Mrs Maybrick by Victoria Blake

Mrs Maybrick by Victoria Blake is the second book I read on this case. Earlier this month I finished a long and more recent book on Mrs Maybrick, which was a disappointment, but which made me curious to read more. So I reserved this book from the library without looking too much into it. It was a much shorter book than I was expecting, but so well written. It is just perfect. There were lots of primary sources as part of the narrative, without unnecessary interpretations and digressions.

Mrs Maybrick by Victoria Blake

This book has what the other one lacked. It explained, for example, in a couple of paragraphs how arsenic poisoning works and what happens if there is a small amount of arsenic given multiple times. It showed how complicated it was for doctors to establish what happened. At the end of the book she gives her own views, clearly stated, something that I liked a lot.

After reading the book by Kate Colquhoun, I said I would recommend it, but now I changed my mind, I think this is the book to read to find out about both Florence Maybrick and the case. The amount of details Victoria Blake was able to include in such a short book is incredible. She presented the investigation and the trial by days, quoting from lots of primary sources and stating the events clearly. She talked about the judge and what happened next, with Queen Victoria and the British legal system. This case is not only about a man who might have been poisoned, but a clear representation of how people could (or couldn’t) get a fair trial. It’s only 100 pages long and it is a small book too, so well worth reading if you can find it.

Mrs Maybrick by Victoria Blake

Details about the picture: a Victorian decor was the most appropriate, of course
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: YES!!
Published by: The National Archives UK
Year it was published: 2008
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): History – Victorian
Pages: 108

About the author: Victoria Blake is the author of three highly acclaimed crime novels featuring female private eye Sam Falconer – Bloodless Shadow, Cutting Blades and Skin and Blister, with a fourth to be published shortly. She spent her childhood in Queen’s College, Oxford, where her father was Provost, and is also a qualified solicitor who has worked in publishing and bookselling.
Website & Social Media Links: –

5 thoughts on “Mrs Maybrick by Victoria Blake”

  • That’s the sign of a good writer that you were able to find what you wanted in a shorter book. Concise writing!

  • I loved this one too! Victoria Blake used to blog which was how I got to know about it – she seems to have disappeared recently. I agree that though it’s short, there’s an awful lot of information packed into it, and it’s very well laid out. Glad you enjoyed it so much!

    • It’s pretty impressive how much she included in such a short book, isn’t it? I’m glad that you liked it as well, it’s nice to know. 🙂

    • Aww, this one was perfect and it started with why this case is so important, as it lead to 2 changes in the judicial system – allowing people accused of murder to defend themselves and establishing a Court of Appeal, as both points were discussed widely by the public at that time. Besides that the case is nicely presented, clear, and beautifully to read. I loved this one.

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