The Man Who Wanted Seven Wives: Being the Account of a Famous Murder Mystery of 1897 Supposedly Solved by the Testimony of a Ghost, Together with an E

Katie Letcher Lyle, Author Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill $14.95 (191p) ISBN 978-0-912697-35-2
Material that might have made a diverting magazine article is here stretched to book length by the addition of fictional passages, in which Lyle looks into the minds of some of the characters involved, and by the insertion of quotes of varying relevance to the case. The story concerns the West Virginia murder of a young wife, Zona Shue, by her blacksmith husband, a murder suspected only by the victim's mother until well after the burial. Then the mother claimed to have been visited by her daughter's ghost; she obtained an autopsy, which proved that Zona had died of a broken neck, and the husband was finally found guilty and sent to prison for life. Lyle theorizes that the mother concocted the ghost story as a stratagem to get action. The tale is unusual but not sufficiently unique to hold the imagination. Illustrations. (April 20
Reviewed on: 04/01/1986
Release date: 04/01/1986
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