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Mango Newsletter June 1, 2019

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  • Mango Newsletter June 1, 2019

    Dear Reader,

    Welcome to the new edition of Dial M for Mango, the newsletter from true-crime publisher Mango Books. In this issue we look at the latest titles from the Mango stable, along with new offerings from our police history imprint, Blue Lamp Books. These include the next title in the official Notable British Trials series, an updated and revised republishing of Robert Smith's 25 Years of The Diary of Jack the Ripper, and the memoirs of former detective Jim Smith, which expose the deep extent of corruption at Scotland Yard in the 1970s.

    Edited by Sally Smith
    Notable British Trials No. 87
    Death by gunshot. That was the somewhat belated opinion of the doctor who examined Bella Wright’s body. Death by gunshot in a lonely Leicestershire lane, on the evening of 5 July 1919.

    Initially, police enquiries failed to disperse the shadows which enveloped the case. Bella – a free-spirited twenty-one year old – had been seen shortly before her death with a man, cycling the roads outside Leicester, but that man had vanished into nothingness. No trace of him could be detected.

    Months went by before the fortuitous discovery of the clue – a dismantled green bicycle lying on the bed of a canal – which would lead the police to their elusive suspect. Ronald Light, the bicycle’s erstwhile owner, was arrested and charged with Bella’s murder.

    And yet, in some ways, this was only the beginning of the mystery. Who was Light? What had he endured in France during the war? Had he returned to peaceful society traumatised and weaponised? And, if so, what, if anything, firmly connected him to the tragedy in the twilit lane?

    The trial, which began at Leicester Castle on 9 June 1920, was illuminated by the creative and daring defence set up by Sir Edward Marshall Hall – a performance much admired by a young Norman Birkett, who was appearing for the prosecution. But would Light obtain the benefit of any doubts which Marshall Hall managed to place in the minds of the jury? Or would he find himself tangled forever in the threads of the prosecution’s circumstantial case?

    In this centenary year of the Green Bicycle murder case, this book reproduces the testimony given at the trial, together with an introduction, a chronology and appendices.

    To be published July 2019. Pre-order before 30th June 2019 to receive a signed copy.

    Already available:
    Trial of Israel Lipski (NBT 84)
    Trial of Louise Masset (NBT 85)
    Trial of Percy Lefroy Mapleton (NBT 86)

    By Robert Smith
    The True History of The Diary of Jack the Ripper, by the diary's custodian and owner, Robert Smith, is a revised softcover edition of 25 Years of The Diary of Jack the Ripper, first published in 2017 in a limited hardback edition of 500 copies. Corrections have been made and new information added where applicable, including some major revelations about the diary’s provenance.

    The author's purpose is to offer a record and an assessment of what has been discovered about the physical artefact and its contents, since it first emerged on 9th March 1992. As in the first edition, the book features a full-size colour facsimile of the diary. With it to hand, you can observe far more clearly the original words, grammatical errors, handwriting, variations of ink flow, blots, blemishes, and the true colour of the ink, about which much misinformation has been disseminated.

    So much more is known about the diary now than when Robert Smith's company, Smith Gryphon Ltd, published 'The Diary of Jack the Ripper' by Shirley Harrison on 4th October 1993. Many have claimed it to be a modern forgery, but if it is a hoax, why hasn’t the proof of who forged it, and how and when it was fabricated, surfaced over the course of more than a quarter of a century?

    The diary is either an original document written circa 1888/89, or it is a modern fake. There is no other feasible option. This book aims to demonstrate that the diary is a genuine Victorian document by using the best knowledge so far available, to establish the writer’s identity and the diary’s history, dating back, probably, 130 years. The author's hope is that readers of this book will then be well enough informed to decide whether the diary’s purported author really was James Maybrick, and if so, was he Jack the Ripper?

    Featuring chapters on the diary's provenence, the physical and scientific evidence, how the complex relationship between Michael and Anne Barrett impacted on and nearly wrecked the search for the diary's true provenance, and controversial topics such as "tin match box empty", The True History of The Diary of Jack the Ripper includes an annotated transcript, with extensive notes.

