Conan Doyle for the Defense by Margalit Fox audiobook

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

By Margalit Fox
Read by Peter Forbes

Random House Audio
7.70 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $17.50
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    ISBN: 9781524776534

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“A wonderfully vivid portrait of the man behind Sherlock Holmes . . . Like all the best historical true crime books, it’s about so much more than crime.”—Tana French, author of In the Woods   A sensational Edwardian murder. A scandalous wrongful conviction. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to the rescue—a true story.     After a wealthy woman was brutally murdered in her Glasgow home in 1908, the police found a convenient suspect in Oscar Slater, an immigrant Jewish cardsharp. Though he was known to be innocent, Slater was tried, convicted, and consigned to life at hard labor. Outraged by this injustice, Arthur Conan Doyle, already world renowned as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, used the methods of his most famous character to reinvestigate the case, ultimately winning Slater’s freedom. With “an eye for the telling detail, a forensic sense of evidence and a relish for research” (The Wall Street Journal), Margalit Fox immerses readers in the science of Edwardian crime detection and illuminates a watershed moment in its history, when reflexive prejudice began to be replaced by reason and the scientific method. Praise for Conan Doyle for the Defense “Artful and compelling . . . [Fox’s] narrative momentum never flags. . . . Conan Doyle for the Defense will captivate almost any reader while being pure catnip for the devotee of true-crime writing.”The Washington Post “Developed with brio . . . [Fox] is excellent in linking the 19th-century creation of policing and detection with the development of both detective fiction and the science of forensics—ballistics, fingerprints, toxicology and serology—as well as the quasi science of ‘criminal anthropology.’”—The New York Times Book Review “[Fox] has an eye for the telling detail, a forensic sense of evidence and a relish for research.”The Wall Street Journal “Gripping . . . The book works on two levels, much like a good Holmes case. First, it is a fluid story of a crime. . . . Second, and more pertinently, it is a deeper story of how prejudice against a class of people, the covering up of sloppy police work and a poisonous political atmosphere can doom an innocent. We should all heed Holmes’s salutary lesson: rationally follow the facts to find the truth.”Time

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Book Review Staff Pick

A USA Today Pick of 5 Not to Miss Books

A New York Times Book Review pick of Best New Books Now in Paperback

A BookPage Top Pick of Mysteries for Private Eye July

“A wonderfully vivid portrait of the man behind Sherlock Holmes . . . Like all the best historical true crime books, it’s about so much more than crime.”—Tana French, author of In the Woods
 
A sensational Edwardian murder. A scandalous wrongful conviction. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to the rescue—a true story.    

After a wealthy woman was brutally murdered in her Glasgow home in 1908, the police found a convenient suspect in Oscar Slater, an immigrant Jewish cardsharp. Though he was known to be innocent, Slater was tried, convicted, and consigned to life at hard labor. Outraged by this injustice, Arthur Conan Doyle, already world renowned as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, used the methods of his most famous character to reinvestigate the case, ultimately winning Slater’s freedom.

With “an eye for the telling detail, a forensic sense of evidence and a relish for research” (The Wall Street Journal), Margalit Fox immerses readers in the science of Edwardian crime detection and illuminates a watershed moment in its history, when reflexive prejudice began to be replaced by reason and the scientific method.

Praise for Conan Doyle for the Defense

“Artful and compelling . . . [Fox’s] narrative momentum never flags. . . . Conan Doyle for the Defense will captivate almost any reader while being pure catnip for the devotee of true-crime writing.”The Washington Post

“Developed with brio . . . [Fox] is excellent in linking the 19th-century creation of policing and detection with the development of both detective fiction and the science of forensics—ballistics, fingerprints, toxicology and serology—as well as the quasi science of ‘criminal anthropology.’”—The New York Times Book Review

“[Fox] has an eye for the telling detail, a forensic sense of evidence and a relish for research.”The Wall Street Journal

“Gripping . . . The book works on two levels, much like a good Holmes case. First, it is a fluid story of a crime. . . . Second, and more pertinently, it is a deeper story of how prejudice against a class of people, the covering up of sloppy police work and a poisonous political atmosphere can doom an innocent. We should all heed Holmes’s salutary lesson: rationally follow the facts to find the truth.”Time

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Fox shows the new system of forensic science, as typified by Doyle’s great creation Sherlock Holmes. . . . She wants us to see that the racialisation of crime is nothing new: bad science and economic insecurity have long been responsible for creating ‘out groups’ on whom we dump our worst terrors. The Guardian
[Margalit] Fox . . . does her own detective work in unpicking the opposing personalities and careers of her protagonists. . . . Like a good murder mystery, Conan Doyle for the Defense is a fast-paced read that twists and turns with the panache of a Holmes short story. The Times
Fox expertly frames the case of Oscar Slater as another example of scapegoating. . . . If you are a Holmes devotee, you will love watching his creator take apart a flimsy criminal case through reason and meticulous examination of the evidence. The Seattle Times
Fox’s engrossing book brings his case back to vivid life and highlights the part played in it by the creator of the world’s most famous detective. The Daily Mail
Riveting. The National Book Review
Absorbing . . . Fox demonstrates her eye for the telling detail and her innate sense of pacing and suspense. . . . At a time when bias can and does still land innocents in jail, the relevance of the Slater case remains all too clear. The Jewish Week
Expertly constructed, this work will appeal to Conan Doyle fans and is ideal for all true crime collections. Library Journal (starred review)
Entertaining. Newsday 
“Compelling, lucid, and indignant. It reminds one that the presumption of innocence is a legal principle.” Scotsman (Edinburgh)
Gripping . . . The book works on two levels, much like a good Holmes case. First, it is a fluid story of a crime. . . . Second, and more pertinently, it is a deeper story of how prejudice against a class of people, the covering up of sloppy police work and a poisonous political atmosphere can doom an innocent. We should all heed Holmes’s salutary lesson: rationally follow the facts to find the truth. Time
Splendid . . . The ingredients are too good to pass up: a famous detective novelist actually playing detective, a man serving time for a murder he did not commit, and a criminal justice system slowly, and reluctantly, reckoning with the advent of forensic science. Sarah Weinman, The New Republic
“Peter Forbes provides an impeccable narration…Forbes skillfully delivers documents, newspaper articles, court transcriptions, eyewitness statements, and poignant letters between Slater and his family.” AudioFile
“Fox deftly deconstructs this case with page-turning reportage and a studious analysis of the setting…Conan Doyle is presented in all his intellectual glory, almost as impressive as his world-famous character. Holmesians will appreciate reading about both the development of forensic science and their favorite author as a real-life person managing life-and-death stakes.” British Heritage Travel
“The improbably true story of Conan Doyle’s involvement in a case worthy of his very own Sherlock Holmes.” BookPage

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Margalit Fox

Author Bio: Margalit Fox

Margalit Fox, an author and a senior writer at the New York Times, is considered one of the foremost explanatory writers and literary stylists in American journalism. Her book The Riddle of the Labyrinth won the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/True Crime
Runtime: 7.70
Audience: Adult
Language: English