Obsessed with True Crime discussion

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message 1: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 11845 comments How do people go about choosing the best title to read when there are eleventy-seven different books on the same crime? I find this is much more of a challenge now that the era of the brick-and-mortar bookstore is in decline. Used bookstores are still the best option to me, because they're far more likely to have more of the titles, say, concerned with Ed Gein on the shelf than you'd find in Barnes & Noble -- if you can find a bookstore carrying new titles that even HAS a TC section.

How do you do it?


message 2: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Krisko (kakrisko) | 1264 comments I look at your suggestions. Get crackin'.


message 3: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 11845 comments K.A. wrote: "I look at your suggestions. Get crackin'."

Oh, I see. Get me to buy half a dozen POS instant paperbacks before I find a really good one, and then you laugh all the way to the bookstore. It's all coming clear now...


message 4: by Koren (new)

Koren  (koren56) | 1360 comments You are right Fishface. It is very hard to find TC anywhere that sells books. I like to take my Kindle or a list of my wish list books with me. On Amazon and B&N I make a list at the site. Some I add when I'm just browsing and others I add from suggestions from this group. Thank scrod, as you put it, for on-line book stores. The nearest book store, new or used, to me is an hour away.The department stores by me (Walmart and Shopko) have a small book section, but rarely any TC. A while ago I was very excited to find an M. William Phelps book in Walmart. Got home and I already had it.


message 5: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Krisko (kakrisko) | 1264 comments Oh, I see. Get me to buy half a dozen POS instant paperbacks before I find a really good one, and then you laugh all the way to the bookstore. It's all coming clear now...




message 6: by Chris (new)

Chris (ChrisCrow) | 1 comments I don't think I have a real answer for you, but wondered pretty much the same thing. Often I Google the topic/crime/person and look through some titles there. Usually I will go on Amazon, Goodread or other book review sites to read some of the reviews on a couple of books on the same crime. It's hard to find the best one. I try to choose based on the number of purchases and/or good reviews. Sadly, that doesn't always work. I've found myself purchasing several different books on the same crime many, many times to try and get all the pieces to the puzzle eventually. I hope someone has a better idea!


message 7: by Fishface (last edited Feb 28, 2016 10:38AM) (new)

Fishface | 11845 comments I think there's real value in reading more than one book on a case. But some of them are just deep-dyed crap. With all the good books out there on Jeff Dahmer, why waste a second or a minute on Jeffery Dahmer?

Maybe a better question is this: how do you weed out the lousy ones?

EDIT: Think of Jack the Ripper. As William McNamara's character pointed out in the movie COPYCAT, there are more books on the stands about Jack the Ripper than there are about Abraham Lincoln. Even the non-fiction ones normally prove to be, well, fictional. But here's the thing: in the attempt made by every Tom, Dick and Harry to prove that his great-uncle, or the Queen's portrait painter, or a successful middle-class businessman later murdered himself was definitely, positively Jack the Ripper, we get no real answers about the case itself -- but we get an incredible life frieze of where everyone was and what everyone was doing in and around Whitechapel during the Ripper murders. That in itself is worth something. At least to me! And many of the arguments made to support this or that theory of Jack's true identity -- just about every one of them blatantly ridiculous -- make me feel we're whittling down the list of suspects, one book at a time.


message 8: by Lady ♥ Belleza, Gif Princesa (new)

Lady ♥ Belleza (bella_foxx) | 3348 comments Mod
This is why New York is the best city in the world!

a) The Strand - 18 miles of books
b) numerous used book stores
c) street vendors with used books.


message 9: by Shelley (last edited Feb 28, 2016 02:51PM) (new)

Shelley | 1225 comments I agree there's value in reading different books on the same crime especially if they are from very different perspectives like law enforcement, defense, friends and family, psychologists, etc.

I will look at new releases on Amazon to get ideas. I also get a lot of cheap used true crime books from Amazon. Kinda fun getting books in the mail from all over Canada, US and UK.

I look at reviews on Goodreads. Sometimes while reading a review on a book, another book or author is mentioned and recommended and I go look them up. I get recommendations from places like here as well. If my library gets a new true crime book in, I will read it because it's available. :-) Same thing with used books. If the price is too good to pass up, I grab it.

A good place to get books that are free is Open Library. It's especially good for older out-of-print books. They use OCR to scan printed books and produce PDF's and ePub. Some will have the odd formatting issue but still very readable. OCR technology is getting better all the time. I just got 'Die Song' that Fishface recommended today from Open Library. I am reading it now.

With all that, I still spend more money than I should on books but what the heck! :) There are many worse vices I could have.


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