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The Murder of Harriet Monckton

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  359 ratings  ·  74 reviews

From the award-winning and bestselling author of Into the Darkest Corner comes a delicious Victorian crime novel based on a true story that shocked and fascinated the nation.

On 7th November 1843, Harriet Monckton, 23 years old and a woman of respectable parentage and religious habits, is found murdered in the privy behind the chapel she regularly attended in Bromley, Kent.

Kindle Edition, 437 pages
Published September 28th 2018 by Myriad Editions (first published September 27th 2018)
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3.83  · 
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 ·  359 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Harriet Monckton was a young woman who got pregnant and was murdered in a small town of Bromley in 1843. The justice was never done as the murderer went unpunished. This tragedy prompted Elizabeth Haynes to write a novel based on factual information still available in the archives and by doing so, to remember the tragic fate of Harriet. I consider this novel to be one of the best of the genre I have read this year for several reasons: the mystery, period details and narration. I should add here ...more
Tracy Fenton
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you follow my reviews or are a member of THE Book Club then you will know that Elizabeth Haynes is one of my all time favourite authors and her debut book INTO THE DARKEST CORNER is, in my humble opinion, the BEST psychological thriller EVER. So you can imagine my surprise, delight and excitement to receive one of the first advanced copy proofs of her new book THE MURDER OF HARRIET MONCKTON, especially as I didn’t even know she had written a new book!

I will admit to feeling slightly less exci
Liz Barnsley
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh I LOVED this. Deeply atmospheric, beautifully written with a sense of place and character that really dug deep.
Based on a true story, Elizabeth Haynes takes us through the last days and death of Harriet Monckton, explores the deep seated habits and motivations of all those around her, in an absolutely gripping and richly descriptive historical novel that is hard to put aside once started. It is at turns an addictive mystery and a memorial of this forgotten girl and her forgotten child, as suc
Bill Kupersmith
Of all varieties of crime fiction, an historical based on fact may be the most difficult to execute. It requires all the best qualities of a fiction writer; whilst most of the characters and some of the plot are on tap, making them lively and believable is still up to the author. Then the writer has to be a social historian to imitate the manners and customs of the age, and to make the dialogue convincing requires an historical linguist. Language is the bane of contemporary writers; it is consta ...more
The Book Review Café
I’m convinced I have just read a book that’s definitely going to be on my list of “top reads of 2018”of the year. I’m a huge fan of Elizabeth Haynes writing and I love a good crime thriller, but until now I’ve always shied away from historical crime fiction I much prefer to read books written in the “here and now”. I’m thrilled that I decided to put my concerns to one side and pick up The Murder Of Harriet Monckton, what a fabulous book it turned out to be. I will never forget Harriet Monckton’s ...more
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, wow, wow! What an incredible novel this is!

This is one of those books I saw pass by on Twitter one day and, despite knowing very little about it, promptly decided I’d buy myself a copy. It took exactly one page for me to absolutely fall in love with the Victorian era atmosphere and the wonderful writing.

The Murder of Harriet Monckton is based on a true story. In 1843, 23 year old Harriet Monckton was found murdered in a privy behind a chapel she had attended regularly. The autopsy revealed
H.A. Leuschel
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an atmospheric, gripping and at times very upsetting read for me! The author brought Harriet Monckton to life in a thoughtful and believable way and posthumously did the heroine very proud. Many times did I feel like reaching into the book and giving Harriet a hug to reassure her. She endured too much at the hands of two cowardly men, yes one worse than the other, but the book cleverly portrayed the ease with which women's lives were so easily dismissed or discarded and even women among ...more
Very good, a really immersive story of the intriguing murder of a young girl in 1843 made more so by the fact that it is based on reality. I bought this purely on the authors name as I've loved everything else I have read by her and I wasn't disappointed.

