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Fetch the Devil: The Sierra Diablo Murders and Nazi Espionage in America

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  152 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
In 1938, Hazel Frome, the wife of a powerful executive at Atlas Powder Company, a San Francisco explosives manufacturer, set out on a cross-country motor trip with her twenty-three-year-old daughter, Nancy. When their car broke down in El Paso, Texas, they made the most of being stranded by staying at a posh hotel and crossing the border to Juarez for shopping, dining, and ...more
Hardcover, 355 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Foreedge (first published January 1st 2014)
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Valerity (Val)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
FETCH THE DEVIL deserves points for its studious research, a lot of it never before made public. This book reveals some of the extensive Nazi spy networks in America before World War II.

That must be the reason so many other reviews of this book rant and rave about how good it is. I, however, look for more than that. I want to enjoy what I read, not just find it interesting.

A page turner this is not. It reads like a report, even the descriptions of the mother and daughter and their mysterious mur
Ronnie Roark
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unstinting research into one of West Texas' most baffling crimes

Like Devil in the White City, or a James Lee Burke novel come to life, this book is a can't-put-it-down masterpiece. The author re-examines the Frome murders in minute detail, finally giving his own, quite plausible, theory of the crime. Fetch the Devil joins a very short list of the best Texas true crime stories.
Doug Phillips
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very interesting work. The Frome family was one of which I knew very little, but the author does an excellent job of giving the full and complete picture of how the mysterious deaths were seemingly intertwined with the geo-political happenings of the time.

In four parts, the book has a logical flow. However, be prepared to give full attention to the details that begin to emerge with names, dates and places related to German spies and saboteurs.

For those with an interest in World War II history,
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lots of details, but a fascinating story. In a side note, I learned a lot of historical facts about events leading up to WW II. Again, the lack of cooperation between departments and government entities prolonged the solution, delayed justice, and frankly failed the victims of this horrible tragedy.
Anthony Guzman
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

Interesting history about El Paso and unsolved case. The book is easy to read and keeps you entertained the whole way through.
Josh Muhlenkamp
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was given to me as part of Goodreads' First Reads program.

In most true crime books, the perpetrator is caught and punished, and it wraps up very neatly. Not this one, although the author does advance a theory as to exactly what happened at the very end.

Two women (one of them a beautiful young woman) get murdered in 1930s Texas, and predictably the law enforcement community goes into overdrive to solve the murders. But the many agencies working on the case were unable to work together;
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this made me wonder HOW DID ANYTHING EVER GET SOLVED in the old days? Seriously. Not just the constant internecine backbiting and case sabotage among law enforcement groups, but the insistence, the blind reliance upon the idea Only Bad People Do Bad Things so "rounding up the usual suspects" would solve every crime.

One Sheriff in this saga tried to do things differently, tried to share all information, tried to encourage cooperation, and did not receive the same courtesy, crippling his
Apr 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Hm... so I'm very mixed on this, and not sure how to describe it without giving anything away.

It's well researched, though I admit I had a moment of confusion on that when it was mentioned that the official files were destroyed without the author seeing them - but there is considerable footnotes and references so considerable material was archived in various places.

I admittedly never thought much about the presence of German or Russian spies the US or Mexico before (or during) World War II - s
Aug 19, 2014 rated it liked it
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

This book presents the author's theory that the Frome murders were committed by members of a Nazi spy ring operating in the US. I hadn't head anything about the murders before reading this. The first part of the book reads like your average true crime book. This part I found quite boring, but that's probably because I'm not a true crime fan. The author does a very good job of constructing his theory connecting the spies to the murders. It
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: incomplete, kindle
I could not make it through this book. I tried, but I had to give up. The author did a lot of research and clearly worked very hard, but it is just not a great story for a full-length book. In order to make it sufficiently long, the author goes into excruciating detail about matters that are just not that interesting. In a summarized format, the story is actually pretty fascinating; it is about the unsolved murders of a mother and daughter in Texas in the 30s and their connection to a Nazi spy r ...more
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
What most impressed me about this book is how well the author made the time period come alive. This book explores the still unsolved murders of two American women traveling alone through Southwest America, and how it is highly possible that their murders were not connected to drug cartels or highway robbery, as many originally believed, but instead to Nazi espionage right in America. The author really weaves in little known (at least to me) history of espionage in America leading up to World War ...more
*** Won as part of a goodreads giveaway ***

