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The Murders of the Black Museum 1870-1970

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

by Gordon Honeycombe

Rating: ****

I had originally intended to give this book three stars. It was perfectly readable, does what it says, but I did find a little boring to begin with and, not to belittle the victims, I did find a number of the earlier stories a bit overlong and very similar - a bit more editing with some of the cases would not have gone amiss. The first case was not particularly interesting and too much time is spent on it.

But, it really seemed to draw me in after halfway and I couldn't wait to pick it up most evenings despite knowing the details of most of the later murders such as Christie, Haigh and The Krays. Honeycombe's style seem to improve although it just may be that I found the later cases more absorbing and relatable. Yes, it's dated in places but not so that your reading is impacted. I also found that Honeycombe drops a few wry, subjective remarks regarding various victims and perpetrators which, ordinarily, I would mark down as I believe the authorial voice reporting the crimes should be objective, but I actually found them rather humorous (not sure that was his intention) and looked forward to next comment. Not sure that was his intention.

So, apart from, for me, the first third of the book dragging a little, I thought this was a good, interesting, absorbing read.

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