Told in short passages from each of the main characters with original documents copied at the end.
C.L. Taylor
Probably the best historical crime novel I have ever read. Elizabeth Haynes' skill as a writer was in every word of every page; not once did I doubt that I was in Bromley in 1843. The characters were superb: villains, lovers, friends and Harriet herself were so well formed with distinctive voices. The mystery was gripping and I was thrilled to discover I'd guessed the murderer wrong. Haynes passion for Harriet's story (it's based on a real crime) is the life blood of this book and I found the af ...more
Renita D'Silva
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I didn't think it was possible for me not to love a book written by Elizabeth Haynes. This is basically a true crime story about the search to find Harriet's killer. What I didn't like about the book is that it fictionalizes a whole section of the book about a journal by Harriet that never existed. This is a Victorian era crime that has never been solved. There was an inquest that took place and Harriet was pregnant and discovered dead in the priv
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was extremely lucky to receive an Advanced Reader Copy of this quite tremendous book from the fantastic group, The Book Club. Thank you to them, the publisher and the brilliant author, Elizabeth Haynes.

I received it beautifully packaged, complete with sealing wax and tag, and I was so reluctant to open it as I didn’t want to ruin the whole thing: I felt like I had received Harriet’s journal directly from her.

When I did open it, there’s a beautiful inscription inside and a lovely card, with a
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't describe how I felt when I opened the beautifully wrapped parcel that contained my copy of
The Murder of Harriet Monckton by Elizabeth Haynes.
I know that I gasped out loud, as I had no idea that this book was being written and this author is one of my all time favourites.

I was intrigued to find that this was not another psychological thriller or police procedurals, but a historical crime novel, and based on real events. Whilst historical fiction is not my favourite genre, I was convinced
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was so lucky to receive a beautifully wrapped signed copy of this book .... and that was just the beginning of a beautiful story full of intrigue . Elizabeth Haynes is indeed an amazing author and has proved so on so many occasions but this is simply a masterpiece of her work . Based on only 2 documents she has brought Harriet’s story to life with colourful characters and mystery throughout . Thankyou for the story and may Harriet rest in peace . Thanks to the fabulous Facebook book club for t ...more
Joseph - Relax And Read Reviews
I love Victorian mysteries and have read a few over the years. I have also read and enjoyed a couple of books by Elizabeth Haynes, including the brilliant 'Into the Darkest Corner', so when I found out that her newest book was about a true crime story that took place in the 19th century, I didn't think twice to download and read it. The atmospheric, creepy cover was enough to draw me in.

Harriet Monckton, a young woman in her twenties, was murdered on the 6th of November 1843 in Bromley. Unfortun
A riveting read that had many twists and turns and teases the reader relentlessly up until the final page as to whodunnit. I don't read crime fiction often, but Harriet Monckton's story strikes very close to home with me as it is based on true events and more importantly, is set in Bromley, a place I know very well.

The novel not only serves to criticise the judicial system at the time, but also puts a spotlight on the grim lives of Victorian women and their hardships. I often felt fury at the do
Louise Mullins
An absorbing and very well written piece of crime fiction based almost exclusively on the true murder of Harriet Monckton. It's definitely within the slow-burner category, but the pace ratchets up when we get to hear from one of the suspects midway through. Although the pace slows again for 100 pages before launching the reader into a twisty tale where everyone becomes a suspect for very plausible reasons. I had an inkling I knew who the offender was and was pleasantly surprised I'd been complet ...more
Annie Crozier
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Didn't finish, might go back but found myself disliking all the characters to the point that I just wasn't interested. Gutted because I love Elizabeth Haynes.
June Lim
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Victorian cold case which has resurfaced through the author's diligent research and ideas thus evolving into a splendid read.Extremely engaging as it is partly factual and the ending was hypothetical but otherwise a great and unsuspecting end.

The first pages just lures you in to try and figure out who murdered Harriet or did she take her own life. Such a heart compelling tale of a young innocent lady who has been taken advantaged off and forced into motherhood without her knowledge.

