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The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  2,377 ratings  ·  562 reviews
"Someone has killed Father!"

August 4, 1892: Lizzie Borden calls out frantically for help. When the maid and the neighbors come running, they find Lizzie's father, Andrew Borden, lying murdered in the sitting room of the Borden home at 92 Second Street in Fall River, Massachusetts. Soon after, the body of Lizzie's stepmother, Abby, is discovered upstairs.

As the minutes give
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published 2016 by Schwartz & Wade
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Sarah Oddly enough, I did not.

For a great many years the only known transcript of the preliminary hearing sat in an old bathtub in the Borden sisters' lawy…more
Oddly enough, I did not.

For a great many years the only known transcript of the preliminary hearing sat in an old bathtub in the Borden sisters' lawyer's attic. Perhaps something similar happened to the first volume of the original inquest transcript. My understanding is that George Dexter Robinson's papers on the case are still under lock and key, as the law firm where they're located is continuing to honor Lizzie Borden's attorney-client privilege. I wouldn't be shocked if some of those long-lost documents are in that cache of information.(less)

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Sam Quixote
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
On the morning of Thursday, August 4, 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were murdered in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Their killer - or killers – struck them repeatedly in the head with a hatchet until they were both dead: first Abby, while she made the bed in the guest room, then Andrew when he returned from his morning walk and was resting on the sofa. The prime suspect? Their 32 year-old daughter, Lizzie.

Sarah Miller’s excellent non-fiction book, The Borden Murders, covers the case th
The Lit Bitch
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book follows the murder, trial, and aftermath of one of histories most shocking and grizzly crimes that remains unsolved. Sarah Miller examines many aspects of the case and utilizes newspaper articles and trial transcriptions to present the ‘facts’ and basically let’s the reader draw their own conclusions about the case.

This is one of the few books that I initially passed on for review and then after thinking about it more, decided to read it. I don’t really know anything about Lizzie Borde
Interesting. Middle school grade book on a family murder crime.
Never would have thought that was a good subject for them to read about. But this is my own little humble opinion. Good, the structure of the story was a little off, but the story is there none the less.
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
A relatively succinct overview of Lizzie Borden's murder trial, but nothing more really. I didn't connect with any of the people depicted. The book is biased though the author would like you to think it's not. The photos should have been incorporated into the text. ...more
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.

A rhyme that I'm sure a lot are familiar with along with the cover of this novel let's the reader know that this is another recount of the murders of Andrew and Abby Borden which took place on August 4, 1892. Lizzie Bordon, Andrew's youngest daughter was the prime suspect in the murders with the story following from the time they occurred to all the following events and invest
Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Countless books about the Borden homicides have been written for adults, but the market was open for one geared toward young readers when The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the Trial of the Century arrived in 2016. The vicious murder of Andrew and Abby Borden had taken place one hundred twenty-four years earlier, yet urban legend culture still was fascinated by the crime. Who could have predicted the suave, wealthy Borden family would be engulfed by a murder that would rock their hometown and p ...more
A totally fascinating and engaging book about Lizzie Borden and the famous trial surrounding the accusations she killed her father and stepmother. At times, the courtroom discussions got a little long, but it makes sense in context, given it's really all Miller has to work with to construct the narrative. I didn't know much about Borden at all, but I loved learning about her, the history of the case, and how much bumbling it up there was.

A couple of things frustrated me in terms of design and l
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In the Borden Murders: Lizze Borden and the Trail of the Century by Sarah Miller this books goes into the murder Lizze Borden parents. This books shows all of the evidence and timeline of the murder case. I have just started this book and already the book goes into the rumors that she killed her parents even though there is no evidence of that. This reminds me about how people could be spreading fake news even when they don't know anything about the topic. ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Written by Sarah Miller
2016; Schwartz & Wade (304 Pages)
Genre: young adult, nonfiction, history, crime, mystery, true crime


In 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were found murdered in their home and their daughter, Lizzie is soon arrested. In this true crime book, Sarah Miller takes the reader on a linear look at the case from the moment the Bordens are murdered to when Lizzie dies. We sees the different theories that have been t
 Eldritch Reading Reindeer 2021 In Cobwebs
Review: THE BORDEN MURDERS by Sarah Miller

