cover image Bloody Business: An Anecdotal History of Scotland Yard

Bloody Business: An Anecdotal History of Scotland Yard

H. Paul Jeffers. Pharos Books, $19.95 (278pp) ISBN 978-0-88687-678-4

Readers of British murder mysteries, from Arthur Conan Doyle's to P. D. James's, will devour this history of the world's most famous police agency. Jeffers ( Who Killed Precious? ) does a grand job of mingling facts about the Yard--its founding in 1829, the appointment of the first detectives in 1842 and the formation of the Special Branch in 1883--with the tales of Britain's most famous criminals: Jack the Ripper (the unsolved murders still rankle at the Yard); Dr. Neil Cream, a serial murderer of prostitutes; those behind the Moors Murders, the most horrible sadists in the Yards' records; Reginald Christie, who killed at least six women and set a moron up to be executed for some of them; trunk murderers, drug dealers and IRA terrorists. Lovers of crime writing both true and fictional won't want to miss this. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)