Allie Cresswell
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting story inspired by real life events

This book was unlike the other book by Haynes I have read and in some ways I liked it better but in other ways I didn’t think it was as compelling.
A number of people are implicated in the sudden death of a young woman in a small town in nineteenth century Britain. The narrative flips from one to the other, each in the first person and yet none of them really telling the truth.
Gradually, though, the truth comes out.
The author is constrained by the
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good read indeed. Rather foolishly, I didn't realise until I was a good way through, that it's based around the real murder in 1843, of a girl called Harriet Monckton, and this for me, added a heightened interest. Very atmospheric and with a great sense of place and time. It certainly examines Victorian attitudes to women, false piety and the hypocrisy that went hand in hand with it, I think I have rarely loathed a book character as much as I did the Reverend George Verrall. At times I fe ...more
Louise Wallace
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I read it in about four sittings which I think is down to the really lovely voices of the characters and all their shades of grey. I suspected the villain of the piece fairly early on, but the story kept me going and actually I wasn't at all bothered that the big reveal was what I suspected, because the anticipation of the conclusion of the story was more than enough to keep me going. I don't really understand the reviewer who is upset about the level of fictionalisat ...more
Susan Nicholson
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s important to remember that this book is not intended to be a factual account of the events surrounding Harriet’s demise in 1843. Instead, this story uses the factual information to bring to life an historical, fictional narrative from the different perspectives of the people in her life. These characters all have their own secrets and their own voices. We are encouraged to empathise, distrust and dislike them from the varying accounts and it is easy to fall in love with the character of Har ...more
Cleopatra  Pullen
I like reading non-fiction books especially about true crime, even better if they are back in the past; I think this is because it feel less like I am trying to gain entertainment from someone’s tragedy, and if it is new to me too, well that is the icing on the cake. The problem with some non-fiction true crime is that you don’t get a real feel for some of the characters, often the victim who is often dead before we meet them and unless they’ve been murdered for their own dastardly acts they can ...more
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whilst chatting with Elizabeth Haynes on Twitter, she said “you see why I didn’t want her to be forgotten?” and I absolutely did. Also, and most importantly all the other ‘Harriets’ living in a time when women were treated as inferior within a patriarchal and hypocritical society. This is a book that explores the plight of the unmarried female and is based on a true murder case; it is clear this book is a labour of love by the author to give this young woman a voice and a justice, albeit within ...more
Eustacia Tan
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nowadays, I go to the library to catch up on my TBR list, because I don’t have the money to buy books. But it’s not very fun to plan out all your borrowed books and I normally try to wander around and grab at least one book on impulse. The Murder of Harriet Monckton was this trip’s impulse borrow and I am so glad that I grabbed it!

Harriet Monckton was, to all appearances, a pious and educated single young lady. But after she was murdered, the police realised that she was six months pregnant. Sin
Karen Mace
Wow! One of those books that just seems to consume you from the first page to the last, and I am just so glad to have spent time getting to know of Harriet Monckton and hearing what might have been.

It's a story based on a true story - the horrific murder of Harriet shocked those in Bromley at the time - and having it brought to life through this book allows the reader to be horrified too. I loved the inventive way the story was told - through the eyes of the main 4 suspects - and their insight i
Colin Garrow
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
November 1843. A young woman, 23-year-old Harriet Monckton, is found dead in the privy behind the chapel in Bromley, Kent. It appears she died from swallowing prussic acid, but when the autopsy reveals she was also six months pregnant, the community begin to wonder who might be responsible, and if she was deliberately killed to cover up a secret liaison. Using coroner's reports and witness testimonies, Elizabeth Haynes reimagines Harriet's last days through a series of accounts from the people w ...more
Kris Mayer
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. It was based on transcripts of original court documents. The murder was never solved. It is mixed with some fictionalised story to try and piece together what happened.
The characters really come to life and you can get a real sense of how it must have been all those years ago.
Harriet was a young, intelligent naive girl who was taken advantage of by her Landlord and then by a Pastor at her Church. She was a loving person who just wanted to be happy and make her way i
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
My edition of the book has about 390 pages. The first 290 of them were profoundly boring. The last hundred were mostly disgusting - but at least more interesting.
I couldn't get into the story for so long that it was almost physically painful to keep reading. Still no idea why I persisted on finishing it, honestly, but I guessed who the murderer is somewhere around page 50, so maybe I just wanted to confirm my guess (and yeah, i was right).

Anyways, so I got to that last part and, well, it was gl
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Elizabeth Haynes grew up in Seaford, Sussex and studied English, German and Art History at Leicester University.

She previously worked as a police intelligence analyst and lives in Norfolk with her husband and son.