“An engrossing, illustrated journey into true crime classics of the Victorian era, this omnibus volume contains three works in Rick Geary’s increasingly storied treasuries of murder—Jack the Ripper, The Beast of Chicago, and The Fatal Bullet.
These carefully researched presentations of true crime stories include a bibliography of research sources, presenting true facts about famous murders in an entertaining fashion.”
Like Victorian things? Non fiction? True crime? And graphic novels? Well this is a book you need to pick up now. Actually I will pause the review here so you can go add it to your cart on Amazon/Book Depository….
Ok, back to the review.
The A Treasury of Victorian Murder is a graphic novel telling the stories of some of the most notorious murderers of the 19th century. It informative, entertaining and surprisingly sympathetic to the victims. I have read plenty of crime books that just focus on the killer but barely tells you anything about the victim other than their name so this book was a refreshing change. Sure, it told you plenty about the killer, it is kind of important to the story, but there was so much more about the victim in this book compared to others on the same subject. I loved this with the Jack the Ripper part especially. We always here about Jack but we never find out about the lives of the women he killed. Did you know they had husbands and children? Probably not. In another story they actually split the case down the middle to show the life of the victim parallel to the life of their murderer. It was a nice breath of fresh air compared to most crime books. No fetishizing or victim blaming, just pure fact and simply making people out to be just people, whether they be good or bad.
I think the main issue I had with this graphic novel is that I am not sure how I feel about the art style. The cover pages for the different stories were gorgeous and were clearly designed to look like the covers of penny-dreadfuls or 19thcentury newspapers. They were one of the best things in the book. It also contained beautiful maps and layouts of important locations, like the HH Holmes murder hotel, which were wonderfully detailed. Great for reference. It is just a bit off when it got to the actual comic book parts of the graphic novel. They were a bit odd and took some getting used to. It wasn’t horrific. I have seen some bad comic book art in my day, it was just….odd. People had weirdly shaped heads. It sort of reminded me of a toned down version of Horrible Histories. I wasn’t sure how to feel about it, but it wasn’t off putting.
This book would make a great addition to someone’s Victorian literature or crime collection. I think every reader needs the occasional graphic novel slotted into their collection. I will be storing this one with my copy of From Hell, and,
since it says “volume 1” on the cover, I will definitely be hunting down volume 2 to complete the set.
Murder, mild violence, mild depictions of gore
4 out of 5 skulls