at the Hall-Mills murders from way back in 1922. There is much intrigue involved in the case, as both parties were married, and Hall was a well-known minister. It also delves into the area newspapers, and how this case become nationwide news because it was so notorious for the times.

BLOOD & INK

PUBLISHER – William Morrow – 352 pages

PUBLICATION DATE- Sep 13th, 2022

MY RATING- 4/5 STARS


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Joe Pompeo is a correspondent at Vanity Fair, where he covers the media industry. He previously worked at publications including Politico and The New York Observer, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Columbia Journalism Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his family. 


Book Review ARC ~ I’M STILL ALIVE

I’m Still Alive

by Roberto Saviano


SYNOPSIS – For the first time since the publication of his internationally bestselling novel, Gomorrah, Roberto Saviano shares his early-life experience with the violence of the Neapolitan Mafia and how exposing them irrevocably changed his life.

Italian journalist Roberto Saviano was twenty-six years old when he published his first book, Gomorrah, to international acclaim. The book, which has gone on to sell 10 million copies worldwide, was a detailed exposé of the Neapolitan mafia, the Camorra, whose organized crime tactics have permeated all matters of industry in Naples: government, infrastructure, high fashion, and drugs. Over fifteen years after Gomorrah’s release, Saviano’s life has been under constant threat from would be assassins who forced him to leave his native Italy and to live under constant police protection. For the first time since then, Saviano shares his deepest thoughts and experiences of early life in Naples, witnessing the power and violence of Camorra firsthand, his current existence living under guard, all the while continuing to call attention to the deeply rooted crime and corruption that plagues his home. Collaborating with award-winning cartoonist Asaf Hanuka (The Realist, The Divine), both writer and artist examine a life behind armed guard whose best recourse against oppression is through old fashioned pen and paper.


MY THOUGHTS – The author writes about his life and how it changed after writing his book Gomorrah. In it, he spoke out against the Camorra mafia clan in Italy and had to go into exile in 2006. He’s been that way ever since, and has had to learn to live like that, both in Europe and the US. A quick reading graphic novel.


I’M STILL ALIVE

PUBLISHER – Archaia – 144 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – Oct 11th, 2022

MY RATING – 4/5 STARS


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Roberto Saviano (Italian: [roˈbɛrto saˈvjano]; Naples, September 22, 1979) is an Italian journalist, writer and essayist. He is the author of international bestsellers Gomorrah and ZeroZeroZero.

In his writings, his articles, his books and his television programs, he uses literature and investigative reporting to tell of the economic reality of the territory and business of the Camorra and of organized crime more generally.

After the first death threats of 2006 made by the Casalese clan, a cartel of the Camorra, which he denounced in his exposé and in the piazza of Casal di Principe during a demonstration in defense of legality, Saviano was put under a strict security protocol. Since October 13, 2006, he has lived under police protection.

He has collaborated with numerous important Italian and international newspapers. Currently he writes for the Italian publications l’Espresso and la Repubblica. Internationally, he collaborates in the United States with The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsweek and Time; in Spain with El Pais; in Germany with Die Zeit and Der Spiegel; in Sweden with Expressen; and in the United Kingdom with The Times and The Guardian.

His courageous positions have provoked appeals on his behalf from many important writers and other cultural figures, such as Umberto Eco.

In 2015 he launched his own editorial project, RSO-Roberto Saviano Online.

Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo by piero tasso (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.


Book Review ARC ~ FRANK SINATRA AND THE MAFIA MURDERS

Frank Sinatra and the Mafia Murders

by Douglas Thompson and Mike Rothmiller


SYNOPSIS – All the varieties of power – star, political, sexual, criminal and emotional – are on show in this definitive, untold story of Frank Sinatra and the Mafia.

Drawing on an enormous archive of previously unseen records held by international law agencies, the FBI, the CIA and big-city police departments, Rothmiller and Thompson reveal Sinatra’s pact with the Mob in shocking detail.

With additional evidence from decades of investigations and testimony, they expose Sinatra’s lifelong association with the Mafia, which he always denied, and its deadly collateral damage.

This revelatory showstopper is a wild dance made coherent by intelligent choreography. Sinatra may not have been an actual made man, but the Mafia certainly made him.


MY THOUGHTS – This was quite an eye opening read. I’ve learned bits and pieces of some parts of this book in other books thru the years, including Rothmiller’s. But nothing like this more detailed look behind the scenes, thanks to the release of many previously withheld documents of several law enforcement agencies. Sad to say, it just makes me feel even more hopeless for the situation our country has ended up in today, as you can see where some of it started way back. A good read for Sinatra fans, and those who enjoy revealing mob books.


