The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures by Paul Fischer

Paul Fischer’s The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures: A True Tale of Obsession, Murder, and the Movies (Simon & Schuster 2022) is a rather misleading title. Yes, it is about the man who invented motion pictures, on record as being the first man to record a moving photograph, but it is not at all about obsession, murder …

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The Doomsday Mother by John Glatt

The latest gripping true crime text from prolific crime writer John Glatt, The Doomsday Mother: Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, and the End of an American Family (St. Martin’s Press, 2022), is the absolutely gripping account of the Vallow/Daybell murder case. The first book published on the very recent crimes, Glatt brings his research expertise and precise writing …

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The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester

A best seller when it was first published just over two decades ago, Simon Winchester’s The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (Harper Perennial, 1999) remains a captivating read for the contemporary reader. Although today physical copies have been made largely obsolete by internet …

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How to Solve a Cold Case by Michael Arntfield

Michael Arntfield’s How to Solve a Cold Case And Everything Else You Wanted to Know About Catching Killers (Harper Collins 2022) is a patchwork quilt of a book, its first half explaining the business of cold cases, its second using particular case studies to show how catching killers does (or does not) work and subsequently how cases …

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The Castleton Massacre by Sharon Anne Cook and Margaret Carson

As an in-depth and harrowing exploration of a little-known Canadian crime, The Castleton Massacre: Survivors’ Stories of the Killins Femicide by Sharon Anne Cook and Margaret Carson is one of the best true crime texts published this year and is not to be missed by readers. Authored by Margaret Carson, who miraculously survived the Castleton …

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Slenderman by Kathleen Hale

Kathleen Hale’s Slenderman: Online Obsession, Mental Illness, and the Violent Crimes of Two Midwestern Girls (Grove Atlantic, 2022) is a balanced, well-researched, and thoughtful account of an extremely sensational case and its even more sensational aftermath. What became known as the “Slenderman Stabbings” started with two pre-teen girls and an internet obsession with the horror website Creepypasta …

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The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale 

Later made into a popular British miniseries of the same name, Kate Summerscale’s The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective (Bloomsbury, 2009) delivers an intensely thorough analysis of a real 1860 murder case that had a profound impact in Britain. On the morning of 30 June 1860, it …

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