Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Criminal Sentences

Following on from discussion about the inter-relataionship between true crime and crime fiction, I’d like to recommend a little-known book by Steve Haste called Criminal Sentences. Its sub-title is ‘true crime in fiction and drama’ and it is a terrific piece of work.

Haste examines a large number of cases, some of them famous, some neglected, and provides information about the fictional works they have inspired. It’s a great book to dip into and, although I have not checked it systematically, it seems to be very well researched.

People who, like me, enjoyed Kate Summerscale’s book about the Constance Kent case may like to know that Haste lists several books inspired by the case in addition to The Moonstone.

They are:

Margarete Houstone – Such Things Are
Alan Brock – The Browns of the Yard
Elbut Ford – Such Bitter Business
Francis King – Act of Darkness.

I read the King book many years ago. Very well-written, though not quite gripping enough for my taste.


Elizabeth Foxwell said...


Actually, _Such Bitter Business_ is by Elbur Ford, a pseudonym of Eleanor Hibbert (aka Victoria Holt, Jean Plaidy, and Philippa Carr).

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Elizabeth. I associate Plaidy with historical romance, though I have never read her. Have you read the book and if so, is it any good?