    * A4 softcover
    * 168pp
    * Full colour facsimile of the diary's 64 pages
    * 18.00 +p&p
    * Published on 31st July 2019

    Pre-order before 30th June 2019 to receive a copy signed by the author.

    By Jim Smith
    Born and raised in the tenements of Govan, Glasgow, Jim Smith decided on a career with the police from an early age. He joined the Metropolitan Police in 1962 and was posted to H Division - London's East End - where he learned the job, before joining the newly-formed Special Patrol Group and being involved in operations across the Met's district from surveillance of Soho's porn barons to the hunt for cop killer Harry Roberts.

    In 1968 he transferred to the Criminal Intelligence Department at New Scotland Yard, working on hundreds of cases over the next six years, during which time he earned the British Empire Medal for gallantry for his part in ending the terrorist siege of the Indian High Commission in 1973. Jim's career within the Met brought him into contact with the full range of criminals and criminal activity - including, ultimately, corruption within Scotland Yard itself.

    In UNDAUNTED, Jim exposes the corrupt cabal in the Yard and relates how he was targeted by a small group of officers there who engineered his transfer out of Scotland Yard, which eventually saw him leaving the job he loved to spend more than 40 years working as a private investigator, working on cases ranging from insurance scams to child kidnapping.

    With a wealth of colourful and sometimes shocking stories, UNDAUNTED traces Jim's police days and his subsequent work as a private investigator.

    First published in 2009, this revised version has been updated and completely re-edited, with new illustrations and index.

    "This book blows the lid off corrupt senior officers at Scotland Yard during the 1970s.... a gripping read."
    Dick Kirby, author of Scotland Yard's Gangbuster

    Pre-order to receive a signed copy of the limited edition hardback: general sale copies will paperback only.

    By Louis Berk and Rachel Kolsky
    We're thrilled to be published the next collaboration between Louis Berk and Rachel Kolsky following their successful titles Whitechapel in 50 Buildings and Secret Whitechapel.

    Whitechapel Doors chronicles the social and political history of this iconic area of London through the entrances and portals of its buildings. Once a rural backwater favoured by the wealthy and the retired, it became a dark and sinister presence in the 19th and 20th centuries but in the current era is being transformed into a modern addition to the City that it borders.

    Illustrated with over one hundred photographs by Louis Berk and narrated by award-winning London Blue Badge Tourist Guide Rachel Kolsky, the doors range from humble residences to the grandeur of public and commercial buildings, each with their own fascinating story to tell.

    A4 softcover, 120 pages full colour throughout.

    Click here to buy now in softcover (15.00 +pp).

    By Peter Kennison and Alan Cook
    The starting point for many scholars studying the art and science of crime investigation wrongly begins with the creation of Robert Peel’s New Police in 1829, yet basic policing and investigative elements had been tried and tested at least 80 years before that. In mid-Georgian times, the playwright and magistrate Henry Fielding realised the ineffectiveness of the Parish Police Parochial Watch system that press-ganged traders and merchants into doing their civil duty as Constables. Each Parish Watch operated independently within its own boundary, but since crime fails to respect boundaries many perpetrators escaped. Crimes committed often went unreported for want of a real central police organisation.

    An innovative plan was needed, and through Fielding’s determination the Bow Street Public Office became the “Centre Office” for victims reporting their crimes in and around London. This was the first police station and court building; a hub for crime administration, accommodation for police officers, a place to detain prisoners. Fielding established the Criminal Records system of searchable registers at the Centre Office. Gathering intelligence on crime and criminals not only provided for the first time an understanding of criminality, but also allowed offenders to be caught after the crime had been committed. Fielding also formed the Foot Patroles, an organised and regulated body of men, to combat riots, gangs and street disorder, thus establishing an early police sub-culture.

    This detailed narrative seeks to go behind the scenes of Bow Street to a secret world denied to the majority. The professional and private lives of the Justices and Officers - often called the ‘Runners’ - are examined here for the first time, revealing their secrets, their experiences and their brave exploits which established them as honest thief-takers, constables and the first early detectives.

    Available now in hardback format.
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