BOOK REVIEW ~ Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad

Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad

Description:
In 1906 the Metropolitan Police Commissioner was asked by the Home Office to make available skilled investigators for murder enquiries nationwide as few constabularies had sufficiently skilled – or indeed, any – detectives.

Thus was born the Reserve Squad, or Murder Squad, as it later became known. Despite a reluctance by some forces to call upon The Met, the Murder Squad has proved its effectiveness on countless occasions with its remit extended to British territories overseas. A particularly sensitive case was the murder of a local superintendent on St Kitts and Nevis.

A former Scotland Yard detective, the Author uses his contacts and experiences to get the inside track on a gruesome collection of infamous cases. Child murderers, a Peer’s butler, a King’s housekeeper, gangsters, jealous spouses and the notorious mass murderer Dr Bodkin Adams compete for space in this spine-chilling and gripping book which is testament to the Murder Squad’s skills and ingenuity – and the evil of the perpetrators.

Brimming with gruesome killings, this highly readable book proves that there is no substitute for old fashioned footwork and instinct.


 

My thoughts:
This book is filled with fascinating short stories of the Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad from back in the day, when the tools at hand for investigators were few, mostly just the new fingerprinting and smarts. The cases held my interest and were varied, with different investigators handling them. This was at a time when many murderers could find themselves with hanging as a punishment if found guilty! So follow back in time and read about these cases and see how serious investigations were done back then, if they were lucky enough to still have evidence available by the time they were notified and then had time to get to the scene. Recommended for true crime lovers. Advanced electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Dick Kirby, and the publisher.


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Publisher: Pen & Sword – 264 pages
Estimated publication:  Oct 3rd, 2020
My rating: 4/5 Stars


 

The Author– Dick Kirby was born in the East End of London and joined the Metropolitan Police in 1967. Half of his twenty-six years’ service was spent with Scotland Yard’s Serious Crime Squad and the Flying Squad.

Kirby contributes to newspapers and magazines on a regular basis, as well as appearing on television and radio. The Guv’nors, The Sweeney, Scotland Yard’s Ghost Squad, Brave Line Death on the Beat, Scourge of Soho, Crime and Corruption at The Yard and London Gangs at War are all published under the Wharncliffe True Crime imprint and he has further other published works to his credit. On retirement he lives near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Kirby can be visited at his website: http://www.dickkirby.com.


 

BOOK REVIEW ~ The Hidden Lives of Jack the Ripper’s Victims

Finally, a book that looks more into the lives of the Ripper’s victims rather than giving all of the attention to the killer himself. From what it shows, the victims have often been misrepresented up to this point. It discusses the false belief at the time that the women chose to be prostitutes rather than be respectable housewives, like they had a choice. Also, how they were often portrayed as dirty, drunken women, stumbling around looking for their next hookup. I found this honest look into the victim’s lives much more interesting than yet another ho-hum attempt at guessing who the Ripper is again. A fresh look at the story with a bit more realistic look at how things really were for poor women back then in many cases, instead of the hogwash that’s been carried down through the years.

It shares information on each of the victims, making them more real people rather than characters in a story. The advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Dr. Robert Hume, and the publisher.


 

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Publisher: Pen & Sword – 168 pages
Published: Jan 2nd, 2020
RATED: 4/5 Stars


The Author- Now an author and freelance feature writer, Dr Robert Hume was former head of history at Hillview School, Tonbridge, and Clarendon House Grammar School, Ramsgate, Kent. He writes regularly for magazines such as BBC History, History Today and the Irish Examiner. This is his first book for Pen and Sword.

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.

 

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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.


 

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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.