On a muggy July evening in 1864, London banker Thomas Briggs was traveling home after visiting his niece and her husband for dinner. He boarded a first-class carriage on the North London Railway at Fenchurch, but at Hackney he was gone; all that remained was blood—pooling in the seat cushions and spattered on the walls—along with his bag and cane and a bloodstained beaver hat. Briggs had become the first passenger to be murdered on a British train. Samuel Johnson Prize and Gold Dagger Award nominee Kate Colquhoun gives us a gripping and atmospheric true account of the race to identify Briggs's killer, catch him as he sailed for America, and then try him for murder—events eagerly followed by the public on both sides of the Atlantic.
"Deploying her skill as a historian, Colquhoun turns a single curious murder case into a fascinatingly quirky portrait of the underside of mid-Victorian London. I found it unputdownable."—Daily Telegraph (London)
"An enthralling account of a real life mystery.... Her well-told tale would stand up in court—unlike much of the evidence in the case."—Independent (London)
"An intriguing story about emerging forensics and also an engaging social history, focusing on how a spectacular crime, the first on a British railroad, riveted public attention."—Booklist