Conan Doyle for the defense : the true story of a sensational British murder, a quest for justice, and the world's most famous detective writer / Margalit Fox.
- 1 of 1 copy available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
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|Location||Call Number / Copy Notes||Barcode||Shelving Location||Status||Due Date|
|Fertile Public Library||364.1523 FOX (Text)||33500012737136||New||Available||-|
- ISBN: 9780399589454
- ISBN: 0399589457
- Physical Description: xxvii, 319 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm
- Edition: First U.S. edition.
- Publisher: New York : Random House, 
|Bibliography, etc. Note:|| Includes bibliographical references (pages 273-308) and index.
|Formatted Contents Note:|| Prologue: Prisoner 2988 -- Book one: Diamonds -- A footfall on the stair -- The mysterious Mr. Anderson -- The knight-errant -- The man in the Donegal cap -- Book two: Blood -- Traces -- The original Sherlock Holmes -- The art of reasoning backward -- A case of identity -- Book three: Granite -- The trap door -- "Until he be dead" -- The cold cruel sea -- Arthur Conan Doyle, consulting detective -- The strange case of George Edalji -- Prisoner 1992 -- Book four: Paper -- "You know my method" -- The ruin of John Thomson Trench -- Cannibals included -- The purloined brooch -- The gates of Peterhead -- More light, more justice -- The knight and the knave -- What became of them.
|Summary, etc.:|| "In this thrilling true-crime procedural, the creator of Sherlock Holmes uses his unparalleled detective skills to exonerate a German Jew wrongly convicted of murder. For all the scores of biographies of Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the most famous detective in the world, there is no American book that tells this remarkable story--in which Conan Doyle becomes a real-life detective on an actual murder case. In Conan Doyle for the Defense, Margalit Fox takes us step-by-step inside Conan Doyle's investigative process and illuminates a murder mystery that is also a morality play for our time--a story of ethnic, religious, and anti-immigrant bias. In 1908, a wealthy woman was brutally murdered in her Glasgow home. The police found a convenient suspect in Oscar Slater--an immigrant Jewish cardsharp--who, despite his innocence, was tried, convicted, and consigned to life at hard labor in a brutal Scottish prison. Conan Doyle, already world famous as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, was outraged by this injustice and became obsessed with the case. Using the methods of his most famous character, he scoured trial transcripts, newspaper accounts, and eyewitness statements, meticulously noting myriad holes, inconsistencies, and outright fabrications by police and prosecutors. Finally, in 1927, his work won Slater's freedom. Margalit Fox, a celebrated longtime writer for The New York Times, has "a nose for interesting facts, the ability to construct a taut narrative arc, and a Dickens-level gift for concisely conveying personality" (Kathryn Schulz, New York). In Conan Doyle for the Defense, she immerses readers in the science of Edwardian crime detection and illuminates a watershed moment in the history of forensics, when reflexive prejudice began to be replaced by reason and the scientific method"-- Provided by publisher.
"In 1908 an elderly woman was brutally murdered in her Glasgow apartment. The police found a convenient but innocent suspect in Oscar Slater--a Jewish cardsharp--who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, already the world-famous creator of Sherlock Holmes, was outraged by this injustice and became obsessed with the case. Over the years he scoured trial transcripts, newspaper accounts, and police diaries, meticulously noting myriad holes and inconsistencies. Finally, in 1927, his work won Slater's freedom. Conan Doyle for the Defense immerses readers in the science of Edwardian crime detection, telling the story of how Conan Doyle managed to get this murder conviction overturned by employing the methods of his most famous creation. Along the way, Fox illuminates a watershed moment in the history of criminal justice when reflexive prejudice began gradually to be replaced by reason and the scientific method"-- Provided by publisher.
- Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2018 May #2
Oscar Slater was a pimp, a gangster, and a friend to scum, but he didn't deserve what happened to him. He was accused of a 1908 Glasgow murder he didn't commitâbased on evidence that didn't prove anything, identified by eyewitnesses who were manipulated by the policeâand spent nearly 20 years in a hellhole of a Scottish prison. Slater secured his place in history when the whole sordid matter came to the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The creator of Sherlock Holmes applied the Great Detective's methods, and, in time, Slater was freed. Fox does a marvelous job following Doyle's piecing together of the case, noting that the methods of the detective were rooted in Doyle's medical background. Like Holmes, Doyle is, in effect, diagnosing a crime scene, only this time in real life. Each cigarette butt is aching to tell its story; learn to listen. Fox also links the new century's fascination with the evolving philosophy of empiricism, which, like Holmes, stressed that absorbing the evidence of the senses is the first step in answering the question, "What happened?" A compelling true-crime account. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
A retired senior writer at The New York Times, Margalit Fox is considered one the foremost explanatory writers and literary stylists in American journalism. As a longtime member of the newspaper’s celebrated Obituary News Department, she has written the front-page public sendoffs of some of the leading cultural figures of our age. (Conan Doyle for the Defense is in many ways a fond belated obituary—for the long-overlooked Oscar Slater, an immigrant Everyman treated inexcusably by history.) Fox’s previous book, The Riddle of the Labyrinth, won the William Saroyan Prize for International Writing. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, the writer and critic George Robinson.