Get personalized recommendations and earn points toward a free book!
Check Out
The Bestselling Books of All Time
See the List

Murder by the Book

Best Seller
Murder by the Book by Claire Harman
Mar 26, 2019 | ISBN 9780525520399
See All Formats (3) +
  • Paperback $16.95

    Feb 04, 2020 | ISBN 9780525436157

  • Hardcover $26.95

    Mar 26, 2019 | ISBN 9780525520399

  • Ebook $13.99

    Mar 26, 2019 | ISBN 9780525520405

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Listen to a sample from Murder by the Book

Product Details


“This beautifully produced and impressively researched historical account of a celebrated Victorian murder with a literary twist reads like a thriller. I devoured it in one sitting, and was at once enthralled and chilled. Highly recommended!”
—Alison Weir

“Its opening scene is the stuff that classic murder mysteries are made of . . . Ms. Harman is a tireless researcher and a droll stylist.”
—Maureen Corrigan, The Wall Street Journal
“Harman demonstrates a flair for distilling reams of research into a succinct, lively narrative. The book is an exemplar of how to write taut, issue-driven historical nonfiction. With an appreciation for pithy quotations, telling details and amusing gossip, she’s quick to spot a fascinating aside . . . As riveting as this true-crime story is, what elevates Murder by the Book above sensationalism is its focus on how this case heightened concern over the malevolent influence of violent entertainment.”
—Heller McAlpin, The Washington Post

“An assiduously researched and superbly written book that ends with Harman examining unanswered questions, and reminding us that truth can be stranger than fiction.”
—Malcolm Forbes, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Compact and engrossing . . . [Harman] leaves readers to draw their own conclusions, and her compelling book is all the better for her tact.”
The Economist

“A fascinating, exhaustively researched exploration into how art can influence society and vice versa, Murder by the Book turns an unflinching eye to the ways in which biases born of economic inequality affect the way crimes are investigated and prosecuted. It’s a true crime devotee’s delight.”
“Harman effectively uses a novelist’s approach to recreate a now obscure 1840 English murder case that was a sensation at the time . . . By exploring concerns about the glorification of criminals in the fiction of the day and addressing some lingering mysteries, such as whether Courvoisier had an accomplice, Harman adds depth to a fascinating true crime narrative.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review
“An endlessly fascinating, bookish tale of true crime in Victorian England . . . Lovers of Drood, Sherlock, Jack the Ripper, and their kin real and fictional will relish the gruesome details of this entertaining book.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A remarkable story which Harman draws so skillfully . . . A brilliant piece of literary detective work. And though Harman is never so crass as to draw comparisons with today’s concerns over the effects of drill music or chic TV assassins (Killing Eve’s Villanelle?), the resonances ping from every page.”
—Marcus Field, London Evening Standard

Back to Top