"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Friday, August 10, 2018

Weekend Link Dump




This week's Link Dump is sponsored by this friend of Marie Prevost.

If you're familiar with the Nick Lowe song, you'll know why the sight of Marie with a household pet makes me a little uneasy.









Who the hell were the skeletons of Grape Island?

Why the hell does the Devil play the fiddle?

Watch out for those Dublin donkeys!

Watch out for those ghost cats!

A brief history of England's witchcraft laws.

A brief history of Ireland's witchcraft laws.

A brief history of posthumous executions.

An influential early 20th century magician.

An appropriately Kafkaesque legal trial.

A Leonardo da Vinci painting sold for $450 million last year.  Well, maybe it was a Leonardo painting.

Could be somethin', will probably end up being nothin': France is reopening the MH370 investigation.

Well, this is creepy.

Some children of famous explorers.

New details about Rasputin's murder.

"Jaws" and an unsolved murder.

Early 20th century cat aristocrats.

A case of murder by medicine.

Have eye problems?  Just consult your cat's tail!

Swan folklore.

The execution of a German witch.

The execution of Purry Moll.

Being murdered is bad enough.  When the Devil is the culprit, you really know you're in for it.

This week's Advice From Thomas Morris: do not leap over broomsticks.  Milk churns are to be avoided, as well.

The Super-Silky Sargasso Sea.

The last of the WAMPAS Baby Stars.

Fights and slander at the theater, 1924.

The destruction of the "Empire Windrush."

How Eliza Lewis came back from the dead.

The Croglin Grange vampire: fact or fiction?

Some mysterious ancient artifacts.

A famed "bearded lady."

A very smelly haunting.

A gruesome Pennsylvania mystery.

The librarian detectives.

A mysterious 19th century time capsule.

A dog is arrested for theft.

A curious "near-death experience."

A house owned by Napoleon.

A mystery surrounding a stolen painting.

And, finally, on a somewhat different note:

"Baltimore Sun," September 26, 1925, via Newspapers.com

A while ago I shared the above article on Twitter. I could scarcely believe such a gang really existed, but sure enough they did, and they were just as colorful--and menacing--as this news item suggested.

One thing led to another--as they so often do online--and I wound up receiving an advance copy (to be specific, a complimentary copy--full disclosure, and all that) of an upcoming novel based on the "Forty Elephants."

Anna Freeman's "Five Days of Fog" is set during London's "Great Smog" of 1952. It centers around a teenager named Florrie Palmer, who is a member of a fearsome gang of female criminals dubbed "The Cutters." Florrie faces a dilemma: part of her wishes to leave the gang and "go straight," but on the other hand, London's underworld is the only life she knows, and the Cutters are the closest thing to family she has.  After all, the leader of the gang is her mother.

In short, Florrie fears she's too good to be bad, but too bad to be good.  What's a girl to do?

"Five Days of Fog" is a grim, but ultimately hopeful novel. It's quite well-written, and presents an entirely believable look at the seedy milieu of post-war Britain. I found the story both realistic and immensely entertaining. If you have any interest in the darker side of 1950s London, this novel is highly recommended. Besides, it's hard to resist any book that features the tagline, "My mum always said, a fistful of rings is as good as a knuckleduster."


Well, that's all for this week.  See you all on Monday, when we'll look at a case of disputed identity.  In the meantime, here's another of the songs of summer.


1 comment:

  1. The article on Rasputin's murder was very interesting. I have read Michael Smith's book on the SIS, from its beginnings until 1939, and, while excellently researched and detailed in many respects, I could not feel convinced by his chapter regarding Secret Service involvement in Rasputin's death. This article seems to vindicate my doubts.

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