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Shadow on the Hill: The True Story of a 1925 Kansas Murder
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Shadow on the Hill: The True Story of a 1925 Kansas Murder

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  146 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
It was the most brutal murder in the history of Coffey County, Kansas.

On May 30, 1925, Florence Knoblock, a farmer's wife and the mother of a young boy, was found slaughtered on her kitchen floor. Several innocent men were taken into custody before the victim's husband, John, was accused of the crime. He would endure two sensational trials before being acquitted.

Eighty yea
Paperback, 340 pages
Published March 19th 2013 by Aventine Press (first published 2013)
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(showing 1-30)
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Aug 13, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
The fact that this takes place in my hometown made it interesting. I'm not sure if someone unfamiliar with the area and the people would enjoy the book as much.
Tracy Simmons
Apr 06, 2013 Tracy Simmons rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Diana's was a fascinating project. Shadow on the Hill tells the true story of a 1925 murder that took place just one county east of here. Florence Knoblock was brutally murdered on May 30, 1925, and her husband was tried twice, but never convicted, for the deed. It was a heart wrenching story, vividly illustrated by the author who spent nearly three years researching to pull together the facts of the case.

I downloaded the book late on a Sunday evening and began reading. After only a few chapters
Charlene Gee
Apr 10, 2013 Charlene Gee rated it it was amazing
I don't read true crime books usually but made an exception for this one written by a friend and I'm very glad that I did! While the truth about who murdered Florence Knoblock will never be known, there is a lot of information presented in this book that enables the reader to draw their own conclusions. Well written and thoroughly researched, the only drawback I found was that I would have liked the information about "party lines" to be presented earlier rather than halfway through the book as I ...more
Katrina Yip
Apr 15, 2013 Katrina Yip rated it it was amazing
This is the only true crime type book I have read, so I wasn't sure what to expect. It is well written and meticulously researched. I was very engaged in the story - it's hard to put down! I find it somewhat difficult knowing that the murderer was never found and frustrating that the investigation was handled so poorly. Staresinic-Deane does offer some possiblities, and left me with the feeling that it was very unlikely that the husband (the only man ever tried for the crime) could have done thi ...more
Jun 04, 2013 Melanie rated it did not like it
I usually enjoy the true crime genre and thought I would really like this one because it was set one county away from where I live but unfortunately this was a really dry read. Many facts were repeated over and over and there was no real resolution. I also didn't understand what the author's "dream journal" entries added to the book.
Jun 04, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
My daughter passed this book on to me and I'm so glad that she did. It's very obvious that years' of research went into iit. I particularly liked the author's addition of news clippings, personal emails with relatives of people involved, and her footnotes of explanation. I hope to see future books by this author.
May 26, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Wow, what an interesting story. I'm amazed by how this book came about in the first place, finding a folder of newspaper clippings on a shelf.
I don't usually read true crime books, I don't think I've read any since my teenage years. But, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The writing is really good, it kept me interested and wanting to know the verdict.
Personally I liked the little snippets at the end of the chapters of an email, conversation, etc that the author had with someone relevant to the case.
Piepie Beuttel
Aug 23, 2013 Piepie Beuttel rated it really liked it
Practically every patron at the library where I work is reading or wants to read this unsolved mystery concerning a long-ago Kansas murder. On May 30, 1925, Florence Knoblock, in her early 30's, was found dead on her kitchen floor. Florence, married with a small boy named Roger, was mourned by her family, friends, while accusing fingers pointed and dastardly rumors swirled about the community. I liked how after every chapter the author included an interview or an email regarding her research on ...more
Feb 06, 2017 Ashley rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
This is a pretty good read. I liked it mainly because it takes place near my home town and there were some familiar names in it. It does focus mainly on the trial rather than the murder. There is some great anticipation, but not like a thriller.
Apr 30, 2013 Adam rated it liked it
Received a free copy of this through Goodreads' giveaway. Very interesting book, although it is weakened by the inter-narrative breakup material. These include snippets from newspapers of the time (unclear as to whether they are direct quotes, edited quotes, or paraphrases) as well as interviews with family, recordings from the author's dream journal, and an interview with a psychic. Contrary to the superb narrative making up the majority of the book, these pieces seem out of place and are almos ...more
Ronnie Cramer
Jun 06, 2015 Ronnie Cramer rated it it was ok
I loved the story of how this book came about (an assistant librarian stumbles upon a folder of 85-year-old news clippings about a local murder and becomes obsessed with the case). It's obviously a sincere effort but I confess I'm not a fan of reconstructed dialogue and can't abide when authors ascribe thoughts and feelings to their real-life historical subjects (unless citing a diary entry or something similar). Snippets of emails and interviews were interspersed throughout the narrative as a s ...more
Mar 01, 2013 Stacy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blog
Shadow on the Hill: The True Story of a 1925 Kansas Murder was well written grammatically and the author presents the facts in an unbiased way with just enough dramatic flair. It is an inherently confusing case to begin with set in a time when forensic science was in its infancy. The author did a pretty fantastic job considering it was an 88 year old case with little evidence left behind.