FRANK SINATRA AND THE MAFIA MURDERS

PUBLISHER – Ad Lib Publishers – 259 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – Sep 15th, 2022

MY RATING – 5/5 STARS


ABOUT THE AUTHORS –

Douglas Thompson is the author of more than twenty books. A biographer, broadcaster and international journalist, he is a regular contributor to major newspapers and magazines worldwide. His books, published in a dozen languages, include the television-based anthology Hollywood People, and best-selling biographies of Madonna, Clint Eastwood, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dudley Moore, John Travolta, Nicolas Cage and Leonardo DiCaprio. He collaborated with the billion dollar dancer Michael Flatley on his Top Ten story ‘Lord of the Dance’. His books have been serialised in newspapers and magazines throughout the world. With Christine Keeler, he wrote her revealing memoir The Truth At Last, an instant best-seller. He worked as a consultant on the tie-in television documentary on the Profumo Affair. Working with eminent psychotherapist Pauline Sutcliffe, he told the poignant story of her brother Stuart, who named and helped found the Beatles with John Lennon. His book ‘The Hustlers’, about gangsters and gambling in 1960s’ London, is being developed for film and was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary. His DVD contributions to a celebration of Clint Eastwood’s career were commemorated in a special box set of Eastwood movies. He has worked with many Hollywood stars on their memoirs. A recent success was Stephen Ward: Scapegoat , a study of the rakish charmer at the centre of the Profumo Scandal. His upcoming ‘Shall We Dance? The True Story of the Couple Who Taught the World to Dance’ tells one of the most romantic, tearful but uplifting stories of the 20th Century. He is a director of one of Britain’s leading literary festivals, and divides his time between a medieval Suffolk village and California, where he was based as a Fleet Street correspondent and columnist for more than twenty years.

Mike Rothmiller is a New York Times Bestselling Author, nominee for the Pulitzer Prize, historian, former cop and Army medic. He’s also served as a TV reporter, an award winning documentary producer and television host for ESPN, PBS and other international television markets. He’s written and produced over 25 television documentaries, numerous TV and radio ads and has authored movie scripts. His nonfiction book, “My Hero. Military Kids Write About Their Moms and Dads” (St. Martin’s Press) received international acclaim and holds the honor of being the only book in history to have forwards written by three living Presidents and General Norman Schwarzkopf. He has served on numerous non-profit boards. Additionally, he’s been a corporate President/CEO and directed three divisions of Sony Electronics EMCS-America.

He’s authored 23 books and his most recent; Secrets, Lies and Deception….And Other Amazing Pieces of History was featured on Fox News and over 40 Television News Stations across America.

Readers of his books include; three Presidents, former First Lady Laura Bush, the late Charlton Heston and Queen Elizabeth II.

Book Review ARC ~ AMERICAN MOTHER

American Mother: The True Story of a Troubled Family, Motherhood, and the Cyanide Murders That Shook the World

by Gregg Olsen


SYNOPSIS – From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of If You Tell comes the absolutely unputdownable and chilling true-crime story of Stella Nickell—a mother and wife who did the unthinkable… and the unforgivable.

At 5.02 pm on June 5, 1986, an emergency call came into the local sheriff’s office in the small town of Auburn, Washington State. A distressed housewife, Stella Nickell, said her husband Bruce was having a seizure. Officers rushed to the Nickell’s mobile home, to find Stella standing frozen at the door… Bruce was on the floor fighting for his life.

As Stella became the beneficiary of over $175,000 in a life insurance pay-out, forensics discovered that Bruce had consumed painkillers laced with cyanide.

A week later, fifteen-year-old Hayley was getting ready for another school day. Her mom, Sue, called out ‘I love you’ before heading into the bathroom and moments later collapsed on the floor. Sue never regained consciousness, and the autopsy revealed she had been poisoned by cyanide-tainted headache pills. Just like Bruce.

While a daughter grieved the sudden and devastating loss of her mother, a young woman, Cindy, was thinking about her own mom Stella. She thought about the years of neglect and abuse, the tangled web of secrets Stella had shared with her, and Cindy contemplated turning her mom into the FBI…

Gripping and heart-breaking, Gregg Olsen uncovers the shocking true story of a troubled family. He delves into a complex mother-daughter relationship rooted in mistrust and deception, and the journey of the sweet curly-haired little girl from Oregon whose fierce ambition to live the American Dream led her to make the ultimate betrayal.

