Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (December 12)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

Well another successful week for book acquisitions! First up I finally have a copy of The Defence by Steve Cavanagh. I saw Rebecca Bradley’s blog where it was featured on ‘What’s Your First Draft Like?

The Defence


The truth has no place in a courtroom. The truth doesn’t matter in a trial.
The only thing that matters is what the prosecution can prove.
Eddie Flynn used to be a con artist. Then he became a lawyer. Turned out the two weren’t that different.
It’s been over a year since Eddie vowed never to set foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn’t have a choice. Olek Volchek, the infamous head of the Russian mafia in New York, has strapped a bomb to Eddie’s back and kidnapped his ten-year-old daughter Amy.
Eddie only has 48 hours to defend Volchek in an impossible murder trial – and win – if wants to save his daughter.
Under the scrutiny of the media and the FBI, Eddie must use his razor-sharp wit and every con-artist trick in the book to defend his ‘client’ and ensure Amy’s safety. With the timer on his back ticking away, can Eddie convince the jury of the impossible?
Lose this case and he loses everything. Amazon

I also have a copy of Shallow Waters by Rebecca Bradley whose blog I avidly follow, see item above, so I can’t wait to see what horrors await in this book!

Shallow Waters


When the naked, battered body of an unidentified teenager is found dumped in an alleyway, post-mortem finds evidence of a harrowing series of events.
Another teenage death with the same MO pushes DI Hannah Robbins and her team on the Nottingham City division Major Crimes Unit, to their limits, and across county borders. In a race against the clock they attempt to unpick a thick web of lies and deceit to uncover the truth behind the deaths.
But it doesn’t stop there. When catching a killer isn’t enough, just how far are the team willing to push themselves to save the next girl?

And from the modern to some historical true crime, starting with The Magnificent Spilsbury and the case of the Brides In The Bath by Jane Robins

The Magnificent Spilsbury


Bessie Mundy, Alice Burnham and Margaret Lofty are three women with one thing in common. They are spinsters and are desperate to marry. Each woman meets a smooth-talking stranger who promises her a better life. She falls under his spell, and becomes his wife. But marriage soon turns into a terrifying experience. In the dark opening months of the First World War, Britain became engrossed by ‘The Brides in the Bath’ trial. The horror of the killing fields of the Western Front was the backdrop to a murder story whose elements were of a different sort. This was evil of an everyday, insidious kind, played out in lodging houses in seaside towns, in the confines of married life, and brought to a horrendous climax in that most intimate of settings — the bathroom. The nation turned to a young forensic pathologist, Bernard Spilsbury, to explain how it was that young women were suddenly expiring in their baths. This was the age of science. In fiction, Sherlock Holmes applied a scientific mind to solving crimes. In real-life, would Spilsbury be as infallible as the ‘great detective’

The Maul and The Pear Tree the Radcliffe Highway Murders. 1811 by P.D. James and T.A. Critchley has also arrived this week which has the appeal of a terrific author and a historical murder mystery.
The Maul and The Pear Tree


In 1811 John Williams was buried with a stake through his heart. Was he the notorious East End killer or the eighth victim in the Ratcliffe Highway Murders? Drawing on contemporary records and newspaper cuttings, the authors reconstruct the events. Goodreads

And to finish off my collection I have bought a copy of a book I had ma but appear to have lost it before I’d read it; The Invention of Murder by Judith Flanders which is ‘filled to the brim with swindlers, forgers and poisoners, the mad, the bad and the utterly dangerous. The Invention of Murder is both a tale of crime and punishment, and history at its most readable.’

The Invention of Murder


Murder in the 19th century was rare. But murder as sensation and entertainment became ubiquitous – transformed into novels, into broadsides and ballads, into theatre and melodrama and opera – even into puppet shows and performing dog-acts.
In this meticulously researched and compelling book, Judith Flanders – author of ‘The Victorian House’ – retells the gruesome stories of many different types of murder – both famous and obscure. From the crimes (and myths) of Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper, to the tragedies of the murdered Marr family in London’s East End, Burke and Hare and their bodysnatching business in Edinburgh, and Greenacre who transported his dismembered fiancée around town by omnibus. Amazon

What have you found to read this week? Do share!


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

22 thoughts on “Friday Finds (December 12)

  1. love your Victorian murders don’t you?? Seriously, I LOVED The Invention Of Murder, as did two of my friends I lent it to (I did get mine back though!) Occasionally all the references to plays, which refer to the murders, can get a bit exhausting, but it’s brilliantly researched and written wonderfully. I found it hard to put down. It’s quite a weighty volume too, with lots in it. And of course Shallow Waters looks wonderful…and is wonderful, as far as I’ve got in it anyway!


    1. I decided to get myself a selection of the True crime Victorian style… I’ve peeked inside (well read a couple of chapters of) The Invention of Murder, it is completely compelling. Looking forward to Shallow Waters.


      1. If I recall correctly, The Invention Of Murder features the Ratcliffe Highway Murders too – although the theory may differ. You’ll be an expert on that case soon! I used to collect the green Penguin Notable Trials series, I’m sure some of you will know them, but my ex messed up when we were moving and they ended up in the charity shop box – I still miss them! May start buying them again…love old cases.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Cleo – Those are some great finds! I’m very excited to read your review of Shallow Waters. It’s on my TBR, and as soon as it’s available, I’m getting my copy. And you’ve reminded me that I must read The Invention of Murder, too.


  3. So many books, so little time! My reading ability seems to have slowed so much lately. I’m am currently reading The Defence though and there should be a review on my blog at the weekend. Thank you for putting Shallow Waters on your finds list! 🙂


  4. Great haul, Cleo. The Defence caught my eye. I previously didn’t think I’d like courtroom dramas much, but loved Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer, so now I have an entire genre to peruse. Oops, lol.


  5. I’ve recently discovered Suzanne Berne and Diane Chamberlain and since I have a great library I’ve been reading these authors
    I love finding a new author with several titles


    1. I’ve seen Diane Chamberlain’s but wasn’t sure if they’d be my thing – I did love Suzanne Berne’s A Crime In The Neighbourhood, and I bought A Ghost At The Table in the library sale. I want The Dogs Of Littlefield next! It is wonderful when they have a substantial back catalogue – my friend, who’s a lawyer, drives all over Scotland for work (he’s very much in demand!) and he’s just discovered Michael Connelly audio books. He must be delighted, as there are 20-odd and he’s on no. 2! It’s great to find a big back catalogue.

      Liked by 1 person

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