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Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 1889, young Southern belle Florence Maybrick stood trial for the alleged arsenic poisoning of her much older husband, Liverpool cotton merchant James Maybrick. The ‘Maybrick Mystery’ had all the makings of a sensation and cracked the varnish of Victorian respectability. Florence’s fate was fiercely debated on the front pages of the newspapers and in parlours and backyards across the country. Historian Kate Colquhoun recounts an utterly absorbing tale that keeps you asking to the very last minute, did she kill him?

©2014 Oakhill Publishing (P)2014 Kate Colquhoun

Critic Reviews

"The case is thrilling, the trial harrowing and Colquhoun does them justice." (Laura Freeman Daily Mail)
"Kate Colquhoun's fascinating history . . . critiques thoroughly and carefully the attitudes of the time." (Scotsman)
"Intriguing, forensic . . . a moral fable of the age, intelligently told by Colquhoun, who places her sources cleverly within historical and literary context . . . gripping." (The Times)
"Kate Colquhoun renders the story in a vivid, novelistic style . . . gripping." (Financial Times)

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Average Customer Ratings

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Fascinating true story

This well- researched analysis of a much-celebrated case is well written and thought provoking, providing and in-depth look at the lives of the women of the Victorian age, their treatment under the rules of society and the rule of law. A really fine true crime document, and a great read.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Victorian Travesty!

I listened to this story thinking how different the case would have been resolved if it was 100 years later.
Whether or not she "did it" we will never know. However, what we do know is the defendant was never really tried for the crime committed.
This was expertly read and the story was quite gripping.

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Style of Gothic Mystery

Well worth the listen. Of course it is always grating on the ear when a woman tries to do a man-voice, but thankfully there was little dialog for the men.

For those people who are not acquainted with how poorly women have always been treated, well, those people might shale their heads in disbelief. But the book is well done and well-read. It does allow for vivid mental images to be drawn, and that is the best part of books and audio books.

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interesting but....

great subject matter...but so many details and social points beaten to death. so so. C-

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Flawed

No suspense, inadequate research, too "creative" for non fiction. I had hoped this was more like The Murder of Helen Jewett, but it is not at all that quality.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathryn
  • 02-13-15

Really good listen

I enjoyed this book as I am an avid crime listener. The narrator made it interesting. A definite must read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sally
  • 05-27-15

Victorian hypocrisy exposed

Where does Did She Kill Him? rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top third

What did you like best about this story?

The painstaking historical research

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The first chapters which described the events as they unfolded

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A true life Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Any additional comments?

The middle section was a little repetitive, but still an enjoyable listen

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • A.Connor
  • 10-05-15

intrigued by the tale!

'enjoyed this immensely, the twists, turns & all the counter-intuitive bits & bobs in a 'did she do it?' tale.
Narration generally ok but a crazy habit of periodically lapsing into pantomime tones to signal 'blokes' parts, men who are central characters; embarrassingly not required & impacted on my listening.
'Recommend the story hugely - if you can tune out those kinda cartoonish elements.

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  • Penny
  • 09-14-15

Labours a bit on details of the 'crime'

This is a fascinating true story of Victorian morality. Florence Maybrick was convicted of killing her husband by arsenic poison in 1889, but there was always doubt surrounding the conviction. This is a long book and is more detailed than I would need, seeming to go over some aspects of the case multiple times. This was most evident in the hypocrisy towards female adultery, which was explored quite a number of times. I found the story fascinating and the narrator excellent.