The Magnificent Spilsbury and the Case of the Brides in the Bath Paperback
by Jane Robins
Bessie Mundy, Alice Burnham and Margaret Lofty are three women with one thing in common.
They are spinsters and are desperate to marry. Each woman meets a smooth-talking stranger who promises her a better life.
She falls under his spell, and becomes his wife. But marriage soon turns into a terrifying experience.
In the dark opening months of the First World War, Britain became engrossed by 'The Brides in the Bath' trial.
The horror of the killing fields of the Western Front was the backdrop to a murder story whose elements were of a different sort.
This was evil of an everyday, insidious kind, played out in lodging houses in seaside towns, in the confines of married life, and brought to a horrendous climax in that most intimate of settings - the bathroom.
The nation turned to a young forensic pathologist, Bernard Spilsbury, to explain how it was that young women were suddenly expiring in their baths.
This was the age of science. In fiction, Sherlock Holmes applied a scientific mind to solving crimes. In real-life, would Spilsbury be as infallible as the 'great detective'?
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 320 pages, Illustrations
- Publisher: John Murray General Publishing Division
- Publication Date: 20/01/2011
- Category: True crime
- ISBN: 9781848541092
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Review by Canadian_Down_Under
Most true crime aficionados are familiar with Britain’s infamous “Brides in the Bath” killer who married three women then killed them for their money.This absorbing book by Jane Robins details the crimes of George Smith as well as the illustrious career of Bernard Spilsbury, a forensic pathologist who first gained public notice with his courtroom testimony which helped seal the fate of Dr. Crippen. Robins does a good job weaving the lives of these two men until they meet on opposite sides of the judicial system. Robins also gives the reader a sense of the history of the times through newspaper accounts and excerpts from books to give an understanding of the social mores of the times. Although the Victorian era was over, at the start of the 20th century women had few options. This leads to some understanding as to why these women married George Smith when there were indications that he was not of good character.This book is well researched. The tone of the writing is authoritative yet accessible to the casual reader. A good solid read. Highly recommended for the true crime buff.