A sensational real-life mystery, American Mother will hook those fascinated by The Staircase and Making of a Murderer.

This book was originally published as Bitter Almonds.


MY THOUGHTS – I read this book long ago under its original title. Much of it was like reading a new book for me, as my memory isn’t what it used to be. I would have preferred a new true crime story from this author. I’ve read and liked many of his other non-fiction crime reads through the years, but it seems like he’s been into crime fiction more in recent years. This remains a good read for this genre, about a case so many remember.


AMERICAN MOTHER


PUBLISHER – Thread Books – 540 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – Nov 8th, 2022

MY RATING – 4/5 stars


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – A #1 New York Times bestselling true-crime writer, Gregg Olsen is praised for his ability to create a detailed narrative that offers readers fascinating insights into the lives of real people and fictional characters caught in extraordinary circumstances.  He has authored ten nonfiction books, over twenty novels, a novella, and a short story, which appeared in a collection edited by Lee Child.  In addition to television and radio appearances, he has been featured in RedbookUSA TodayPeopleSalon magazine, Seattle TimesLos Angeles Times and the New York Post.  He is a native of Seattle and currently lives in rural Washington state. 


Book Review ARC ~ DEADLY TRIANGLE

Deadly Triangle: The Famous Architect, His Wife, Their Chauffeur, and Murder Most Foul

by Susan Goldenberg


SYNOPSIS – The 1935 murder of architect Francis Rattenbury, designer of the iconic Parliament Buildings in Victoria, British Columbia, and the arrest and lurid trial of his wife, Alma Rattenbury, and George Stoner, their chauffeur (also her lover and half her age), became one of the twentieth century’s most sensational cases.


MY THOUGHTS – At first, I thought that this was a book I read long ago about an American architect and murder, until I took a closer look. When I got further into it, the setting is British Columbia, Canada and later on England. Architect Rattenbury became successful in Victoria, British Columbia, despite his shady business dealings and many enemies made along the way. The story of a married man and a twice previously married woman who start an affair in the 1930s. They did nothing to keep it a secret, and became openly despised and ostracized. The repercussions cost them everything, home, business, and friends. They throw in the towel and move to England to start over. This is where the 3rd part of the triangle comes into the picture. Good true crime that caused a big stir from nearly 90 years ago.


DEADLY TRIANGLE


PUBLISHER – Dundurn Press -288 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – Nov 8th, 2022

MY RATING – 4/5 STARS


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Susan Goldenberg is the author of nine books and has won both a Canadian Author’s Award and a Canadian Business Press Editors’ Award. She has written for the Sunday New York Times, the Financial Post, and the Financial Times of Canada, and currently pens articles for Canada’s History magazine. She also writes a heritage column on the district of Toronto where she lives.


Book Review ~ BAD CITY

Bad City: Peril and Power in the City of Angels

by Paul Pringle


SYNOPSIS – For fans of Spotlight and Catch and Kill comes a nonfiction thriller about corruption and betrayal radiating across Los Angeles from one of the region’s most powerful institutions, a riveting tale from a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist who investigated the shocking events and helped bring justice in the face of formidable odds.

On a cool, overcast afternoon in April 2016, a salacious tip arrived at the L.A. Times that reporter Paul Pringle thought should have taken, at most, a few weeks to check out: a drug overdose at a fancy hotel involving one of the University of Southern California’s shiniest stars―Dr. Carmen Puliafito, the head of the prestigious medical school. Pringle, who’d long done battle with USC and its almost impenetrable culture of silence, knew reporting the story wouldn’t be a walk in the park. USC is one of the biggest employers in L.A., and it casts a long shadow.

But what he couldn’t have foreseen was that this tip would lead to the unveiling of not one major scandal at USC but two, wrapped in a web of crimes and cover-ups. The rot rooted out by Pringle and his colleagues at The Times would creep closer to home than they could have imagined―spilling into their own newsroom.

Packed with details never before disclosed, Pringle goes behind the scenes to reveal how he and his fellow reporters triumphed over the city’s debased institutions, in a narrative that reads like L.A. noir. This is L.A. at its darkest and investigative journalism at its brightest.


MY THOUGHTS – I wasn’t sure if this was my type of read or not, but it turned out to be a page turner. A reporter starts checking into a tip and it tuns into a wild investigation. He uncovers some pretty shocking information that keeps growing. The problem is all of the places involved seem to be intertwined and shutting him out or covering up for them. Even his own newspaper was interfering, shutting the story down totally at one point. Bizarre but true story.


