Helpful votes received on reviews: 58% (789 of 1,357)
Location: London, Middlesex United Kingdom


Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,903,311 - Total Helpful Votes: 789 of 1357
Bernard Spilsbury: His Life and Cases (Panther Boo&hellip by Keith Simpson
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated, 17 July 2014
This is not a bad book, but is inevitably dated. It is interesting to read about classic cases, in which Sir Bernard presented evidence; Crippen, George Joseph Smith, Major Armstrong and John Donald Merrett, as well as many more, from the 1900s-1940s. The book is very favourable to Sir Bernard, though there is some criticism recorded over the Norman Thorne murder. However, Sir Bernard was not always correct and the verdict he helped bring about in the Merrett case was probably incorrect. The survey of some of the crimes here is somewhat limited, given the information now available, eg over the Vera Page and Louisa Steele cases. The reader needs to be aware that this is not the final word… Read more
George Cole: The World was My Lobster by George Cole
3.0 out of 5 stars Not too bad, 11 July 2014
This is not a bad book for fans of George Cole, of which I am one. The section on his childhood and first employment on the stage, and the section on his time in Minder are good, but elsewhere the book is plodding. There's a description of a film/stage/TV role, brief summary of plot, fellow actors, George's part, and then we're onto another of his roles, with the same routine. It becomes wearying after a while. The lack of any discussion of his first marriage is a disadvantage and as a result we learn little about the subject as a human being. What little we do know is favourable, though it is repetitive at times and a good proof reader could have made for a better text.
Portrait of a Bad Man (Ronald John Chesney) by Tom Tullett
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but dated, 5 Jun 2014
This is a well written, readable and well illustrated book about the life and crimes of Ronald Chesney, also John Donald Merrett/Milner, by a crime journalist. The villain of the piece was also a forger and smuggler, too, as well as being a womaniser. It is the only substantive work on the topic, unlike those books on the era's other major killers such as Heath, Haigh and Christie. However, the book often feels rather vague and sometimes inventive - conversations between killer and victim are sometimes reported without the author being able to know whether these occurred or not - both being dead by the time the author wrote the book. Feels imaginative at times.There's also more evidence… Read more