This is not a sensationalist rendering but rather a logical approach to discovering this widely-known and gory double crime, committed in August 1892. The author bases her accounting on court transcripts, photos, and newspaper reporting of the crime. Readers will understand those involved as regular and real-life humans, instead of the polarization of demonization vs. pure innocence as the press at the time, and a good portion of the townspeople, purport
Mar 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, ya
I'm not really into true crime/mysteries but I do love a lady with an axe, and also I was looking for high-interest nonfiction to booktalk, so I picked this up. I didn't know that much about Lizzie Borden so I definitely learned a lot from this, and I think tweens/teens/people who are more interested in crime procedurals in general will dig it. It does a good job of presenting all the evidence (and lack of evidence) in a way that's interesting but not sensationalized. The end is inconclusive, wh ...more
I really knew nothing about her or the case other than the name & that her parents were murdered by an ax. I think I had always thought of her being around 12-13 years old, but she was in her early 30s when her dad & stepmom were murdered.

This book is apparently generally aimed at the middle-grade/teen market (didn't know that when I checked it out -- it's harder to find info like that for ebooks vs. being in the library with physical books where they're shelved in different locations). It's a
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
It was highly informative. Highly. Like loaded with it.
But that's all it was.

And while interesting, it was kind of bland.
For a non-fiction book directed to younger readers I didn't really see how it would grab their attention.

I remember reading about Lizzie Borden in middle school and knowing myself at the time I would have turned to a book like this one to learn more. And maybe if that had been the case when I started it my thoughts would be different.

But reading it I just started feeling like
Laura Harrison
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have been fascinated by Lizzie Border and her trial for decades. Any new book on the subject thrills me to no end. Lizzie wasn't a murderer. It wasn't who she was but the public loves to persecute those who don't fit the general norm. This is all pretty grisly and I don't recommend it for those under 13. The book is wonderfuly written and engaging. Highly recommend. ...more
Mike Kriznar
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: informational
Michael J. Kriznar
The Borden Murders Lizzie Border & The Trial of The Century
It was August 4, 1892, in Fall River Massachusetts, where the crime of the century occurred. Andrew and Abby Borden were murdered. They were struck in the head with a hatchet many times until dead. This is where the famous poem began:
Lizzie Borden took an axe,
Gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
Gave her father forty-one.
Mrs. Borden was murdered in the bedroom upstairs, while Mr. Borden was mur
Victoria Zieger
This was a little bit dry but very much fascinating all the same. It’s the perfect true crime book that lets you come to your own conclusions. Also, for anyone who is curious about Lizzie Borden, this gives a pretty comprehensive look at her, the trial and the murders she was accused of many years ago.
Julia LaRosa
yes I read every page and yes I paid attention... but I still think she did it
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“…what Marshal Hilliard had told the press was true. He did not have one atom of direct evidence linking Lizzie Borden to the crime.” (Kindle location 1267)

As a native of Fall River, Massachusetts, I’ve had a life-long fascination with the stories of Lizzie Borden, and the brutal axe murders of her father and her stepmother. Aimed at the middle-grade reader, Sarah Miller’s recently released book, The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century relate
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lizzie Borden had three major misfortunes:

1. Her parents were brutally murdered
2. She was incriminatingly close to the scene of the crime and had an alibi that seemed curious in the best of circumstances
3. She didn't play the part of the fragile Victorian woman

This book takes up all three misfortunes and lingers on the third, which presents an interesting sort of paradox for women in the Victorian era: in order for them to be respected, they must act weak.

Lizzie's culpability was noted on in the
One of the most horrifying murder scenes in history. An intricate puzzle to put together. A look at crime scene tactics and analysis (or lack thereof) in 1892 leading up to the trial of the century. My interest in true crime stories immediately drew me to this book. Most have heard the rhyme about Lizzie Borden and the rumors that have circulated. It’s a gruesome tale and made more intriguing by the fact that it is still unsolved. In the author’s notes at the end of the book, Sarah Miller disclo ...more
More like 2.5 stars, for me, but I'm rounding up to 3 because my problems with this book were more about my expectations going into the book, and not due to any fault of the book itself. This is a pretty straightforward (although definitely sympathetic to Lizzie Borden) recount of the facts surrounding the murder of Lizzie Borden's father and stepmother, and her resulting arrest, trial, and acquittal. I knew enough about the Borden murders that there wasn't much new information in it for me, but ...more
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
As I had really only seen the movie with Elizabeth Montgomery, I was interested in learning more about this. As I recall in the movie, the houses weren't quite as close as they seem to be in this book which is even more perplexing.

