- Paperback: 339 pages
- Publisher: Overlook Press; Reprint edition (30 April 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1468300563
- ISBN-13: 978-1468300567
- Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 998,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Murder in the First-Class Carriage: The First Victorian Railway Killing Paperback – 30 Apr 2013
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"Colquhoun's work is an exquisite cautionary tale, as valuable today as it is telling of then." --"Salon"
"A suspenseful, well-paced account of a baffling mystery." --"Washington Post"
"Ms. Colquhoun's meticulously researched true-crime account, first published in England, is a tick-tock of the arrest and trial of a German tailor following a chase across the Atlantic its final revelation is a showstopper." --"New York Times"
"Colquhoun's narrative will appeal to British, rail, and legal historians. She does an excellent job of describing the case and the times. Highly recommended." --"Library Journal""
About the Author
Kate Colquhoun is the author of "The Busiest Man in England" and "Taste." In addition to writing for several newspapers and magazines, she appears regularly on radio and television. She lives in London with her husband and two sons.
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Top Customer Reviews
ORIGINAL PUB: Little, Brown, 5/2011 as Mr. Briggs’ Hat
GENRE: Nonfiction/Biography/Historical true crime
MY GRADE: B
This was a very detailed, well researched and descriptive account of the crime but not as exciting as I was expecting. That’s not the authors fault, though. When I get a book that sounds so interesting I build it up so big in my head, telling myself it’s going to be the greatest book ever, and I end up let down.
I just wish there had been sketches of the key players in the case, especially of the killer, German immigrant Franz Müller. He’s described as being twenty-three, not very tall, thin, fair-skinned, prominent cheekbones, small gray eyes, and wavy dark blond hair with eyebrows so light you can barely see them.
I like that the author hypothesized what probably went down in the carriage that night, saying Franz likely didn’t even know he’d murdered Thomas in a botched robbery. What she didn’t say is how he got out of a moving train without any injuries.
The book is 339 pages but the actual story is only 282 pages. There’s an extensive bibliography as well as a very helpful section in the back that’s got the names of all the people mentioned in the book and who they were/what role they played in the trial.
There’s a mediocre hour long BBC documentary about this from 2013 called Murder on the Victorian Railway that you can watch.
I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Kate Colquhoun has produced an excellent history of this dramatic crime and its aftermath which ably demonstrates how the technological changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution: railroads, telegraphs, etc., were important factors. The atmosphere and attitudes of 1860s London and New York is well described, as are the changes that occurred after Muller's execution, which was one of the last to take place publicly.
This is a well written, engrossing drama which has all the elements of a detective story (which were just becoming popular). It is also a fine example of social history at its best.