True Crime Books Provide Spine-Tingling Reading

October 12, 2010

If you like to read fiction books about crimes but want to read something true, try the true-crime books located in the adult non-fiction area 364.1523. 

From Nightmare in Napa by Paul LaRosa to The Prom Night Murders  by Carlton Smith, there is probably something to fit your taste for terror and crime. Or, you might try the books about Jon Benet Ramsey, Laci Peterson, or Charles Manson. One of the most popular authors is Ann Rule.

You might also enjoy reading about some local infamous killers like Robert Berdella in the book Rites of Burial. The 1909 murder case of the Swope family is found in the book Deaths on Pleasant Street by Giles Fowler. In Broad Daylight by Harry N. MacLean is about the murder of Ken McElroy, who was the town bully from Skidmore, Mo. Another Missouri true-crime book is Baby Be Mine: the Shocking True Story of a Woman Accused of Murdering a Pregnant Woman to Steal Her Child by Diane Fanning.

True-crime is a non-fiction literary genre in which the author examines an actual crime, and details the actions of real people. The crimes most commonly include murder, but true-crime works have also touched on other legal cases. Depending on the writer, true-crime can adhere strictly to well-established facts in journalistic fashion, or can be highly speculative. Some true-crime works are "instant books" produced quickly to capitalize on popular demand, while others may reflect years of thoughtful research and inquiry, and may have literary merit. Still, others revisit historic crimes (or alleged crimes) and propose solutions, such as books examining political assassinations, well-known unsolved murders, or deaths of celebrities.

You can also check out a list of True-Crime books on, and then order them from your local branch of MCPL or through the Catalog.
Wanda B.
Raytown Branch


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