THE PRINCE OF POISONERS
William Palmer was known to all in Rugeley. The son from a wealthy family had trained in London as a surgeon and returned to the English village with his beautiful, respected wife to raise a family and live out his days as a country doctor.
But Dr. Palmer wanted more. More money. More excitement. More women. He dove into the shady world of horse racing, gambling heavily and spending a fortune to build his stable of thoroughbreds. When money grew tight, he found that a dosed drink or two could clear the way. He got away with it, poisoning his wife, mother-in-law, his infant children, fellow gamblers and many more, until he killed one time too many.
The story of Dr. Palmer’s deadly treatments at the birth of the mass media riveted the nation and spread around the world. The sensational 12-day trial in London’s Old Bailey drew the attention of royalty (Prince Albert bought one of Palmer’s horses at auction) and literature (Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins followed the case) and made legal history as the first trial in which strychnine figured and the first to be moved because of the enormous publicity.
Appearing soon after Palmer’s execution in 1856, “The Illustrated Life and Career of William Palmer” was published to cash in on the notorious case. The anonymous author combined facts and rumors about Palmer’s crimes with sketches on debauched medical students and crooked scams in horse racing, and pious meditations on Palmer’s wife. With the help of footnotes and essays, the result is a compelling, fascinating look at life in the early Victorian era, and the criminal doctor who was placed “at the head of his profession” by none other than Sherlock Holmes!
Look for these other Peschel Press books on the Palmer case: “The Illustrated Times Trial of William Palmer” and “The Life and Career of Dr. William Palmer of Rugeley”.
Bill Peschel is a recovering journalist who shares a Pulitzer Prize with the staff of The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. He also is a mystery fan who runs the Wimsey Annotations at Planetpeschel.com.
The author of Writers Gone Wild (Penguin), Bill publishes through Peschel Press the 223B Casebook Series of Sherlockian parodies and pastiches and annotated editions of Dorothy L. Sayers’ Whose Body? and Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Styles and The Secret Adversary. An interest in Victorian crime led to the republication of three books on the William Palmer poisoning case.
Bill was born in Warren, Ohio, grew up in Charlotte, N.C., and graduated from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He lives with his family and animal menagerie in Hershey, where the air really does smell like chocolate.
Introduction by Gillian Flynn • Afterword by Patton Oswalt
“A brilliant genre-buster.... Propulsive, can’t-stop-now reading.” —Stephen King
For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.
Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called "the Golden State Killer." Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle's dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.
Drawing from their correspondence that endured until shortly before Bundy's death, and striking a seamless balance between her deeply personal perspective and her role as a crime reporter on the hunt for a savage serial killer -- the brilliant and charismatic Bundy, the man she thought she knew -- Rule changed the course of true-crime literature with this unforgettable chronicle.
“Sherlock Holmes Victorian Parodies and Pastiches: 1888-1899” collects 59 pieces — short stories, poems, newspaper clippings, and cartoons — all published during the opening years of Conan Doyle’s literary career. Also included are many of the original illustrations and more than 150 footnotes identifying obscure words, historical figures, and events that readers were familiar with at the time.
Peschel Press’ 223B Casebook Series is dedicated to publishing the fanfiction created by amateur and professional writers during Conan Doyle’s lifetime. Each book covers a particular era, publication, or writer, and includes lively mini-essays containing insights into the work, Conan Doyle, and those who were inspired by him.