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Fiction Book Reviews

Crime Fiction | The Murder of Harriet Monckton | Elizabeth Haynes

The Murder of Harriet Monckton is Elizabeth Hayne’s first historical crime novel and is based on a true story that shocked and fascinated the nation.

On tour today we’re delighted to be sharing Laura’s thoughts with you.

The Murder of Harriet Monckton Elizabeth Haynes

On 7th November 1843, Harriet Monckton, 23 years old and a woman of respectable parentage and religious habits, is found murdered in the privy behind the chapel she regularly attended in Bromley, Kent.

The community is appalled by her death, apparently as a result of swallowing a fatal dose of prussic acid, and even more so when the surgeon reports that Harriet was around six months pregnant.

Drawing on the coroner’s reports and witness testimonies, Elizabeth Haynes builds a compelling picture of Harriet’s final hours through the eyes of those closest to her and the last people to see her alive. Her fellow teacher and companion, her would-be fiancé, her seducer, her former lover—all are suspects; each has a reason to want her dead.

Brimming with lust, mistrust and guilt, The Murder of Harriet Monckton is a masterclass of suspense from one of our greatest crime writers.

Publishing tomorrow and available in digital, hardcover and paperback formats.


Harriet, aged just 23 years old was found murdered on 7th November 1843. As I have always been intrigued by history and unsolved murder cases, I looked forward to starting this book.

Elizabeth Haynes has written the first part using sections narrated by several of the suspects; her fellow teacher Frances Williams, Thomas Churcher, the Reverend George Verrall and former lover, Richard Field.

This Victorian murder case has been written extremely well as each voice was clear and well thought out. Haynes take on the culprit was clever and became an excellent twist.

I especially enjoyed the section of Harriet’s journal as it was interesting to hear her side of the events.

I found this novel a wonderful dedication to this poor girl who lost her life at such a tragic young age.

A great read especially, if like me you enjoy both history and a murder mystery.

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Elizabeth HaynesElizabeth Haynes is a former police intelligence analyst who lives in Norfolk with her husband and son. Her first novel, Into the Darkest Corner, was Amazon’s Best Book of the Year 2011 and a New York Times bestseller. Now published in 37 countries, it was originally written as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), an online challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. She has written a further three psychological thrillers—Revenge of the TideHuman Remains and Never Alone—and two novels in the DCI Louisa Smith series, Under a Silent Moon and Behind Closed Doors.

Her new novel, The Murder of Harriet Monckton is based on an unsolved murder in 1843 and will be published in September 2018.

Connect with Elizabeth Haynes

Twitter @Elizjhaynes


Crime genre on Jera’s Jamboree.

My passion is helping others to find their own oasis, their own centre of calm. I’m a qualified Dyslexia Therapist, Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Sleep Consultant, Parenting Programme Facilitator, Mindfulness practitioner, Mental Health First Aider and hold a crochet diploma.

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