Murder by Mistake (A True Crime Short)

M. J. Trow

November 20, 2017

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IN BRIEF

The mysteries surrounding Britain’s 7th earl of Lucan have endured for almost four decades. In 1974, after his carefully crafted plan to murder his wife went awry, he killed his nanny by mistake, and then attacked his wife ─ all while his three children were in the house.


The mysteries surrounding Britain’s 7th earl of Lucan have endured for almost four decades. In 1974, after his carefully crafted plan to murder his wife went awry, he killed his nanny by mistake, and then attacked his wife ─ all while his three children were in the house. If it happened today, everyone with access to the Internet and TV would be inundated for months with the contradictory details of this bizarre story and how the dashing aristocrat became the subject of a worldwide manhunt.

In 1974, England was still very focused on the perks afforded the titled rich. To add insult to murder, the focus of the case moved from the dead nanny and injured wife to the whereabouts of the earl, who disappeared shortly after the attacks. While the police analyzed the evidence, friends and relatives of the missing earl closed ranks and obstructed the investigation. Those same aristocratic friends may have helped get him out of the country and may know where he — or his body — is today.

M. J. Trow, British author of the Lestrade, Peter “Mad Max” Maxwell, and the brand-new and very well-received Kit Marlowe detective series, as well as nonfiction books on important historical figures, presents the astonishing details of this case. Trow also analyzes what likely happened the night of the murder and the fate of the missing earl. Combining his talents as a storyteller and the objectivity of a historian, Trow leads us into the opulent sanctuaries of England’s aristocracy, suddenly violated by a despicable crime.

From the best true crime authors in the business, many of whom have seen their books made into major motion pictures, comes Crimescape® — a new collection of compelling short nonfiction crime eBooks from leading independent eBook publisher RosettaBooks. Taking readers into the dark minds of criminals and the tense hunt to bring perpetrators to justice, Crimescape® authors stand apart from other true crime writers because they have personal experience in crime investigations, whether as police detectives, investigative reporters, forensics professionals or criminal psychologists. As riveting storytellers, Crimescape® writers give readers all the information they need to understand relevant clues and the interwoven influences in each criminal case.

 

M. J. Trow is a uniquely talented British novelist and author of nonfiction books on important historical figures such as El Cid, Spartacus, and Jack the Ripper. He is the creator of three highly acclaimed detective novel series: the 16-book Lestrade series, which is based on the police detective in the Sherlock Holmes stories; the 18-book Peter Maxwell series, which features “Mad Max,” a teacher in the flawed British educational system who pits himself against the bureaucracy to solve mysteries; and his newest, the Kit Marlowe series. The second Kit Marlowe novel, Silent Court, was published in 2011, and the third, Witch Hammer, will be published in the spring/fall of 2012. Scorpion’s Nest is currently in production for publication at the end of 2012.

 
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Foreword by Marilyn Bardsley

For some reason, Hollywood missed the sensational 1974 story of the murder that drove the handsome 7th earl of Lucan from his luxurious homes and private clubs to some unknown but widely speculated offshore haunt where British justice would never find him. His warped, narcissistic sense of entitlement snuffed out the life of a lovely young woman and mother, seriously injured his wife, psychologically damaged his three children, and made life hell for his family and friends.

Crimescape is fortunate to have this uniquely British story told by the uniquely talented British author M.J. Trow. He is the creator of three highly acclaimed detective novel series: the 19-book Lestrade series, which is based on the police detective in the Sherlock Holmes stories; the 18-book Peter Maxwell series, which features “Mad Max,” a teacher in the flawed British educational system who pits himself against the bureaucracy to solve mysteries; and his newest, the Kit Marlowe series. The second Kit Marlowe novel, Silent Court, will be published in 2011, and the third, Witch Hammer, will be published in the spring/fall of 2012.

The Kit Marlowe book, Dark Entry, is the first in an historical mystery series taking place in Cambridge in 1583. About to graduate from Corpus Christi, the young Christopher Marlowe spends his days studying and his nights carousing with old friends. When one of them is discovered lying dead in his King’s College room, mouth open in a silent scream, Marlowe refuses to accept the official verdict of suicide. Calling on the help of his mentor, Sir Roger Manwood, Justice of the Peace, and the queen’s magus, Dr. John Dee, a poison expert, Marlowe sets out to prove that his friend was murdered.

M.J. Trow has written 11 nonfiction books, many about historical figures, such as El Cid, Spartacus, Hercules, and Jack the Ripper. Actress Angelina Jolie is a fan of his Vlad the Impaler: In Search of the Real Dracula.

Praise fo Dark Entry 

An engaging historical mystery featuring Elizabethan playwright and poet Christopher Marlowe, Trow’s latest is packed to the brim with period ambience, sinister characters, and unexpected twists. Marlowe is one of the noted Parker scholars, a group of young men who are among CambridgeUniversity’s brightest students. Although the seemingly carefree scholars are just as likely to drink and carouse as they are to study, their lightheartedness disappears in a flash when one of their number, Ralph Whitingside, is found dead in his room, apparently having taken his own life. The coroner renders the verdict of suicide, but Marlowe doesn’t believe it and begins to investigate, finding a dark tragedy built on evil and vengeance. Suspenseful, taut, and skilfully plotted, Trow’s mystery offers an eye-opening and seemingly authentic look at sixteenth-century university life inEngland. Recommend this novel to fans of Phillip Gooden’s Nick Revill series, starring a performer in Shakespeare’s acting company.      – Booklist

Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe’s college years turn out to have included a bit of amateur detection.

Before Marlowe set on the career path that made him famous, he was known as Kit, a principled Matthew Parker scholar trying to graduate with his cohort. When he discovers fellow scholar Ralph Whitingside’s body, Marlowe refuses to rest until he leads the other lads in a full investigation of the circumstances surrounding Ralph’s death. Assisted by the quirky but able Dr. John Dee, Marlowe learns that Ralph’s so-called suicide is part of something larger. His suspicions are all but confirmed when an unknown woman’s body mysteriously washes ashore, even though the local law refuses to see the pattern Marlowe is certain looms in the background. The moody and divisive Marlowe has his fair share of adversaries, and his quest for truth is hampered by his enmity with everyone from his teachers and proctors to local villagers. While Marlowe is known for his straightforward nature, the more he investigates, the more he is certain that a foe may be masquerading as a friend. The tension absent from the early scenes finally builds as Trow (Jack Ripper: Quest for a Killer, 2009, etc.) rallies his cast for a suspenseful conclusion.

      – Kirkus Reviews

 Praise for Jack the Ripper: Quest for a Killer

I found this a very honest book. Mei doesn’t profess to have evidence of Mann as JtR but he does make a very sensible case (particularly in comparison to the myriad of ridiculous suspects in recent years!) Moreover, he has done a great job of exploring the psychogeographic, psychological and clinical underpinnings of Jack’s psyche, which I’m not sure I’ve seen done so well anywhere else. JtR is a rare offender and Mei has done a great job of painting a compelling psychological picture, whilst at the same time making a pragmatically plausible case. Moreover, he paints a vibrant picture of Victorian London and what it must have been like to be a mortician’s assistant. A thundering good read!

     – Prof. Laurence Alison, Director of the Centre for Critical and Major Incident Psychology within the Applied Psychology Group, University of Liverpool