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The Mystery of Beautiful Nell Cropsey: A Nonfiction Novel
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The Mystery of Beautiful Nell Cropsey: A Nonfiction Novel

3.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  27 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
As compelling as fiction, The Mystery of Beautiful Nell Cropsey tells the dramatic story of the disappearance of nineteen-year-old Nell Cropsey from her riverside home in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, in November 1901. Bloodhounds, detectives, divers, and even a psychic were brought in to search for her. In the ensuing weeks, the story was taken up by major newspapers fr ...more
Hardcover, 184 pages
Published September 1st 1993 by University of North Carolina Press (first published 1993)
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Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Nonfiction' recreation of events surrounding 1901 disappearance of Elizabeth City, NC 19-year-old Nell Cropsey. The facts of the book are nonfiction, with the only apparent fictional recreation some first-person omniscient thoughts by some of the main characters.

The mystery, in real life and in the book, is not solved at the end, by the way, which leaves you torn between wanting to know who really did it, and enjoying the speculation about who may have done it and why and how.
Poe once said something along the lines of, "the death of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world." I'm certain that's why I was so captivated by this case when I first heard about it while watching a television program. The book was an interesting read, but I found myself wishing to learn more about who Nell was before her death. Additional photographs, diary entries, letters, etc. would have been wonderful. Of course, I cannot really demand any primary source m ...more
Nov 05, 2014 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written with multiple voices telling the story, the reader feels the confusion, angry and heartbreak over the disappearance of Nell. Good read.
Are you interested in North Carolina history? Do you have a desire to read (slightly?) fictionalized accounts of real life mysteries and also not mind when they are not solved, and will never be solved, because all involved parties are long dead? Then let me just recommend this book to you.
Nell Cropsey, what happened to you?!
Lesley Looper
Sep 04, 2011 Lesley Looper rated it liked it
Recommended to Lesley by: Megan
Enjoyed this story, interesting to read about how a sensational case played out in a small NC town around the turn of the century. Now I want to visit that area!
Interesting to read, particularly since we just visited Hertford and Elizabeth City. It's frustrating that the mystery of her death has not been solved.
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Bland Simpson's many books include "Ghost Ship of Diamond Shoals: The Mystery of the Carroll A. Deering" and "Into the Sound Country: A Carolinian's Coastal Plain" (both from the University of North Carolina Press). A member of the Tony Award-winning Red Clay Ramblers, Simpson has collaborated on such musicals as "King Mackerel & The Blues Are Running", "Kudzu", and the Broadway hit "Fool Moon ...more
More about Bland Simpson...

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