The Secrets of Lizzie Borden by Brandy Purdy. :Kensington Books, 2016. 320 pages. Paperback. *****
Based on the true story of the brutal murders of Abby and Andrew Border in Fall River, MA in the year 1892. John Borden, a wealthy businessman forces his family to live frugally and without modern conveniences. To add to Lizzie and her sister Emma's frustration, Andrew is planning on leaving the bulk of his wealth to his wife Abby, their stepmother, and her family. Their father thought both girls pretentious and silly for wanting debuts, pretty dresses and marriage proposals. The only bright spot in Lizzie's existence is Bridget Sullivan, an Irish maid, who was paid a pittance until the girl's chipped in to pay her wages. Were the heat and humidity of that hot August day and the leftover mutton for breakfast contributing factors to the senseless crime? Lizzie and Bridget are the only two people in the house beside the victims. Their daughter Lizzie is accused of the crime based on her proximity and the lack of suspects. Lizzie is brought to trial and Emma can't bring herself to ask her sister the important question.
I have always been fascinated by this unsolved crime, who doesn't remember the jump rope chant of "Lizzie Borden took an ax"? My sisters and I even traveled to Fall River, stayed in the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast and visited the cemetery and museum. Purdy presents a solid case and told from Lizze's point of view makes it a compelling story. She certainly explains some loose ends that have baffled amateur sleuths. Well-written, detailed oriented and entertaining.
I received an electronic copy from Net Galley for a review.
Brandy Purdy is the author of several historical novels. When she's not writing, she's either reading, watching classic movies, or spending time with her cat, Tabby. She first became interested in history at the age of nine or ten when she read a book of ghost stories that contained a chapter about the ghost of Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London. Visit her website at http://www.brandypurdy.com for more information about her books. You can also follow her via her blog at http://brandypurdy.blogspot.com where she posts updates about her work and reviews of what she has been reading.