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True Crime

Pistols and Petticoats: 175 Years of Lady Detectives in Fact and Fiction

Pistols and Petticoats: 175 Years of Lady Detectives in Fact and Fiction

Erika Janik

$29.99
A lively exploration of the struggles faced by women in law enforcement and mystery fiction for the past 175 years

In 1910, Alice Wells took the oath to join the all-male Los Angeles Police Department. She wore no uniform, carried no weapon, and kept her badge stuffed in her pocketbook. She wasn't the first or only policewoman, but she became the movement's most visible voice.

Police work from its very beginning was considered a male domain, far too dangerous and rough for a respectable woman to even contemplate doing, much less take on as a profession. A policewoman worked outside the home, walking dangerous city streets late at night to confront burglars, drunks, scam artists, and prostitutes. To solve crimes, she observed, collected evidence, and used reason and logic-traits typically associated with men. And most controversially of all, she had a purpose separate from her husband, children, and home. Women who donned the badge faced harassment and discrimination. It would take more than seventy years for women to enter the force as full-fledged officers.

Yet within the covers of popular fiction, women not only wrote mysteries but also created female characters that handily solved crimes. Smart, independent, and courageous, these nineteenth- and early twentieth-century female sleuths (including a healthy number created by male writers) set the stage for Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski, Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta, and Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone, as well as TV detectives such as Prime Suspect's Jane Tennison and Law and Order's Olivia Benson. The authors were not amateurs dabbling in detection but professional writers who helped define the genre and competed with men, often to greater success.

Pistols and Petticoats tells the story of women's very early place in crime fiction and their public crusade to transform policing. Whether real or fictional, investigating women were nearly always at odds with society. Most women refused to let that stop them, paving the way to a modern professional life for women on the force and in popular culture.
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The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

$32.99
The gripping true story of a young law student, an unspeakable crime and a past that refuses to stay buried.

Before Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working on the retrial defence of death-row convicted murderer and child molester, Ricky Langley, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti death penalty. But the moment Ricky's face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes, the moment she hears him speak of his crimes, she is overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die. Shocked by her reaction, she digs deeper and deeper into the case, realizing that despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar.

Crime, even the darkest and most unspeakable acts, can happen to any one of us, and as Alexandria pores over the facts of the murder, she finds herself thrust into the complicated narrative of Ricky's childhood. And by examining minute details of Ricky's case, she is forced to face her own story, to unearth long-buried family secrets, to reckon with how her own past colours her view of his crime.

As enthralling as true-crime classics such as In Cold Blood and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and broadcast phenomena such as Making a Murderer and Serial, The Fact of a Body is a groundbreaking, heart-stopping investigation into how the law is personal, composed of individual stories and proof that arriving at the truth is more complicated, and powerful, than we could ever imagine.
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Rule on Crime: One of Australia's Top True Crime Writers and Co-Author of the Bestselling Underbelly Series

Rule on Crime: One of Australia's Top True Crime Writers and Co-Author of the Bestselling Underbelly Series

Andrew Rule

$29.99
This is a carefully curated and updated collection of 10 of Andrew Rules best Australian true crime and corruption stories. Compelling, unsettling, and 100% true, Rule takes the reader inside some of the most famous crimes ever committed on our shores, the cases that gripped and shocked the nation.

Dying on Easey Street: The 1977 murders of Suzanne Armstrong and Susan Bartlett in Collingwood, Melbourne have gone unsolved to the present day.

Billy The Texan Longley: One of few to survive the Melbourne dock wars that infl icted more casualties than the Eureka Rebellion around 40 men dead and many more wounded during a decade that spawned the now-notorious saying, We catch and kill our own.

Girls who like bad boys: Sylvia Radev, Roberta Williams, Judy Moran... women married to the mob.

Still looking for the Beaumont Children: In 2017 Jim and Nancy Beaumont turned 91 and 89. For more than 50 years they have woken every day to face the nightmare that their three children vanished from a crowded beach on Australia Day, 1966.
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The Serial Killer Files

The Serial Killer Files

Paul Simpson

$22.99
There are many myths about serial killers: that they are all dysfunctional loners; all white males; only motivated by sex; that they all travel and operate across a wide area; cannot stop killing; are all insane, or evil geniuses; and that they all want to get caught.

