Join us for a drink or two to celebrate the launch of Cowes based author Angela Buckley's new book, an exploration of the crime that became Scotland Yard’s first great challenge and an inspiration for Dickens.

When Patrick O’Connor went missing in August 1849, his friends were suspicious. The London dock worker was last seen in the company of Swiss-born Maria Manning and her husband in Bermondsey. By the time police officers discovered his remains under the kitchen floor, the couple had fled.

This shocking crime sparked a race against time to bring these cold-blooded killers to justice. After almost a decade of unsolved murders in the capital, could Scotland Yard detectives find the murderous pair and restore public confidence in their sleuthing skills. The search for the Mannings spread beyond England and was closely followed by the Victorian public, including prominent writers such as Charles Dickens who was haunted by the case and later immortalised some of the key characters in Bleak House, which was published just four years later. To this day, the Bermondsey Murder remains a legendary crime in the history of Scotland Yard and mid-nineteenth century London.

Using primary source material, this book delves into the background of the Mannings, including Maria’s link with royalty and Frederick’s previous criminal activities. It also offers a full biography of the victim, Patrick O’Connor, and his shady past, as well as presenting the original court documents which shed further light on the case and the Mannings’ relationship.

Dr Angela Buckley is a historian and writer specialising in Victorian crime and police history. Her work is featured in national magazines and newspapers, and on radio, podcasts and TV. Her first book with Pen & Sword was The Real Sherlock Holmes: The Hidden Story of Jerome Caminada.
Angela has a PhD in history and her thesis is on the evolution of Victorian and Edwardian police detective practice. She is associate lecturer at Oxford Brookes University. Angela is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Historical Writers Association. Originally from Manchester, Angela divides her time between Cowes and Bermondsey.

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