This book could have been half the length. There were some interesting bursts but in between were tedious details and ramblings that did not add to the story. It is an interesting story and could have been very engaging if the authors best was shown throughout the book. I gave up about a third the way in.
Emily Graves
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, true-crime
For true-crime aficionados, a gem. A fascinating look at the depth and breadth of Axis spies in the Western US just before WWII, and how it might have resulted in the brutal torture and murder of two California socialites. Richmond stops short of sensationalism, and responsibly separates his own theory from the facts.
May 02, 2015 rated it liked it
True crime is not my favorite genre, but I was inspired to read this by a library patron who said there was Nazi espionage in El Paso, Texas during World War II. No spoilers here, but the case was drawn out over time because of squabbles over turf by various law enforcement agencies, and that was a little boring.
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I tried vainly to stay awake several nights in a row because I wanted to keep reading this book. The mystery remains unsolved, but I think the author's idea of what may have happened seems pretty realistic with the info he discovered in his research. It's a good true crime story with some unknown to me history of spies in the US prior to WWII.
Linda Bass
This is as intriguing as any fictional mystery. Be sure to put aside a day or two to do nothing but read this book. If you are a local (El Paso) history buff, you're in for a treat. Most of you do not know about this chapter of local history, and will thank your lucky stars that someone saved some very important crime files.
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
Very interesting story of a long forgotten double murder and an unlikely connection with Nazi agents in the prelude to World War Two. Well written and detailed account that would be of interest to true crime enthusiasts.
Anthony Ambruso
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An edge-of-your-seat thriller

Truth is stranger than fiction. This bit of history was unknown to me, and I will never forget it. It is a haunting tale, like watching a train wreck in slow motion. You wish you could reach out and stop it from happening. Well written.
Paul Weaver
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Nonfiction is different for me, as it is slower going and the ending may not be what you like, or there may not be a conclusion. An interesting subject that I knew little about before I read this book.
Jul 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I was really excited as I started this book. But, it finally got to a point that I just wanted it over. The case was never solved and a lot of it was conjecture. It was interesting about a major Nazi spy ring in the US. It is not a book I would read a second time.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect Who-/Why-/How-dunit

Excellent piece of history that is a real page turner. The author's ideas of what happened make sense. I would recommend this book to anyone:
·Looking for a good read
·Likes mysteries
·Likes true crime
·Is a World War II buff
Apr 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

If you like true crime,this book is a good read. Well researched and written and very educational .I would recommend this book
Damian Polanco
Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good book. Very detailed. These murders have never been solved although the author's theory seems to be the most practical solution.

I recommend this book.
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Extremely interesting, and the author poses an extremely plausible explanation of the events of what will always remain an unsolved crime.
Gwen - Chew & Digest Books -
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, nonfiction
In short: It reminds me of my favorite non-fiction author, Erik Larson and that is mighty high praise coming from me.
rated it it was amazing
Jan 13, 2017
rated it really liked it
Feb 08, 2016
Nancy Ferguson
rated it really liked it
Feb 14, 2017
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CLINT RICHMOND, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, has more than thirty years' professional experience as a nonfiction book author, newspaper reporter, and freelance magazine journalist. He has published on a wide range of topics, from domestic terrorism and true crime, to pop psychology and celebrity biography.

FETCH THE DEVIL: The Sierra Diablo Murders and Nazi Espionage in America is his
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