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Holiday Gift List: Crimes & Misdemeanours

11 titles for the true-crime and murder-mystery aficionados in your life / BY Nathalie Atkinson / November 25th, 2021

You’ll find them glued to the latest true crime podcast. They’ve already read Halifax journalist Dean Jobb’s chilling bestseller The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream, binged the Hulu series Only Murders in the Building (twice), and have strong opinions on which actress portrayed Miss Marple best in myriad television and film productions. Here are some great holiday gifts for the murder and true-crime aficionados on your list.

Obsessive Book Buyers: Zoomer editors have carefully curated our book coverage to ensure you find the perfect read. We may earn a commission on books you buy by clicking on the cover image. 


1Murder, Madness and Mayhemby Mike Browne

The host of the popular Canadian dark history and true crime podcast Dark Poutine chronicles 25 of his all-time favourite tales of murder, mystery, madness and disasters, only two of which have been featured on the show before.

2Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the Worldby Mark Eldridge

For the Christie completist, the British scholar and expert on the Queen of Crime makes the case for his claim in this encyclopedic (and spoiler-free) survey of all the fussy little Belgian’s appearances, from page to magazine, stage and screen.

3The Sinner and the Saint: Dostoevsky and the Gentleman Murderer Who Inspired a Masterpieceby Kevin Birmingham

This is the sensational, true story of the 1835 trial of Parisian poet and murderer Pierre-François Lacenaire, which gave Dostoevsky the idea for Rodion Raskolnikov and Crime and Punishment.

4She Kills Me: The True Stories of History's Deadliest Women by Jennifer Wright

Profiles of 40 historical female murderers motivated by fear, revenge and even pleasure, divided into nine thematic sections, from poisoners and scorned women to female cult leaders and avenging angels.

5A Killer by Design: Murderers, Mindhunters, and My Quest to Decipher the Criminal Mind by Ann Wolbert Burgess and Steven Matthew Constantine

An inside look at the creation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Behavioral Science Unit and the evolution of criminal profiling, by the pioneering forensic and psychiatric nurse (and later, head of in-house criminal personality study) whose 1970s research transformed the way the FBI worked.

6The Anatomy of Desire by L.R. Dorn

An American Tragedy gets a modern update in this gripping novel that reimagines Theodore Dreiser’s classic crime drama as an investigative, true crime docu-series about a Californian celebrity fitness coach and influencer accused of manslaughter.

7Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village by Maureen Johnson and Jay Cooper

With charming illustrations from Cooper that are reminiscent of U.S. book illustrator Edward Gorey, this deadpan romp affectionately skewers the tropes of British murder shows, with suspicious staff and guests at the manor house, not to mention the residents you should avoid, like the vicar and regulars at the pub. It belongs on the coffee table of anyone with a BritBox subscription.

8Personal Effects: What Recovering the Dead Teaches Me About Caring for the Living by Robert Jensen

A behind-the-scenes look from the owner of a disaster management company about the grim and difficult work of responding to tragedies such as the Oklahoma City and Bali bombings, Hurricane Katrina, the Haitian earthquake and 9/11. It’s as illuminating and inspiring as it is morbid.

9A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Murder in Ancient Romeby Emma Southon

An entertaining look at public and private killings in ancient Rome through a true crime lens, with inventive murders and quirky historical details about marriage, law and politics.

10Murder Book: A Graphic Memoir of True Crime Obsession by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell

The author explores her fascination with murder – while also recapping notable cases like those involving Thomas Capano and Ted Bundy – in an attempt to understand why women in particular are drawn to the genre.

11Murder Maps USA: Crime Scenes Revisited; Bloodstains to Ballistics, 1865-1939 by Adam Seltzer

The book plots the locations of notorious homicides from the Civil War to the eve of the Second World War and retraces their particulars – complete with crime-scene photographs and expert insights. (Dec. 7)



Canadian Author Details Anne Frank Cold-Case Investigation That Named Surprise Suspect in Her Family’s Betrayal in New BookAhead of the 75th anniversary of the publication of Frank's 'The Diary of a Young Girl' in June, a team that included a retired FBI agent and around 20 historians, criminologists and data specialists identified a relatively unknown figure as a leading suspect in revealing her family's hideout.

Man Who Tricked Authors Into Handing Over Unpublished Manuscripts Arrested by FBI in New YorkFilippo Bernardini, an employee of a well known publication house, has been arrested for stealing hundreds of unpublished manuscripts.

Hollywood Legend Betty White Has a Last Laugh in New Biographic Comic BookThe creators of the biographical comic book have released similar books about Hollywood legends like Carrie Fisher, Lucille Ball, David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor.

Barack Obama Reveals His List of Books That Left “A Lasting Impression” in 2021Obama's favourite 2021 reads include two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead's 'Harlem Shuffle' and 'Klara and the Sun,' by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro

“Interview With the Vampire” Author Anne Rice Dies at 80 — Tributes Pour in From Stuart Townsend and OthersThe author, who was best known for her work in gothic fiction, died on Saturday evening as a result of complications from a stroke.

Norma Dunning wins $25,000 Governor General’s English fiction prize for ‘Tainna’The Edmonton-based Inuk writer explores themes of displacement, loneliness and spirituality in six short stories

Omar El Akkad wins $100,000 Giller prize for “What Strange Paradise”The former Globe and Mail reporter, who published "American War" to acclaim in 2017, tackles the global migrant refugee crisis in his second novel

South African Author Damon Galgut Wins the Booker Prize For ‘The Promise’Galgut received nominations for his 2003 and 2010 works before finally taking home the prize this year. 

Hollywood Legend Paul Newman Discusses Life, Acting and Aging Gracefully in Newly Discovered MemoirPublishers of the newly discovered memoir say the Hollywood legend wrote the book in the 1980s in response to the relentless media attention he received during that time.

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Toronto International Festival of AuthorsDirector Roland Gulliver lands in Toronto to open his second, much-expanded virtual festival with more than 200 events

Tanzanian Novelist Gurnah Wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature for Depicting the Impact of Colonialism and Refugee StoriesGurnah, 72, is only the second writer from sub-Saharan Africa to win one of the world's most prestigious literary awards

Miriam Toews Garners Third Giller Prize Nomination for “Fight Night” after Shortlist AnnouncedSophomore efforts from novelists Omar El Akkad and Jordan Tannahill join debut books from Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia and Angélique Lalonde

Tina Brown’s New Book, ‘The Palace Papers’, Covers the Royal Family’s Reinvention After Diana’s Tragic DeathTina Brown's sequel to her 2007 release 'The Diana Chronicles' is set to hit shelves April 12, 2022. 

Audible.ca Releases Andrew Pyper’s Exclusive Audiobook “Oracle” For New Plus Catalogue LaunchThe thriller about a psychic FBI detective is one of 12,000 titles now available for free to members

Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen to Release Book Based On Their “Renegades” PodcastThe new book will feature a collection of candid, intimate and entertaining conversations

Prince Harry Will Publish a Memoir in Late 2022Harry says he's writing the book "not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become."


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