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The Poisoned Glass

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  438 ratings  ·  52 reviews

“A great read and a fascinating retelling of a long-forgotten murder, that still resonates to this very day… for anybody interested in the history of the Silk City!” –Mark S. Auerbach, City Historian, Passaic, New Jersey

At the dawn of the 20th century, the social unrest in Paterson, New Jersey was palpable. Thousands of Dutch and Italian immigrants flocked to the city,

Kindle Edition, 219 pages
Published August 15th 2019 by Black Rose Writing (first published July 8th 2019)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  438 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Jul 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, crime, kindle
I was drawn to this historical true-crime book because the crime victim was a young woman in the Dutch immigrant community of Paterson, New Jersey, at the turn of the 20th century. Many of my ancestors were members of that community who lived there at about that time. Both of my grandmothers and several of my great-aunts worked in the silk mills starting when they were young girls, just as the victim, Jennie Bosschieter, did. And I myself grew up near Paterson and lived in the Paterson area for ...more
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Poisoned Glass was such a heartwrenching book to read. It told the true story of the murder of a 17-year-old girl who worked in a silk mill in Paterson New Jersey in 1900. Most fascinating to me was how some things are still the same today: (view spoiler) ...more
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
This was a very well-written historical true crime. I like reading accounts of historical crimes to do an infomal compare-contrast with how things would be similar or different in the present day, and also to get glimpses into the past. The writing was first rate, avoiding the problems sometimes found in true crime accounts, where the story is drawn out to an extreme degree or told in an awkward, incomprehensible manner. I was astounded at the foolish behavior of the men involved in attempting t ...more
Peg Price
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Finished it quickly. Compelling and written in a fast-paced manner. Deplorable crime and despicable, slipshod police work and courtroom work. Jennie deserved better.
Well researched book. Lots of detail. Trial details dragged a bit.
Clifford Browder
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four-star review of Kimberly Tilley’s The Poisoned Glass by Clifford Browder, author of the Metropolis series of historical novels.

Kimberly Tilley’s The Poisoned Glass (Black Rose Writing, 2019) is a thoroughly researched, detailed account of the shocking rape and murder of Jennie Bosschieter, a young immigrant girl in the mill town of Paterson, New Jersey, in 1900. The book’s title is an allusion to the knockout drops that one of the accused put in the girl’s drink without her knowing it. Her m
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very well written, best I've ever read in the genre!!!

I rarely read true crime because of the way it's usually written, jumping back and forth, with no logical timeline. Kimberly Tilley has crafted a true crime story that flows like a historical novel. I'd never heard of Jennie or the horrible 4 men who raped and killed her. I had no clue that date rape drugs were used outside of modern times. Sadly, the treatment of sexual assault on women hasn't truly advanced much, even after 120+ years!!! I
Jul 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Modern forensics would have done so much for this case—DNA, fingerprints, proper autopsy techniques—all would have been beneficial. While the crime itself was a huge scandal, it seems to have been forgotten. There’s another book here, begging to be written: more on the social issues (although the author does touch on those), and more on the terrible police work. I’m a lawyer, and I was yelling at the courtroom scenes. The prosecutors were lucky the guilt of the perpetrators was so obvious—it was ...more
Linda Goss
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Based on a true story

The life and death of Jenny is told in a concise and factual manner. I appreciated the historical pictures throughout the book. My interest was held throughout the court trials and the whole book! Highly recommended.

Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This well-researched and historically true account of the rape and murder of a New Jersey teenage girl in 1900 is as well-paced and character-driven as any modern, fictional crime saga.

Set against the social conventions and courtroom norms of the times, it also gives insight into pre-technology police work and what me might consider today as some rather shoddy evidence gathering techniques. Some things never change, however: human nature, the bad and the good, remains the same and is on display
Nancy Zuelzke
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A favorite

If you like historical things and true crime books, you will like this book. It is well written, easy to follow and well researched. You can form your own opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendants.
John Pritchett
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Historical. Book

This is a historical tail of a murder of no consequence and it's retelling makes me wonder why, there is no social redeeming moral lesson or any other lesson to be learned aside from the precise and very competent depiction of life at the turn.of the previous century.
Sonia Santos
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sad and shocking

This book entails the story of a girl who was poisoned and raped. I'm shocked by how little time the men involved served time.
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
100 years apart, yet we stand in the same spot.
Although the book itself is short and concise, the connection with a victim so far ago is what makes this stand out; we ought to remember her because we are still fighting for the Jennie Bosschieters of today.

