New Mexico Mystery A new book by author Corey Recko has gotten much buzz.
Murder on the White Sands: The Disappearance of Albert and Henry Fountain [Amazon; B&N] (University of North Texas Press) has been hailed as an award-winning, impeccably researched look at an unsolved double homicide from New Mexico Territory.
The victims were a man who crusaded against cattle rustlers and his eight-year-old son. The disappearance of Albert Jennings Fountain and Henry Fountain has haunted the state and has been called its greatest murder mystery.
This title, it is said, replaces more than a century of rumor and supposing with as many facts as can be gleaned, and the author's nicely done website promises that the book reveals at least some partial truths about the mystery.
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San Francisco's Colorful Crime History is presented in photos and text in Historic Photos of San Francisco Crime [Amazon; B&N; Turner Publishing] celebrates the storied city's most infamous characters and places.
Included in the collection are photographs of some of the most infamous prisons in the world, Alcatraz and San Quentin. The cases highlighted include the notorious murder defendant Fatty Arbuckle.
Historian Hannah Clayborn culled nearly two hundred images from libraries and museums, including the Library of Congress, for a narrated visual tour of the criminal history of the city by the bay.
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Other new books getting good press are The Best American Crime Reporting 2009, edited by Jeffrey Toobin (which got a thumbs-up in a thoughtful review by the Minneapolis Star Tribune) and another that made it onto my To Get list (even though it's set in New York) with a terrific Publishers Weekly review.
The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Pulitzer-winning science writer Deborah Blum was hailed as "enthralling" -- a word this genre doesn't see every day. The book follows the careers of two forensic pioneers in the Big Apple. The author "cleverly divides her narrative by poison," per the gushing reviewer in PW, which to me sounds like an interesting if unorthodox way to tell a story.