True crime grips London book fair 2019

March 16, 2019 Off By readly




Big deals signed for study of a 19th-century family of killers, Hell’s Half-Acre, and Murder Isn’t Easy, a mortician’s take on Agatha Christie’s forensics

The spectre of true crime was stalking the aisles at this year’s London book fair, with publishers snapping up investigations into past evils in the wake of successes in podcasting and television such as Dirty John, Serial and The Teacher’s Pet.

Offers were flying in for former Waterstones bookseller Susan Jonusas’s first book Hell’s Half-Acre, a study of the the Bender family of serial killers in Kansas in 1873. Jonusas, 24, left Waterstones in December to write full-time. “Buried on a homestead seven miles south of the town were 11 bodies in varying states of decay. Further investigation revealed a well containing remains of even more victims. The number of people murdered was estimated at 20,” said Jonusas’s literary agency. “The idea that a family of seemingly respectable homesteaders were capable of operating ‘a human slaughter pen’ appalled and fascinated the nation. But who the Benders really were, why they committed such a vicious killing spree and what became of them when they fled from the law is a mystery that has remained unsolved to this day.” UK rights are still being finalised, with Viking snapping it up for a six-figure deal in the US. Agent Georgina Capel, who was fielding offers for the book, said: “I suspect the true-crime podcast thing is driving the current interest.”

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Source of this (above) article: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/mar/16/true-grips-london-book-fair-2019