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THE BOOK REVIEW PAGES Recommended Reading

A regular appraisal of interesting books, some by local authors, with a county connection of just a jolly good read.

The Muder That Defeated Whitechapel’s Sherlock Holmes

In 1919, when a shop- keeper and her dog were found dead in Hitchin, Hertfordshire with brutal head injuries, there followed an extraordinary catalogue of events and a local police investigation which concluded that both had died as a result of a tragic accident. A second investigation by Scotland Yard led to the arrest of an Irish war veteran, but the outcome was far from conclusive. Written from the perspective of the main characters involved and drawing on original and newly-discovered material, this book exposes the frailties of county policing just after the First World War and how it led to fundamental changes in methods of murder investi- gations. Offering a unique balance of story-telling and analysis, the book raises a number of unanswered questions. These are dealt with in the final chapter by the author's commentary drawing upon his expertise.

• The Murder That Defeated Whitechapel’s Sherlock Holmes • By Paul Stickler • Hardback £14.99 • isbn 978-1526733856

The Napoleonic Prison of Norman Cross

Norman Cross was the site of the world’s first purpose-built prisoner-of-war camp constructed during the Napoleonic Wars. Opened in 1797, it was more than just a prison: it was a town in itself, with houses, offices, butchers, bakers, a hospital, a school, a market and a banking system. It was an important prison and military establishment in the east of England with a lively community of some 7,000 French inmates. Alongside a comprehensive examination of the prison itself, this

detailed and informative book, compiled by a leading expert on the Napoleonic era, explores what life was like for inmates and turnkeys alike - the clothing, food, health, education, punishment and, ultimately, the closure of the depot in 1814.

• The Napoleonic Prison of Norman Cross • By Paul Chamberlain • Hardback £14.99 • isbn 978-0750990462

Leighton Buzzard in 50 Buildings

Close to the Chiltern Hills lies the Bedfordshire market town of Leighton Buzzard. Dominating the town is the 190-foot spire of the thirteenth-century All Saints’ Church, which has been described as ‘the cathedral of South Bedfordshire’. The coming of the Grand Union Canal and railway in the early 1800s established the town further and led to an increase in its population, industry and commerce. Today, Leighton Buzzard is linked to the town of Linslade by a bridge over the River Ouzel. The two communities were unified as a civil parish in 1965 and referred to as Leighton- Linslade. This book explores fifty of the town’s most interesting, important and intriguing buildings and structures, from inns to churches and schools to houses. The town boasts many old buildings, each with their own story to tell that, together, make up the fascinating history of Leighton Buzzard.

• Leighton Buzzard in 50 Buildings

• By Paul Rabbittst • Paperback £14.99 • isbn 978-1445690858

The Buildings of England - Hertfordshire

This fully revised and up-to-date guide to the architecture of Hertfordshire is an eye- opening introduction to the wealth of fine buildings that can be found right on London's doorstep. Hertfordshire is one of the smallest English counties, largely rural in character. Its buildings range from remains of the Roman city of Verulamium to the medieval abbey at St. Albans and the 17th- century Hatfield House. Numerous timber-framed buildings and Georgian houses are found in the small towns whose preservation was aided by the early 20th-century creation of the Garden Cities at Letchworth and Welwyn, as well as Stevenage New Town, built after the Second World War. With

expanded entries and new color photography, this is an essential work of reference for visitors and residents alike.

• The Buildings of England - Hertfordshire

• By Dr James Bettley • Hardback £35.00 • isbn 978-0300223903

Tea, Tisane and a Load of Old Tosh

Have you ever stood in an endless queue in a coffee shop, waiting for your lukewarm cup of decorated froth and asked yourself why? Have you ever wandered through the aisles of a home and design store asking yourself why? Why do they want me to decorate my house like a beach hut or Parisian Boudoir; or want me to put up plaques of house rules or toilet rules? Ever been inspired to bake an inevitably awful cake after watching one of the many cooking- made-easy TV shows...and failed horribly? This book is a journey through the maze of modern life, told by someone trying to answer life’s great questions including: what can Mindfulness do for me, and what exactly is the attraction of a Chai Latte? To be honest, it's all Tea, Tisane and a Load of Old Tosh!

• Tea, Tisane and a Load of Old Tosh • By John Dixon • Paperback £7.99 • isbn 978-1788484220

County Life 65


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