I’m currently on a true crime/crime fiction binge. I recently finished the Netflix original series “Mindhunter” and am halfway done with John Douglas’ book. I started looking into True Crime for YA but couldn’t find much (will need to exercise more on this) so I made a post with a mix of YA Crime and Thrills.
- The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the Trial of the Century by Sarah Miller The gruesome murders of Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother made headlines in the late 1800s. The suspect in the murders is daughter Lizzie, whose alibi is seriously put into question. Narrated like a novel, it makes it hard to believe this was a real crime. The research that went into this book includes pictures, newspaper reports, and interviews (a hallmark of many a crime book). Did she do it?
- Monster by Walter Dean Myers
An award-winning book (Coretta Scott King Award, Michael L. Printz Award, National Book Award for Young People’s Literature) and a classic in it’s own right. At sixteen, Steve is held in a juvenile detention hall awaiting trial for the murder of a drugstore owner. He is an aspiring filmmaker, thus writing his story like a screenplay. It is unclear what Steve’s role was in the murder gone afoul. In-between his screenplay are journal entries that show a raw look at a teen suffering through doubt and fear for his life.
- One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus
A group of teens enter detention. One doesn’t make it out alive. Follow the clues and motives, find who killed the creator of Bayview High’s gossip app. You get the stereotypes of each teen (homecoming queen, jock, the brain, the criminal) in detention and what they have to lose if exposed to their social circles. Why go the whole nine yards and kill the outcast? How badly did the killer want his/her secret safe?
- Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case by Chris Crowe
I am very excited to re-read this book due to a revised edition released earlier this year. Emmett Till was a 14 year old African American boy visiting relatives from Chicago when he was murdered for allegedly whistling at a Caucasian woman. His body was found three days later. The book weaves Till’s murder with America’s Civil Rights Movement. Revised edition includes new information by Till’s accuser which caused sensational headlines in late 2017.
- Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell
I read this back in high school which became a guilty pleasure among the Agatha Christie novels I hungered for. Includes pictures from the Jack the Ripper Case. Cornwell did a great job framing the story however with a multitude of suspects in the Whitechapel Murders, this is but one of many to suggest who Jack the Ripper really was.
Bonus: The Stuff You Missed In History podcast is wonderful and has a few episodes on crime, suitable for history buffs at their own discretion. They do great research and narrate in a way that leaves you wanting more. Search under “Crime” to find episodes tagged. I like listening during my drives to and from work. Happy reading!