Check out my full review at my blog:
Jul 30, 2013 Olive rated it liked it
Interesting only because I lived in the area and know some of the family names in the book. I had to force myself to sit down and read it because it was slow, repetitive and tedious. Don't know if I'll be able to look at some of these people again without thinking about the murder, especially since the murder remains unsolved. Maybe Cold Case will grab onto it!
Mar 04, 2013 Alden rated it it was amazing
This was a great, fast read. I couldn't put it down. I especially appreciate how the author raises real possibilities of other suspects but doesn't really resolve the issue. The one thing that's very certain is that there wasn't anything like a satisfactory investigation of Florence Knoblock's death at the time. If you like the true crime genre, this is a great pick!
Apr 04, 2014 Brandy rated it really liked it
I generally do not read true crime novels but thoroughly enjoyed this one. Well researched and written, the author deftly pulled together a compelling story out of what was otherwise a muddled and forgotten unsolved crime. The inclusion of the author's personal correspondence and experiences while conducting her research is a thought-provoking conclusion to each chapter.
Feb 27, 2016 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story was interesting. I usually don't read true stories but I did find this one interesting. It was so messed up from the moment that poor woman's body was found it isn't a wonder that they never caught the real killer. The author did do a lot of investigation into the details of the story.
Jun 20, 2014 Marcie rated it really liked it
Excellent book about a murder outside my hometown of Burlington in 1925. Familiar places and names come up.
Jul 18, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
A compelling read and interesting take on historical writing/reporting. Staresinic-Deane's done her homework and presents an engaging tale of murder and mystery in small-town Kansas.
Apr 07, 2013 Sheryl rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the journalistic approach to this book and how Staresinic-Deane added interviews, phone calls, etc. I also loved the description of Kansas counties and farmland in the late 1920s.
Mar 04, 2013 Ellen rated it it was amazing
Perfect combination of interesting story, meticulous research and intelligent writing makes for an entertaining read.
Jill Campbell
Nov 10, 2014 Jill Campbell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

I enjoyed reading this book and had a tough time putting it down. I was a fan of 'In Cold Blood' from an early age and this book is just as riveting.
Apr 23, 2013 Christel rated it really liked it
Shelves: won-done
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to review this.
Sep 20, 2013 Shelly rated it really liked it
Book #39 for 2013
Dec 26, 2014 Christine rated it really liked it
I loved this book! It's about my town and was such a scandal! Diana did such a good job of capturing the people and the environment around the trial. Definitely recommend!
Shelley Wilkinson
Shelley Wilkinson rated it it was amazing
Jul 22, 2013
Judy rated it liked it
Jun 22, 2013
Kimberly Watts
Kimberly Watts rated it really liked it
Aug 31, 2013
Jill rated it it was amazing
Dec 08, 2013
Sally rated it liked it
Apr 14, 2013
Maria rated it liked it
Dec 06, 2014
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Diana Staresinic-Deane is a Kansan-gone-Californian-gone-Kansan. Fascinated by little Kansas towns and their histories, she's happiest when she's digging through old newspapers and exploring old cemeteries. You can follow her Kansas adventures on her website, Diana Staresinic-Deane: Unearthing Stories on the Prairie.
More about Diana Staresinic-Deane...

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