Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
This latest in Geary's lovingly researched and illustrated Treasury of Victorian Murder series relates the case of Madeleine Smith, a well-to-do architect's daughter who is willingly courted by Emile L'Anglier, a man of lesser means. Perhaps influenced by the flowery depictions of love found in overwrought romantic novels and certainly longing to escape the strangling mores of the day, Madeleine's fantasies come true during her affair with L'Anglier, thrills that burgeon when spurred by her family's disapproval of the situation. Things take a sinister turn when Madeleine finds a more appropriate suitor and tires of L'Anglier's attentions. She continues the fantasy-driven relationship with the added spice of slowly poisoning her lover via arsenic in his tea, a crime that she would most likely get away within the stringently class oriented society of Victorian Glasgow. Saying more would spoil the true-life outcome for those unfamiliar with the case, but as always Geary provides a quaintly drawn time warp that is both entertaining and educational, including maps and diagrams that bring the case to life. Every bit as much fun as its predecessors, this volume is a welcome and intelligent change of pace from the usual comics fare. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA - Susan Allen
Enter volume eight of A Treasury of Victorian Murder graphic format series. This title tells of Madeleine Smith, an upper-class architect's daughter who engages in a clandestine courtship with Emile L'Anglier, a mere clerk. The story is partially told through excerpts from "Mimi's" letters to Emile. Her flowery expressions of love clearly come from the sensational fiction of the day that she read, and her longing to escape society's restrictions on women. Her family's disapproval of their acquaintance only adds spice to the relationship. When Madeleine finds a more acceptable suitor, things appear to become sinister. While she continues her relationship with L'Anglier, she decides to rid herself of him by slowly poisoning him using arsenic in his tea and hot chocolate. Upon L'Anglier's death, Smith is accused and tried for the crime. The pen-and-ink drawings are black and white. The maps and diagrams are extremely helpful in bringing the case to life. As with Jack the Ripper (NBM, 2001), The Beast of Chicago (2003/VOYA February 2004), and the other titles in the series, it is a well-researched and extremely detailed book. Geary's writing style is very informative, and his illustrations have a depth and resonance that contradict their cartoon look. This graphic format for telling a factual story is unique and especially effective. Readers of all types will find this book fascinating.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Geary's story, set in 19th-century Scotland, tells of the scandalous affair between an upper-class woman and a lower-class man that ended with his gruesome death. Smith was an architect's daughter and the graduate of a London finishing school. Emile L'Anglier was a seed merchant's son, a clerk with a history of bad relationships. Their attraction to one another was instantaneous, and they began to correspond. The book is filled with excerpts from their letters; as much as Madeleine pushed Emile away, she clearly needed him, since nearly 200 of her letters were later found in his possessions. But their love was doomed because of the tension involved in keeping their relationship private. After years of turmoil, Madeleine became engaged to another man and Emile threatened to send her letters to her father. The poisoning began in cups of hot chocolate that she gave to Emile. The pen-and-ink images artfully convey this gripping story, notably in the scene in which the lovers' eyes first meet and later when a veiled Madeleine walks up a staircase through a door in the courtroom floor. This book maintains the level of excellence set by the other volumes in this series, and would be an asset to any collection.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.