If you've been following Rick Geary's terrific series of graphic novels, A Treasury of Victorian Murder, here's some great news: the latest entry deals with a case that's rather less familiar than many of the previous and, therefore, adds genuine suspense to the many things to love about the books. Of course, if you haven't been reading them, shame on you.
Madeleine Smith was an innocent enough young woman from an upstanding Glasgow family, or so she appeared. But then, in March 1857, a young clerk, Emile L'Anglier knocked on the door of the boarding house where he was staying, staggered to bed, and was dead by morning. The first shock came when it was discovered that he'd been the victim of a massive arsenic poisoning; the second when Miss Smith was charged with the murder of this lowly French emigre. But what really fanned the flames of scandal was the recovery of a set of love letters that L'Anglier had kept, even though Miss Smith had asked him to destroy them.
As always, Rick Geary has a jolly good time with this material and his Ditko-esque art makes for a fascinating counterpoint to the macabre murder mystery. One is reluctant to reveal too much more about the story--suffice it to say that Arlen Specter will feel vindicated...and not for his magic bullet theory.
Copyright 1998-2015 Orrin Judd