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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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 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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