Of course, there are some serial killers who fit into these categories, but the married Green River Killer was not a dysfunctional loner; there are plenty of female and non-Caucasian serial killers; Dr Harold Shipman was certainly not motivated by sex; many serial killings (such as the Ipswich prostitute murders carried out by Steve Wright) happen within a confined area; the 'BTK Killer', Dennis Rader, stopped killing in 1991, but wasn't caught until fourteen years later. Many serial killers may have a low animal cunning, or be 'street smart', but few of them are Mensa-level geniuses.

Each of the thirty cases covered here is unusual in some respect, perhaps in the way in which the killer carried out their crimes, the choice of victims, the way in which they were apprehended, or the method of their execution.

The cases are presented alphabetically by country - from Australia via Colombia, Great Britain, Indonesia, Iran, South Africa and elsewhere to the United States - and then chronologically. They come from across history and from all over the world. The author has gone back as far as possible to contemporary source material - newspaper accounts, trial evidence, interviews with perpetrators or survivors - rather than rely on the increasingly blurred truth to be found online and in far too many collections.
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Murder in Plain English: From Manifestos to Memes - Looking at Murder Through the Words of Killers

Murder in Plain English: From Manifestos to Memes - Looking at Murder Through the Words of Killers

Michael A. Arntfield ,  Marcel Danesi

$39.90
This is the first book to examine murder through the written word not only the writings of the killers themselves, but also the story of murder as told in literary fiction and the crime dramas that are now a staple of film and television. The authors a criminologist specializing in cold cases, written evidence, and forensic science, and an anthropologist who has dealt with the signs and ciphers of organized crime and street gangs in his previous work - are widely recognized experts in this emerging specialty field.

Based on extensive research and interviews with convicted murderers, the book emphasizes the often-overlooked narrative impulse that drives killers, with the authors explaining how both mass and serial murderers perceive their crimes as stories and why a select few are compelled to commit these stories to writing whether before, during, or after their horrific acts.

The book also analyzes the written work of killers, using a combination of machine-based linguistic patterning, predictive modeling, and symbolic interpretation, to make sense of the screeds of everyone from the Son of Sam and the Zodiac Killer to the Columbine attackers, the Unabomber, and the recent spate of mass shooters using social media as their preferred narrative platform. They present a theoretical perspective of murder that is based on both the criminological evidence and written works. In addition, the authors examine famous literature that has dealt ingeniously with murder and its relationship with real crime, from the Greek tragedians to Truman Capote to modern-day productions such as Making a Murderer.

This unique approach offers a new means to penetrate the minds of murderers, revealing their motives as well as the wider social meanings of this age-old crime and our continuing fascination with it.
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Killing Goldfinger: The Secret, Bullet-Riddled Life and Death of Britain's Gangster Number One

Killing Goldfinger: The Secret, Bullet-Riddled Life and Death of Britain's Gangster Number One

Wensley Clarkson

$32.99
Killing Goldfinger charts the extraordinary rise and spectacular bullet-riddled fall of John Palmer, the richest, most powerful criminal ever to have emerged from the modern British underworld. During the late 1990s, Palmer was rated as rich as The Queen by the Sunday Times Rich List.

Palmer earned his nickname Goldfinger after smelting (in his back garden) tens of millions of pounds worth of stolen gold bullion from the 20th century's most lucrative heist; the Brink's-Mat robbery. Palmer then used his share of the millions to become the vicious overlord of a vast illegal timeshare property empire in Tenerife. At the same time, Goldfinger financed huge international drugs shipments as well as some of the most notorious UK robberies of the past 30 years, including the 50m Securitas heist in Kent in 2006 and, many believe, the Hatton Garden heist in 2015.

Palmer vowed to hunt down all his underworld enemies. But in the end it was those same criminals who decided to bring his life to an end. Murdered in June 2015, with charges of fraud, money laundering and worse pending, this book tells his murky story for the first time.

As outrageous and bullet-riddled as the hit Netflix series Narcos, Killing Goldfinger tells the true story of Britain's underworld kingpin, who turned the sunshine holiday island of Tenerife into his very own Crime Incorporated and then paid the ultimate price.
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