Book: 3.5
Research: 5
Relevance: 5+
Dan A. Foster
Jul 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Poisoned Glass

Interesting narrative about the death of a young woman and the trial of the accused. Relevant in today’s times in which so many fail to treat others with due respect. Writing is good, but the story drags in some places.
Carolyn Wilkes!?
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
History is just as cruel today

I was caught into this book from the beginning. I like history and books that are not only true but written in an interesting style. This book conveyed the horror of the convicted rather than the victim. Good read in history.
Helen Agathocleous
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well written

This was an interesting read and written very well. It is obvious a lot of research was done for the this book and I am glad it read likes a novel and not a history text book.
Jul 26, 2020 rated it liked it
True crime is not really my thing but this was fairly interesting.
Laurel Kristick
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, true-crime
Interesting true crime book of the sensational death of Jennie Bosschieter in 1900 at the hands of 4 men.
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Jennie Bosschieter was a 17 year old immigrant girl whose body was found in the early morning hours of October 19, 1900 in Paterson New Jersey. Jennie was not unlike many women her age. She worked at a local silk mill and in her off hours she visited friends she had in town. Her subsequent rape and murder by a group of men made national headlines. Her body was dumped like so much trash in a field. The leader of the group. Walter McAlister, was the son of a wealthy mill owner. His friend and comp ...more
Mandi Lucci
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I won The Poisoned Glass in a Goodreads giveaway. It took me a while to read as I usually read it when I had a few moments here and there. I will say that it did keep my interest from the beginning. Even though I knew what happened from the very beginning. I enjoyed this book immensely!!!
Hari Brandl
Jun 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime, giveaways
I received this as a result of a GoodReads giveaway, (I love the giveaway aspect of this reading website!) a while ago. I am obsessed with True Crime, and this is a good example of the genre.
While I like the book, and find it presented the story thoroughly and fairly, with lots of information with sources well organized, comprehensive. It was an unfortunate case, probably a spontaneous response to impulsive emotion, (maybe some lust) proximity of a drug and a lot of alcohol. Bad decisions were m
Sheila Lowe
Aug 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Very interesting case from the turn of the Century.
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
An interesting account of a turn of the (last) century murder trial in which a young woman was raped and murdered by four men of a higher class. Well researched and documented, the only thing I would have recommended adding is social and historical context as far as how rape was handled during this time and how astounding it is that there even was a trial for this tragedy.
Arlene Baker
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Today's crime scene investigation and current science were not existant at the turn of the 20th century. Must of the investigation and events as they unfold are shocking in thier laxity but what does not change is class ,,,and the indifference of well off to the consequences they wreak upon those with no power. And of course, the constant effort to impune the integrity of the victim. Suspense of the trial and the sentencing...a page turner!
Ashlee Wilkins
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in the early 20th Century, The Poisoned Glass by Kimberly Tilley recounts the murder of a young immigrant woman (Jennie) in Patterson, New Jersey. Tilley places you at the center of a murder trial tempered by class, gender, and privilege. Although this may seem to be a story torn out of a history book, there are many similarities to modern society. The author evoked a plethora of emotions as she illustrated the chaos that engulfed the trial of the accused murderers. This underscored the comp ...more
Kristin A. Sherry
I received an advanced pre-ordered copy of this book by ordering it from the publisher's website. I follow the author's blog, and am a big fan of her writing. I was not disappointed by this book. There are so many layers that make this book fascinating. First, it was incredible to see the number of original images and photos of news coverage included in this book, given the murder took place in 1900. Second, it was so interesting to have a window into the social customs of the ...more
Lee Gordon
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read

Ms. Tilley did an absolutely amazing job with this true crime saga. Meticulous research, skilled character portrayals, substantiated sources, gifted story-telling, and perfect writing brought this story to life. Ms. Tilley's first book; I look forward to reading more.
Sakura Nobeyama
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Poisoned Glass is the tragic story of the rape and murder of 17-year-old Jennie Bosschieter in 1900 and the trial that followed. Tilley's research and detail are meticulous, and she skillfully captures the pathos of the young girl's poignant death.

In this era of the #MeToo movement, this book takes a look back at the terrible treatment of women - not just by wolves and molesters, but also by the legal system and its hordes of unscrupulous lawyers at the ensuing trial.

The book begins with the
Leslie Waite
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Poisoned Glass is a great read! If you enjoy books about true crime, especially historical ones that offer insight, and not simply fact recitation, you will enjoy The Poisoned Glass. Frequently, true crime novels get bogged down in dull details that show the author did lots of research, but didn't filter it well. Not so with The Poisoned Glass. Kimberly Tilley does a great job at laying out the details of the murder of Jennie Bosschieter, a young woman who worked at the Paterson Ribbon Compa ...more
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Kimberly Tilley is a Bay Area author who unearths true stories of forgotten crimes from the early twentieth century.

Her first book, The Poisoned Glass (2019), was an Amazon category #1 best-seller in four countries and multiple categories, including True Crime and American History.

Cold Heart (2020) is an Amazon category #1 best-seller and the true story of the unsolved murder of Ed Burdick in Bu

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