Review of the Novel Murder by the Book

Murder by the Book is a crimes series written in 1839, telling humiliating story about Queen Victoria. Is the lurid murder spur the assassination attempt on Queen Victoria?

When Leonard Bast finds that collapsed shelf, an idea occurred to him – books could be used as a tool of to kill people. Will such novel inspire or provide some ideas about murder? Mark David Chapman was arrested for murder while The Cather in the Rye is in his hands. It is doubt that Ted Kaczynski and Unabomber were spurred by The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad. Many authors of crime serious got involved in accusations or death penalties for inspiring copycat crimes. After all, motivation is a complex matter. This kind of stories emerges from time to time and crimes incurred by such novels are nothing new.

It is in May 1840 When Lord William Russell was dead on bed in his home in London. He lived in Mayfair, a high-caliber community. One day, he was founded dead while his throat was cut and it almost severed with his body. Such horrid news travelled fast among public, causing panic of many rich people. Most people could not accept that an inoffensive widower was murdered in such a horrible manner. When police engaged in searching the case and find the culprit, contemporary authors was criticized for writing novels of such genres.

A good-looking lawyer Ainsworth is a layer from Manchester and pursue his literature dream in London. For the sake of novel Rookwood, he won great reputation in 1834. The novel Rookwood features a highwayman Dick Turpin. Dickens admire his great success, so he become a bosom friend of Ainsworth and John Forster. Several years later, Jack Sheppard won greater success for his novel based on real life. At that time, many people would like to purchase pirated editions of books so that they could enjoy the novel. Even the novel has been taken on in the form of pantomime in London for four times. But this time people criticized such writings for fear of inspiring more criminals.

One verdict regarded that the danger of such books are more frightening than other dangers. But some people believe otherwise that the original intention of such books were not to nurture public appetites in thievery, murder and prostitution. One controversial scene in Jack Sheppard’s work is that the protagonist and an accomplice cut the throat of an innocent victim for a screwed burglary. But there is one big difference between novel and real life. The real-murder features characteristics an inside job. All valuable objects were found behind a foot board. So who is the murder, servants, the cook, the maid or the valet? What’s the motivation of the murder, malice, resentment or greed? How to explain the naked body.

Many people gathered around when police are collecting evidences and conducting their investigations. It’s strange that the painter Edwin Landseer suffered a nervous collapse at the same time.


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