Thursday, 12 February 2015

The Law's Strangest Cases - reviewed by Susan Price

"This is a fine, peaceful town. Nobody's been killed here for four
The Law's Strangest Cases
hours."
- Judge Roy Bean.


In this book we meet all kinds of judges - wise, inept, vicious...

We meet underground criminals - unrepentant, marauding moles, to be exact. And law-breaking pigs and chickens.

Regicidal witches, house-breakers - and Tower-breakers who nick the Crown Jewels. Charles II, we're told, was so charmed by the thief, that he pardoned him and restored his estates. I don't believe it. The Merry Monarch wasn't that merry. What I want to know is, what did the thief have on the king?

There's the grisly crime that gave rise to the expression, 'Sweet Fanny Adams.' There was nothing sweet about it.

Awkward, back-chatting jurors, escapees from the gallows, purveyors of extremely dodgy sausages... Their tales are all here, recounted in a light and amusing manner by Peter Seddon, in Law's Strangest Cases: Extraordinary But True Tales from over Five Centuries of Legal History.

A great book for dipping in and out of, often funny, often surprising, and always fascinating.

Susan Price is a hardened reader, completely addicted to ink, whether printers' or e-.