BAD CITY


PUBLISHER – Celadon Books – 274 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – JULY 19th, 2022

MY RATING – 5/5 STARS


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Paul Pringle is a Los Angeles Times reporter who specializes in investigating corruption. In 2019, he and two colleagues won the Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting for their work uncovering the widespread sexual abuse by Dr. George Tyndall at the University of Southern California, an inquiry that grew out of their reporting the year before on Dr. Carmen Puliafito, dean of USC’s medical school. Pringle was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2009 and a member of reporting teams that won Pulitzer Prizes in 2004 and 2011. Pringle won the George Polk Award in 2008, the same year the Society of Professional Journalists of Greater Los Angeles honored him as a distinguished journalist. Along with several colleagues, he shared in Harvard University’s 2011 Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Reporting. Pringle and a Times colleague won the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s Freedom of Information Award in 2014 and the University of Florida’s Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Award in 2015. Pringle lives in Glendale, California.


Book Review ARC ~ THE UNVEILING

The Unveiling: A Mother’s Reflection on Murder, Grief, and Trial Life

by Ruth Markel

SYNOPSIS – Ruth Markel’s tenacious fight for justice on behalf of the murder of her son, Dan Markel, and the struggle to be legally reunited with her grandchildren.

Ruth Markel is the mother of the late Dan Markel, a noted law professor who was murdered in Tallahassee, Florida in 2014.

In The Unveiling, she describes her experiences since the day of Dan’s death from several distinct perspectives:

  • As a devastated mother with the unique human perspective of becoming a homicide survivor and victim.
  • As a woman whose attempts to achieve normalcy and live a healthy life are continually interrupted by painful reminders, a rollercoaster of hearings, frequently changing trial dates, verdicts, and appeals.
  • As an engaged citizen using what she has learned to help other victims of homicide and violent crimes recover from trauma and begin an optimistic outlook on life.
  • As an insider who shows how our collective network of family, friends, and experts—including a murder coach—have helped her family remain involved, motivated, and hopeful.
  • As a grandmother who had not been allowed to see her grandchildren in many years, she used advocacy to inspire the Florida State Legislature to pass a grandparent visitation bill.
  • And as an experienced author of nine books using the written word to effectively address the shift from grief to promise.


MY THOUGHTS – I’m sure many people recall when this tragic crime took place in Tallahassee, FL in 2014. The daytime murder of the much – loved and respected law professor Dan Markel lingered in my mind, making me want to learn more about the case. When I figured out that this book was the answer to my curiosity, I was torn. It’s well written and kept me zeroed in on it all the way through. But it was also triggering for me, as I lost my son, my only child last October, and he was murdered as well. But I feel that this book is important enough that I pushed through and read it, mostly through tears. I don’t think I’ve ever related so much to a book in its descriptions and explanations of profound or complicated grief. While it’s not an easy, emotionless read, I found it very worthwhile. My heart goes out to the author and her family.


THE UNVEILING


PUBLISHER – Post Hill Press – 240 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – Sep 20th, 2022

MY RATING – 5/5 STARS


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Ruth Markel is a noted author, public speaker, and the president of RNM Enterprises, a leading management consulting firm. She has worked in senior management positions in both private and public sectors for the past forty years. Ruth has lectured on issues concerning negotiation and advancement in organizations at the University of Toronto, the London Business School, and Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University.)

In addition to several TV and radio appearances, Ruth’s published work includes:

Moving Up: A Woman’s Guide To A Better Future At Work (HarperCollins Publishers, 1988), Room At The Top: A Woman’s Guide To Moving Up In Buisness (Penguin Books Canada, 1985),  Der Weg Nach Oben (Econ, 1987), L’Art De Negocier (La Presse, 1988), Une Place Au Sommet (Les Editions La Presse, 1986), Le Defi D’une Carrier (La Presse, 1987), S’affirmer Pour Evoluer (La Presse, 1988), Comment Gerer (La Presse, 1987), Karriere 1st Weiblich (Rowohlt, 1999).

Due to the circumstances surrounding the unforeseen murder of Ruth’s son Dan Markel, she has appeared on 20/20 ABC, Inside Edition, CourtTV, and Dateline NBC, and participated in the hit podcast Over My Dead Body, by Wondery. With support from Dan’s friends and extended networks, Ruth’s efforts successfully changed Florida’s restrictive grandparent visitation statutes to provide access to courts for other families facing terrible circumstances.

Ruth hopes to use her platform and the media coverage that is inevitable around the trial and the publicity of Dan’s case to make sense of, provide consolation and counsel about a horrific and powerlessness situation.

