Your audiobook is waiting…

The Belle of Bedford Avenue

The Sensational Brooks-Burns Murder in Turn-of-the-Century New York
Narrated by: Lee Ann Howlett
Length: 6 hrs and 48 mins
Categories: Nonfiction, True Crime
4 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

At the turn of the 20th century, many affluent Brooklyn teens and young adults were bucking the constraints of their immigrant parents and behaving badly: drinking, having sex, staying out all night, stealing, scamming local businesses, and engaging in other more serious activities. 

When 20-year-old Walter Brooks was murdered in a seedy Manhattan hotel in 1902, the ensuing court case was front-page news throughout the country. The hearings featured testimonies about these young people’s secret lives that shocked parents and inspired much editorial commentary in the newspapers. From start to finish, the case was viewed as a cautionary tale for parents, for boys who could be led astray, and for girls who risked their reputations to be popular.

Set against the colorful backdrop of Coney Island, roadhouses, forbidden dance halls, and vaudeville, The Belle of Bedford Avenue follows the young woman at the heart of the case from her trial for the murder of Walter Brooks to her adulthood.

The crime itself, interestingly, occurred in the location of Ground Zero and today’s September 11 Memorial. The trial was conducted by William Travers Jerome, who went on to become a legendary New York City prosecutor.

©2019 The Kent State University Press (P)2019 Redwood Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting

I had never heard of the murder mentioned in the title of this book so when I was offered the chance to listen, I hopped on board. I quickly learned that the murder is very little in the information covered. There is a lot in this book about a group of kids from rich parents who were involved in shadier activities around the turn of the century. Definitely an interesting perspective, and I enjoyed learning what this audiobook had to teach. The details within this book considering the dates, people, and even headlines have been researched in depth.

Narration was well done, offering an easy to absorb delivery as the audiobook progressed.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

this book was given to me at my request for review

I enjoyed listening to this book was the narrator did a good job. it all seemed real with the way the rich kids had their own gang and got away with all kinds of things.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A good read.

The Brooks Burn murder, might have been a sensation in its day, but by today's standard it would barely make the headlines for one day. That said the book is extremely well written and researched, and paints the life picture of a true life girl gone "bad".
The story is a piece of little history that shows how life was in the early 1900 hundreds cor a young woman.
Narration by Lee Anne Howlett is both compassionate and concise in detail.
I received a free copy of this audio book at my own request and voluntarily leave this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Some things never change.

I read....alot and when I'm not reading, I'm listening to a book because someone has to do the housework and I have chosen me because I want it done right. This story is based on an actual murder that happened 100 years ago. It must have been difficult to research because there were only newspapers to get information from. So I think some of this might have been conclusions that the author formed based on the information she had.

I said some things never change because of the people involved. They were young and came from wealthy families that apparently saw nothing wrong with their "boys' being rapists, extortionists, liars, cheats and just basically rotten people and one girl in particular was really someone not to mess with.

It took me a few days to listen to the whole book. I would listen for a while, get a little bored and come back to it and listen some more. I like the true crime books that take place in the late 1800's and early 1900's. There really wasn't too much difference between Brooks-Burns of that era and some of the uber wealthy of 2019.

I was given a free copy in exchange for a review. If you are a history and true crime person you may like it. To me, the book is okay and the narrator was pretty good. You may like it. Never know until you try.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Right up my alley.

I was given a copy of this audiobook at my request and am voluntarily leaving this review.

Turn of the century setting and true crime are 2 things I dig, so when I saw this title I immediately got interested.

The flow of the narrative was good. This is not a very well-documented case, and the author had to rely mainly on newspaper reports and editorials of that time, so it is understandable for her to base a lot on speculation.

The narration was also good. Her voice was clear and enunciation perfect and not distracting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A fascinating look back at a scandal of yesteryear

The key to enjoying “The Belle Of Bedford Avenue” is to NOT go into it expecting a by-the-numbers true crime tale of murder. Because the murder mentioned on the cover is the foot in the door to a slice of history more interesting than just the murder.
It’s the tale of a scandalous, cliquey group of affluent young adult children (both male and female) of well to do families around the beginning of the 20th century in New York, who devote all of their time to cons, delinquent hijinks, debauchery, and promiscuity. Along the way, a murder occurs, and the bulk of the book is focused on the before/during/after periods of that murder. The level of research into the time, the place, and the people involved - utilizing contemporary newspaper coverage and court records - are for me the real strength of the book. And as events progress, narrator Lee Ann Howlett keeps us interested, with a calm, yet engaging delivery.
If the book has a shortcoming, it is just in the fact that the life of the so-called “Belle” herself gets gradually less interesting, the older she gets. But I can’t bring myself to fault the book for that, considering it’s a true story.
I took this book more as an interesting bit of forgotten history, than as you typical true crime book. I very much enjoyed it, and I encourage you to listen to it - so long as you don’t go into it with too narrow a field of expectation.
Also, expect to dedicate some of your free time to trying to finding photographic or film documentation of the quirky, short-lived, very localized fad of “kangaroo walking” mentioned multiple times throughout the book. I myself am still looking.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Old is Forever New

An unsolved murder mystery from over 100 years ago can still be an engaging tale. Excellently researched and written by Virginia McConnell and expertly narrated by Lee Ann Howlett, "The Belle of Bedford Avenue" flies by.

Highly recommended.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this review voluntarily.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Okay but my mind wandered..........

I just couldn't really get into this book. I'm not sure why. It was well written and I like period pieces
but this one didn't grab me.
I feel badly writing a so-so review because I was given it at no charge for an honest review. But that's
what this is.
Narration was excellent.
Thank you!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Selina ryles
  • Selina ryles
  • 09-07-19

A well researched gritty insight into past times

My guilty pleasure is true crime fiction and I also have a love for early twentieth century history, so this novel offered me the best of both worlds. It was apparent throughout just how much the author had researched into the period in order to portray the way of life to the reader. It certainly opened my eyes to a different time and different values . it also shows how much the wrong choices can impact life . I was given this book by the author/narrator in return for an honest and unbiased review