Posted in Weekly Posts

Teaser Tuesday (October 14)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week is from Victorian Murderesses by Mary S. Hartman a book that is so much more than a simple re-hash of the true-crimes committed, this book also addresses the issues facing middle-class women in Victorian England.

Victorian Murderesses


This riveting combination of true crime and social history examines a dozen cases from the 1800s involving thirteen French and English women charged with murder. Each incident was a cause célèbre, and this mixture of scandal and scholarship offers illuminating details of backgrounds, deeds, and trials.
“The real delight is that historian Mary S. Hartman does more than reconstruct twelve famous trials. She has written a piece on the social history of nineteenth-century women from an illuminating perspective: their favorite murders.” — Time Magazine

My Teasers

Madeline Smith was seventeen in 1853 when she returned home to Scotland from boarding school near London; she was nineteen when she met and established a secret liaison with a poor but ambitious twenty-six-year-old Jerseyman of French extraction named Emile L’Angelier

These letters, over sixty of which were introduced in evidence during the nine days’ trial, chronicle a relationship which captivated a Victorian public with an already keen appetite for crime and illicit sexual adventure in high places.

No prizes for guessing why I chose this particular murder to select my teasers from!

Please leave the links to your teasers in the comments box below.


A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

48 thoughts on “Teaser Tuesday (October 14)

    1. Thank you – it is a really good collection, moving through the decades and featuring a range of murders by the seemingly respectable middle-class women. Fascinating stuff! Thanks for leaving your link 🙂


  1. Oh, Cleo, this sounds fabulous. What an interesting look at both history and at society. Put crime in there too and the whole thing’s irresistible. Thanks for sharing!


    1. I keep returning to this one which I’m reading alongside a fiction book as it is a brilliant study of those respectable middle-class women of the Victorian age. The author has paired similar causes from England and France to back up her study of areas of interest such as the surplus of women and thus the peculiar (or lack of) role in society.


    1. I read a Very British Murder at the beginning of this year which talks about how crime fiction grew at this time in response to the ghoulish nature of humans – crime is great entertainment as long as it’s at a distance.


    1. The Murder at Road Hill House that featured in the Suspicions of Mr Whicher and the murder of Charles Bravo which I read about earlier this year in Death at the Priory but because the author links them to both similar causes in France and the social history and comes up with her own theories it’s still worth a read.


  2. This sounds like a great book. I love murder, whether fact or fiction.
    rel=”nofollow”>My TT – Clay by Tony Bertauski


    1. I prefer them when they’re historical somehow it doesn’t seem to be quite so voyeuristic. The social history part that goes alongside these because as the author says in the introduction, no-one was studying these women at the time.


  3. Ooooh, murder and feminism all rolled up in one delightful package… I love it! I’m very curious about the particular one you are highlighting in your teaser, it sounds like a romance novel gone wrong. Awesome!
    Here are My Teasers.


    1. The one I highlighted was illustrating what happened to young women between leaving school and getting married, all too often they read romantic fiction and the author is suggesting that Madeline Smith cast herself as a romantic heroine and then changed her mind…. a romance novel gone wrong is pretty much spot on! If I were giving away prizes you would get one 🙂


  4. A book about female poisoners somehow seems perfect for Autumn (maybe its to escape the mad Christmas rush which starts looming) Or – a chillier thought, a SOLUTION being sought , a how-to-escape from HAVING to get caught up in the mad Christmas rush – poisoning those imposing deadlines!


    1. I can’t believe you mentioned the C word and it’s still October however I do like your thought process! Perfect book to forget about it all and maybe to slightly envy the relative ease that these women could procure poison – I’m sure many got away with doing the dastardly deed.


      1. I’m so sorry for the forbidden word – my VET was trumpeting it early in August, doing a promo on CAT STOCKING FILLERS! As my vet bills soared this year (cats reaching established seniority; one cat with an ongoing chronic condition needing expensive monitoring 3-4 times a year) the little furry beasties will be lucky if they get bog-standard cat food over Christmas, never mind stockings! I must admit I frowned crossly at the August Christmas display during a heatwave.


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