Homicide doesn’t discriminate. It spans race, religion, socio-economic, and public status. People are hungry for these stories, as evidenced by dedicated True Crime conversations around the world (CrimeCon, CrimeFest, Death Becomes Us) and a proliferation of new shows, podcasts, and online communities interested in following these cases.

“As Danny’s mother, I have been a prominent figure, but I have never told my full story to the public before now,” Ruth writes. “That, combined with the keen interest in Danny’s murder and the popularity of true crime in general, convinces me that my story will help others through the experiences of their grief from murders, victims of violence and grandparent alienation.”


Book Review ARC ~ DELIBERATE CRUELTY

Deliberate Cruelty: Truman Capote, the Millionaire’s Wife, and the Murder of the Century

by Roseanne Montillo


SYNOPSIS – This scintillating and glittery look at the darkly intertwined fates of infamous socialite Ann Woodward and literary icon Truman Capote sweeps us to the upper echelons of Manhattan’s high society—where even the richest cannot escape murder and infamy.

When Ann Woodward shot her husband, banking heir Billy Woodward, in the middle of the night in 1955, her life changed forever. Though she claimed she thought he was a prowler, few believed the woman who had risen from charismatic showgirl to popular socialite. Everyone had something to say about the scorching scandal afflicting one of the most rich and famous families of New York City, but no one was more obsessed with the tale than Truman Capote.

Acclaimed for his bestselling nonfiction book In Cold Blood, Capote was looking for new material and followed the scandal from beginning to end. Like Ann, he too had ascended from nobody to toast of the town, but he always felt like an outsider, even among the exclusive coterie of high society women who adored him. He decided the story of Ann’s turbulent marriage would be the basis of his masterpiece—a novel about the dysfunction and sordid secrets revealed to him by his high society “swans”—never thinking that it would eventually lead to Ann’s suicide and his own scandalous downfall.

Page-turning and deliciously fascinating, Deliberate Cruelty is a haunting cross between true crime and literary history that is perfect for fans of Furious HoursEmpty Mansions, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.


MY THOUGHTS – I really liked reading about Ann Woodward (again) in this book. Learning a lot about Truman Capote’s life and career was very enlightening. Having the lives of both compared and contrasted at times turned out to be an unusual idea, but ultimately a good one. Both were so eager to be part of high society, which eventually brought them down and cast them out. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.


DELIBERATE CRUELTY

PUBLISHER – Atria Books – 320 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – Nov 1st, 2022

MY RATING – 4/5 STARS


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Roseanne Montillo is an accomplished research librarian who earned her MFA from Emerson College and has taught creative writing at Emerson and the Tufts Extension School. In addition to Deliberate Cruelty, she has published four previous works of narrative nonfiction to critical acclaim—Fire on the TrackThe Wilderness of RuinAtomic Women, and The Lady and Her Monsters.


Book Review ARC ~ BUTCHER’S WORK

Butcher’s Work: True Crime Tales of American Murder

by Harold Schechter


SYNOPSIS –  A Civil War veteran who perpetrated one of the most ghastly mass slaughters in the annals of U.S. crime. A nineteenth-century female serial killer whose victims included three husbands and six of her own children. A Gilded Age “Bluebeard” who did away with as many as fifty wives throughout the country. A decorated World War I hero who orchestrated a murder that stunned Jazz Age America. While other infamous homicides from the same eras—the Lizzie Borden slayings, for example, or the “thrill killing” committed by Leopold and Loeb—have entered into our cultural mythology, these four equally sensational crimes have largely faded from public memory. A quartet of gripping historical true-crime narratives, Butcher’s Work restores these once-notorious cases to vivid, dramatic life.


MY THOUGHTS – I’ve enjoyed Schechter’s books in the past and liked this one as well. It’s always a good thing when I can find true crime cases that I’ve never heard about before after reading it for nearly 50 years now. This book tells about some that were new to me, so a bit obscure to the average reader. They made Leopold and Loeb (whom I just finished reading an upcoming new book about) look like rank amateurs. I was especially mesmerized by the “Bluebeard” who got so many women to marry him under so many names. Then he would make off with most or all of their assets.


BUTCHER’S WORK


PUBLISHER – University of Iowa Press – 256 pages

PUBLICATION DATE – Oct 18th, 2022

MY RATING – 5/5 STARS


ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Harold Schechter is professor emeritus at Queens College, CUNY. Among his more than forty books are a series of historical true-crime narratives about America’s most infamous serial killers, including Hell’s Princess. He is married to the poet, Kimiko Hahn.