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So Far from Home: The Pearl Bryan Murder


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A captivating look at the murder and decapitation of a young, wealthy woman in 1896

Readers who follow true crime will be enthralled by this account of the Pearl Bryan murder. In 1896, Pearl’s headless corpse was found in Northern Kentucky. Investigators initially suspected she was a prostitute or actress but were shocked to find out she was the daughter of a rich and well-known Indiana farmer. This book does a great job of following press reports of the investigation and the shocking events that ended in the murder of a young woman. The author shows how much power and influence the press had back then. Murders were presented as juicy serial stories, and readers were whipped up into such a frenzy that they sometimes formed lynch mobs and carried out their own idea of justice before the trials even happened. 

The investigation shown here is not a retrial and is not searching for a new conclusion. It is an account of the investigation, the backgrounds of those involved, and reactions from the family. It also shows how local murders were elevated to national news, and it brings home the degree to which the press got themselves involved in the story. All of the facts are portrayed in such a captivating way that you will be spellbound. I read it in one sitting. Robert Wilhelm really has a talent for relating facts in an interesting way and transporting the reader back to that time and that culture. True crime readers should not pass this one up.

I received a free copy of this book via Reedsy Discovery. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

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I review Historical Fiction plus many other genres. I do member reviews for Historical Novels Review, the magazine of Historical Novel Society, plus blog tour sites, and I have over 200 reviews on Netgalley. I am autoapproved with 9 publishers on Netgalley. I have 376 reviews on Goodreads.

Tragedy and Luck

About the author

Robert Wilhelm writes about historical true crime with a particular interest in 19th-century American murders. He is the author of The Bloody Century, Wicked Victorian Boston, and Murder and Mayhem in Essex County. His blog Murder by Gaslight has been running continuously since 2009. view profile

Published on December 17, 2021

80000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: True Crime

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