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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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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The Ballad of Jacob Peck by Debra Komar

Debra Komar’s The Ballad of Jacob Peck (Goose Lane, 2013) is a noteworthy attempt to resurrect one of New Brunswick’s earliest murder cases from the murkiness of the historical record and the well-meaning, but often inaccurate retellings of amateur historians over the decades. In the bleak early months of 1805, self-styled preacher Jacob Peck arrived …

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The Madman in the Woods by Jamie Gehring

Jamie Gehring’s new book, The Madman in the Woods: Life Next Door to the Unabomber (Diversion Books, 2022),combines classic elements of memoir and true crime in the latest take on the Unabomber and his crimes. The text focuses primarily on Jamie Gehring’s personal experiences with Ted Kaczynski, more prominently known as the Unabomber. Gehring grew …

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The Scandalous Hamiltons by Bill Shaffer

In his forthcoming work, The Scandalous Hamiltons: A Gilded Age Grifter, a Founding Father’s Disgraced Descendant, and a Trial at the Dawn of Tabloid Journalism (Citadel Press, 2022), author Bill Shaffer recounts the riveting true tale that captured the attention of American newspaper readers from coast to coast during the final decade of the nineteenth …

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The Women’s House of Detention by Hugh Ryan

Hugh Ryan’s new social history, The Women’s House of Detention: A Queer History of a Forgotten Prison, is one of the most important books published this year. Equal parts true crime, queer artifact, American history, and societal critique, The Women’s House of Detention (Bold Type Books 2022) is a must-read. Ryan’s book details the history …

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