Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

In the 1870s the Osage were forced from their lands in Kansas to Oklahoma, a seemingly useless land. The Osage were in a better position than most tribes. The sold their land in Kansas to the government for a decent price, and so were one of the few nations to actually buy their reservation land. And then oil was discovered on that land and the Osage became some of the richest people in the world. Grann does an excellent job telling us what happened next. The Osage started dying. They were shot, poisoned, left to die after "accidents," blown up. At least 24, probably closer to three times that number, of the Osage were killed for their oil money. Killed by people they thought loved them. Killed by people who were supposed to be protecting them. Killed by friends. And the doctors, coroners, lawmen, all contributing to covering up the crimes. It wasn't just a couple mean, greedy people. It...
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The Library Book by Susan Orlean

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

I should have loved The Library Book by Susan Orlean. It's both a love letter to libraries and a true crime story of the Los Angeles library fire of 1986; crime and books is often a great combination. While it didn't live up to my expectations, it was a good book. Orlean obviously loves libraries and we learn so much about them here, history, inner workings, the populations they serve and the needs they meet. We learn about the variety of librarians, their passions, their jobs, their backgrounds. She also visits OverDrive, which I didn't know is in Cleveland. I wonder if they offer tours of the facility? The true crime portion focuses on the Los Angeles library fire, which was deemed arson at the time, although Orlean speaks to at least one expert who thinks that was probably not true. As the blurb states, the fire was devastating, but I found the way the community pulled together to help save the...
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The Lady in the Cellar by Sinclair McKay

The Lady in the Cellar by Sinclair McKay

In general, true crimes don't interest me. Give me a fictional and a quirky fictional detective who will definitely solve the case and I'm usually happy. However, this year I've been trying to broaden my reading habits to include more non-fiction and classics. The Lady in the Cellar is a fascinating book examining the murder of Matilda Hacker in the 1870s and the events surrounding the body's discovery and the trials that resulted. In a lot of ways, The Lady in the Cellar is similar to the fictional detective stories I enjoy. We have a quirky cast of characters, including the victim herself, who was a well-off woman but did not behave in the way single women of her age were supposed to in that era. We have a semi-famous detective, Inspector Charles Hagen, who had already been in the papers a few years earlier as the bodyguard of the Prince of Wales and was a rising star in the Criminal Investigation...
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l’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

l’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

l'll Be Gone in the Dark is my first foray into true crime, which seems a little surprising. With the recent capture of the Golden State Killer and all the positive reviews of the book, I took a chance. I didn't know anything about the Golden State Killer until the recent news coverage. He committed at least 12 murders, more than 50 rapes, and over 100 burglaries in California from 1974 to 1986. And it took detectives until this year to capture him. McNamara died before Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested, but the book is fascinating. It details the crimes, without being overly graphic. She talks about the victims and their families, how the crimes affected them, their families and their communities. She goes over the evidence and talks to detectives. She works with other amateur sleuths and is tireless in her own investigation with the resources she can access. But we also learn about her, about how she thinks, what drives...
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