#allthebookreviews – A Murder in Music City by Michael Bishop

Some true crime into the mix for the #allthebookreviews duo!

Thanks to Prometheus Books for the advanced copies in exchange for our honest reviews.

A MURDER IN MUSIC CITY by Michael Bishop – released yesterday (September 5th)

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Chandra’s Thoughts: 4/5 stars

True crime is almost the only nonfiction I’ll read (almost).  Give me a story about a murder that involves a cover up and an innocent man that goes to jail for the crime and I’m sold! Probably my biggest gripe with any nonfiction that I read are all the dang footnotes. While this one at least didn’t have them at the bottom of the page, the footnotes were prominent throughout the book and the little number notifications peppered throughout made me feel I was reading a textbook at times.  Luckily all the notes were kept at the back of the book.

Bishop, who became fascinated with this case after finding a file on the murder of Paula Herring, is quite the amateur sleuth.  The book reads like a documentary, which I suppose is basically what it is.  Mostly it seemed like facts being thrown out at you.. but what is truly fascinating are the interviews.  These bring the story to life and the second half of the book really is where I got sucked into the story.

Since this is told strictly through Bishop’s own journey into researching this case, it can, at times, read a little flat in terms of reaching certain points into the investigation – the plot could get lost at times.  He does, however, bring in a ton of historical facts to tie into all the holes he found within this case and his theory of corruption is completely plausible.

What I loved best?  The epilogue of “Where Are They Now” for the characters introduced in this book and the Index that provided pictures so you could visualize what you just read.

A fantastic true crime read.

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars

What’s better than a great murder mystery? A great TRUE murder mystery, of course! True crime will always be a genre that I’ll love. Not only do you learn about someone’s history, but you also get to see the actual investigation and the forensics behind solving a case. So when I saw A MURDER IN MUSIC CITY by Michael Bishop I had to read it! A murder that was presumed to be solved is now being reopened because a secret file is found? I need to know more!

The setting is Nashville in 1964, the 18 year old babysitter, Paula Herring is brutally murdered in her home while her 6 year old brother sleeps through it. Months later, the son of a judge is convicted and sentenced for her murder. Fast forward a few decades, Michael Bishop (the author) comes across a secret file with information pertaining to the murder case that points in a completely different direction that what the public was told. With the help of world renowned forensic pschologist, Richard Walter (known as the living Sherlock Holmes), they search for the truth.

This true crime story includes interviews with the original defense attorney as well as a murder confession from someone else. The information that the author presents shows a massive cover up and conspiracy within the case and it’s a very intriguing story to read. The research shows and I loved learning some of the history as well – this helped fill in some gaps! The epilogue of “Where Are They Now” was fascinating and seeing the photos of the characters was great. It gave the characters and the story life.

Overall, if you love true crime and don’t mind a straightforward approach to the information (footnotes included in the back of the book, historical information, and reads more like a research document than novel) then you’ll love this!

 

True crime fans should definitely go pick this one up!

–Jess

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