Murder on the Home Front: A True Story of Morgues, Murderers, and Mysteries during the London Blitz

( 1 )

Overview

It is 1941. While the "war of chaos" rages in the skies above London, an unending fight against violence, murder and the criminal underworld continues on the streets below.

One ordinary day, in an ordinary courtroom, forensic pathologist Dr. Keith Simpson asks a keen young journalist to be his secretary. Although the "horrors of secretarial work" don't appeal to Molly Lefebure, she's intrigued to know exactly what goes on behind a mortuary ...

See more details below
Paperback
$9.10
BN.com price
(Save 35%)$14.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (20) from $4.00   
  • New (14) from $7.59   
  • Used (6) from $4.00   
Murder on the Home Front: A True Story of Morgues, Murderers, and Mysteries during the London Blitz

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview

It is 1941. While the "war of chaos" rages in the skies above London, an unending fight against violence, murder and the criminal underworld continues on the streets below.

One ordinary day, in an ordinary courtroom, forensic pathologist Dr. Keith Simpson asks a keen young journalist to be his secretary. Although the "horrors of secretarial work" don't appeal to Molly Lefebure, she's intrigued to know exactly what goes on behind a mortuary door.

Capable and curious, "Miss Molly" quickly becomes indispensible to Dr. Simpson as he meticulously pursues the truth. Accompanying him from somber morgues to London's most gruesome crime scenes, Molly observes and assists as he uncovers the dark secrets that all murder victims keep.

With a sharp sense of humor and a rebellious spirit, Molly tells her own remarkable true story here with warmth and wit, painting a vivid portrait of wartime London.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Sunday Mirror (UK)
"Gripping. . . like a pitch-dark version of Call the Midwife, dealing with the end of life rather than the beginning . . . Full of fascinating incidents, it is easy to see why this has been made into a drama by the creators of Downton Abbey.
The Independent (UK)
"A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at mid-century crime-fighting."
From the Publisher
"[A] stunning memoir . . . . A former journalist, [Lefebure] evokes the physical and emotional terrain of crime scenes and the circumstances of death with adroit detachment, yet also authoritative depth . . . . She is such a wonderful, arch, thinking, intelligent guide to this strange underworld that you don't want Lefebure's wonderful tales to end. . . .[She] has bequeathed us a book which teaches so much about death-taking away much of the worst kind of fear and mystery around it, while reminding us that so much about it remains necessarily unknowable. It's a lesson imparted with the best kind of wry smile."—The Daily Beast

"Lefebure's narration provides a welcome alternative to wartime era tales; she's a young, single, professional woman, not a soldier or an evacuated Londoner. A sympathetic narrator and an engrossing read."—Historical Novel Society

"A secretary to a formidable London pathologist during World War II reissues her wry, grisly account of murder and corpses, first published in 1955. . . Lefebure's youthful bravery shines through, while the grim conditions showcase her terrific wit. Preserves like a frozen capsule the British grin-and-bear-it spirit and vocabulary of the WWII years."—Kirkus Reviews

"Gripping. . . like a pitch-dark version of Call the Midwife, dealing with the end of life rather than the beginning . . . Full of fascinating incidents, it is easy to see why this has been made into a drama by the creators of Downton Abbey.Sunday Mirror (UK)

"A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at mid-century crime-fighting."—The Independent (UK)

Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-02
A secretary to a formidable London pathologist during World War II reissues her wry, grisly account of murder and corpses, first published in 1955. Lefebure was a junior reporter at a London suburban weekly when Dr. Keith Simpson, the Home Office pathologist at Guy's Hospital, tapped her as having the right stuff to be his forensics secretary. An intrepid workaholic who was hardly bashful or squeamish, and thoroughly capable, Lefebure—whose name her colleagues could not pronounce, so she was known as Miss L—was highly intrigued by the forensics work of her swift-moving boss. The work took her across bomb-scarred London to a dozen post-mortems per day, as well as to the various courts and Scotland Yard. The author's job was to type up the reports as the pathologist dictated while laboring over his cadaver, no matter the time or place—e.g., during the bombings by the Germans. She coolly collected specimens of hair or teeth in little bags and labeled them so that the team could figure out the cause of death later in the lab. Her chapters break down in chronological order some of the notable or simply memorable cases she encountered from the spring of 1941, when she visited her first mortuary, where she was impressed by the cleanliness of the operation though put off by "the sound of a saw raspingly opening a skull," to the late autumn of 1945, after the war had wound down, when she was planning on marrying and needed to find her successor—job qualifications: "Typing. Good verbatim shorthand. Tact. Interested in crime. No objection to mortuaries and corpses. Reasonably fast runner." Despite the many ghastly descriptions of ruined cadavers, Lefebure's youthful bravery shines through, while the grim conditions showcase her terrific wit. Preserves like a frozen capsule the British grin-and-bear-it spirit and vocabulary of the WWII years.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455576067
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 182,718
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Molly Lefebure was secretary to acclaimed forensic pathologist Dr. Keith Simpson during the Second World War. Her memoir of her time at the Department of Forensic Medicine was originally published in 1955 as Evidence for the Crown. She went on to write children's books, a biography of Coleridge and several novels and became a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature before her death in 2013.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2014

    Really excellent and engaging!!!!

    Gritty true stories of murders, but told very cleverly. The author and her writing style pull you in, and this makes reading about some awful stuff really interesting. The time period and settings adds to the book as well. Another excellent book on the NOOK is "The Partisan" by William Jarvis. This is a historical fiction based on actual events and a true villian. It too has a strong and well written female character as part of the novel. Both books deserve A+++++++++

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)