Dancing For The Hangman - Readers' Group Information

Background

The story of Dr Crippen is one of the most famous and controversial murder cases of all time. One hundred years after he was hanged for murdering and mutilating his wife, the failed music hall singer Belle Elmore, arguments still rage about whether he was innocent.

This literary crime novel offers a unique perspective on one of the twentieth century’s most fascinating real life stories of love, deceit and horrific violence. It is the first novel ever to be written from the point of view of Crippen himself, and it keeps more scrupulously to the established facts than any of the previous fictional versions of the case.

The story intertwines Crippen’s reflections on the bizarre sequence of events that have led him to the shadow of the gallows with extracts from the evidence given at his trial at the Old Bailey and other authentic documents – giving fresh insight into one of the strangest murder cases of all time, and with a final twist that indicates that the real murder was not that of Mrs Crippen after all.

In advance of publication, the novel has already won extensive praise from several of the UK’s leading crime novelists:

'An elegant, suspenseful, beautifully written reconstruction of Dr Crippen, revealing the man as never before, and also a thumping good novel.'
Frances Fyfield

'An intriguing story told with intelligence, compassion and very great skill.'
Anne Perry

'Martin Edwards dissects not only the facts but also the gaps and uncertainties in the historical record. This novel may bring us as close to the truth about Crippen as we are ever likely to get.'
Andrew Taylor

'Martin Edwards has found an utterly compelling angle on the Crippen case, combining chills and poignancy in a highly original way.'
Paul Johnston

Suggested discussion points for readers’ groups

A starting point for debate may be some or all of the following questions:

Dancing for the Hangman costs £8.99 and is published by Flambard Press in November 2008.
ISBN: 978-1906601-00-3