The Riddle of Birdhurst Rise: 2the Croydon Poisoning Mystery

Richard Whittington-Egan, Author, T. Whitting, Author Penguin Books $6.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-14-011078-4
When three members of the same family died of sudden, violent illnesses in a London suburb in 1928 and 1929, clues suggested that one of two heirs, Grace Sidney Duff or Tom Sidney, had poisoned them with arsenic. But not even exhaustive police investigations, autopsies and inquests uncovered solid proof against either suspect, and the unsolved case was officially closed in 1929. In the early 1960s, Whittington-Egan, a British crime writer, re-examined the proceedings and interviewed key witnesses (or, in some instances, their surviving spouses), nearly all of whom believed in Grace's guilt. Despite the author's painstaking research, the argument against Grace, now deceased, continues to depend on circumstantial evidence and educated guesses. Turgid writing robs this account of drama, but the thorough analysis of a successfully executed triple-murder will engage the true-crime buff. Photos. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
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