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Bloody Business: An Anecdotal History of Scotland Yard

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This fascinating history of Scotland Yard skillfully weaves dozens of crime cases from its annals into a fascinating portrait of the world's most famous detective force. Includes the cases of Jack the Ripper, Reg Christie, the Great Train Robbery, plus notorious sex scandals and terrorism. 16 pages of photographs. Index.


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This fascinating history of Scotland Yard skillfully weaves dozens of crime cases from its annals into a fascinating portrait of the world's most famous detective force. Includes the cases of Jack the Ripper, Reg Christie, the Great Train Robbery, plus notorious sex scandals and terrorism. 16 pages of photographs. Index.

30 review for Bloody Business: An Anecdotal History of Scotland Yard

  1. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    This book was published in 1992, so that is as far as it goes. As stated in the introduction, the author's goal is to attempt to counter undermining of Scotland Yard's reputation by various mystery writers. He does a reasonably good job, though his own prejudice isn't entirely lacking. I found this book interesting and informative. However, if you are squimish at all, I don't recommend it. Descriptions of murders contain very specific details.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Peter Talbot

    Good if superficial compendium of true crime, and a great intro to the Yard and its important antecedents. Crimes of today were mostly eccentricities in the past. Even murder most foul was largely unremarkable princely politics until the industrial revolution gave the common man a soul worth jurisprudence. What fools these mortals, etc.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    Meh Didn't finish

  4. 4 out of 5

    Raechel Henderson

    A readable history of Scotland Yard. There's enough accounts of horrific crimes to balance out the more mundane details of accommodations and technological advances.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Americanogig

    Very good read though quite disturbing. For instance, my knowledge of poisons definitely grew as I read on. Is this a good thing? Really seems an awful way to die. Antimony sounds pretty but its reality is horrid. This book highlighted the relations of the police and British class struggles (like celebrity status here). In one well-known case,the house was shown extremely deferential treatment...they even wiped away a bloody handprint so it wouldn't upset the family. I found out 'Sheriff' come Very good read though quite disturbing. For instance, my knowledge of poisons definitely grew as I read on. Is this a good thing? Really seems an awful way to die. Antimony sounds pretty but its reality is horrid. This book highlighted the relations of the police and British class struggles (like celebrity status here). In one well-known case,the house was shown extremely deferential treatment...they even wiped away a bloody handprint so it wouldn't upset the family. I found out 'Sheriff' comes from 'shire reeve' (think Cadfael). 'Scotland Yard' was named thus because the original building was built in an area once used for Scottish dignitaries, which called, what else, but Great Scotland Yard. They rebuilt and became New Scotland Yard. Now, their place of operations looks like a large office building. So much of the "romance" via fictionalization of the place has disappeared. I didn't end up finishing the book because it went too far into modern crime and then it was just disturbing. I can't belive that the detective process actually had to be INVENTED?!?! Police never solved anything after it happened, just tried to prevent it from happening in the first place. They wouldn't follow up and punish criminals like we do now. They were much maligned in the fiction of the day>Dickens and later on, the insipid (NOT intrepid, insipid) Lestrade in Sherlock Holmes. Interesting fact: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle actually solved quite a few cases himself using that famous deductive reasoning. A woman's jewels went missing while attending a production where Doyle was also present. He told her who had them and he was right! He also helped a few people who were falsely accused escape a death sentence. Pretty cool. Another fact: the Bow Street police force were said to be able to arrive at a scene in 15 minutes (quite a feat in the time of horses), thus Bow Street Runners.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amy "the book-bat"

    This book fulfills requirement #2- true crime for the 2014 eclectic reader challenge. This book covers the history of the creation of Scotland Yard through the 1990's. I thought it was interesting and balanced the history of administration and the like with descriptions of some of the crimes they solved. I was more interested in the various crimes than the politics of running a police force, but I thought the author did a good job of blending the two. Occasionally I was a little confused by the d This book fulfills requirement #2- true crime for the 2014 eclectic reader challenge. This book covers the history of the creation of Scotland Yard through the 1990's. I thought it was interesting and balanced the history of administration and the like with descriptions of some of the crimes they solved. I was more interested in the various crimes than the politics of running a police force, but I thought the author did a good job of blending the two. Occasionally I was a little confused by the dates as they were presented, but overall I think the book was well laid out. Strangely enough, I had just watched a couple shows on the Travel Channel that talked about some of the cases, so it was nice getting a little more information or a different point of view of those incidents. On a different note, I would have liked the print to have been a little larger and the pictures to be a little lighter/clearer, but that is probably a little picky on my part.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Roth

    This is one of those slapped-together Barnes & Nobles books, written by some nameless hack who probably churned out a cookbook last week and will be churning out a history of doorknobs next week. Someone who grew up in Britain, say, and pays attention half-way to stuff like this will find little that is new or enlightening. But a lot of the Victorian stuff and the overview of the Metropolitan Police was new to me, thus interesting. No one should ever go out and actually buy this book full price; This is one of those slapped-together Barnes & Nobles books, written by some nameless hack who probably churned out a cookbook last week and will be churning out a history of doorknobs next week. Someone who grew up in Britain, say, and pays attention half-way to stuff like this will find little that is new or enlightening. But a lot of the Victorian stuff and the overview of the Metropolitan Police was new to me, thus interesting. No one should ever go out and actually buy this book full price; it'll show up in the remainder bins soon enough.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book had a lot of interesting cases in it. Given the number of cases Scotland Yard has tackled since its inception some brevity in discussion is understandable. While I enjoyed reading this book, I still felt like the author tried to cram a little too much in. I would have enjoyed a more extended treatment of the major cases. This book did give me a better understanding of Scotland Yard and the effect of the attitude of the British people on Scotland Yard's workings.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Susan Burin

    This is not a novel but is a historical story of the Scotland Yard in London, England. However, while giving historical formation, tales of actual cases are told and the means for the times of how they were solved or not. I found it interesting, and easy to read and keep my attention.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    Fun! if you like detective murder mysteries....

  11. 4 out of 5

    Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides

    I checked this out from the library in 2007 but I don't think I actually read it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Bunnell

    I bought this book for a referance guide for my book series I'm currently writing. For this purpose its a good book. But if you choose to simple read the book - its still a good read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brett

    Non-fiction,Anthology,Crime

  14. 5 out of 5

    Fishface

    A diverting read. Well-written with a nice variety of anecdotes about the Yard. They even got Edward Gorey to do the cover illustration.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cindi

    In some spots rattled off too many statistics, but overall enjoyable. Put me in the mind to read a good English mystery. Peter Robinson and Inspector Alan Banks, perhaps?

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer A. Smith

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  18. 5 out of 5

    Richard Dollison

  19. 4 out of 5

    Paula

  20. 4 out of 5

    Denisa Witteková

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Sheehy

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Frahn

  26. 5 out of 5

    Muhammed Shaheer

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brian Barlow

  29. 5 out of 5

    Juan Serenellini

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hobart Frolley

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