Book review: The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century, by Sarah Miller

Miller, Sarah. The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century. Random/Schwartz & Wade, 2016. $17.99. 304p. 9780553498080. Ages 13-16. P8Q6

Miller Borden MurdersFor over a century, people have discussed the mystery of whether Lizzie Borden killed her parents with “40 whacks” and “41 more.” This book fails to give the answer, but it does provide in excessive detail information about the 1893 killings in the small town of Fall River, Massachusetts, and the ensuing investigation and trial. Although Miller appears to attempt no bias, she does print some of the newspaper articles as fact rather than reporters’ opinions and seems to have some doubt about Borden’s innocence. An odd piece in a footnote is her comment that she chose to not put into the text that Borden often burned her dresses although the burned dress after the murder was an event held against Borden in her trial. Sometimes details become dry, but murder aficionados will enjoy the gory details and the photographs. An attractive format uses informative inset boxes, and the book is finished off with an extensive list of resources.

April 2016 review by Nel Ward.

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