This was a very informative book that I enjoyed reading. Apparently, the law of hearsay had not been made around this time. I was both alarmed and amazed at the rumors that were flying about this poor woman and what was being allowed to be said in a court of law. The
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meticulously researched, Sarah Miller offers a balanced telling of the trial of Lizzie Borden for the murders of her father and stepmother.

Like a good True Crime narrative, Ms. Miller focuses on the trial and the workings of the criminal justice system, while building suspense about the outcome of the story. The book includes boxes of information that explain various historical aspects with which the reader might not be familiar. The book also points out the biases in news reporting and how mis
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Read this for Read Harder. It was good and interesting, but you probably could have just read a long form piece if you want to learn about the murders.
Aug 22, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somehow I missed this book when it was released but it's a good one. I believe this is the first unbiased account I've read on the case; usually an author tries to 'solve' the crime. Though little is known about Lizzie Borden, Miller presents her as best she can without forming an opinion on her guilt one way or another. I was impressed with her research, bibliography, and notes. Based on the evidence, the jury had no choice but to render a 'not guilty' verdict. Alas, too, I discovered that ther ...more
I knew the vague telling of the story but not the details of it and the subject has always fascinated me so I was happy to take a look at this book to find out more.

Lizzie and her family had recently been a bit sick, which later led to speculation that someone had been poisoning the family. I have heard all kinds of stories about a bastard son trying to get Mr Borden's money by killing the others, Lizzie doing the poisoning or it just being a simple matter of food poisoning. In this book a man c
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read The Borden Murders in one gulp. Then I went back and re-read it. It's that interesting a topic, and Sarah Miller handles it in a way that makes for a compulsive page-turner. I knew that it was targeted at a younger audience than I fit into (ahem), but I have to tell you --- if this is what middle-school readers are capable of understanding, then more power to them. The writing is lucid and she makes the actual timetable of the murders understandable in terms of where everyone was, or at l ...more
Julie Graves
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
What a way to start off the new year of reading! A non-fiction story of a murder. Years ago I saw the movie of Lizzie Borden portrayed by Elizabeth Montgomery(from the show Bewitched), and it portrayed Lizzie as guilty. I didn't realize what a mess the whole investigation was! In this book the author separates facts from fiction and legend. I found the whole story very interesting. I think that I, like most people, assumed that Lizzie Borden got away with murder, after all, if you are anyone aro ...more
Jul 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I would have given this a 4 to account for some bias, however the author directly addresses this at the end so I bumped up the rating. The author gives a detailed account of the investigation (if you can call it that) into the Borden murders.
Is it possible that Lizzie (Lizbeth) committed the crimes? Yes, however let’s make it clear that the only reason why she was targeted was because they investigators “didn’t like the look of her” and “she didn’t react correctly for a woman”. The blatant sexi
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ms. Miller has mastered keeping the story of Lizzie Borden alive for middle school/early high school reader, even though I must say that as an adult I found this book fascinating. Clearly researched, even given the younger audience, Ms. Miller focused lightly on the actual crime and more on the aftermath, including the trial.

The book flowed well and allowed me to read it quickly because of the author's writing style.

I think this book would lead to interesting discussions in the classroom, not
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Sarah Miller began writing her first novel at the age of ten, and has spent the last two decades working in libraries and bookstores. She is the author of two previous historical novels, Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller, and The Lost Crown. Her nonfiction debut, The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century, was hailed by the New York Times as "a historical version of Law & Or ...more

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“If people would only do me justice that is all I ask, but it seems as if every word I have uttered has been distorted and such a false construction placed on it that I am bewildered. I can't understand it.

—Lizzie Borden”
More quotes…