• Murder by Gaslight

  • Dead Men Do Tell Tales
  • By: Troy Taylor
  • Narrated by: Charles Huddleston
  • Length: 16 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Murder by Gaslight: The Authenticated History of Dr. H.H. Holmes, His Insidious Murder Castle, the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and the Horrors of Gaslight Era Chicago

Chicago during the Gaslight Era was a place that embodied both the elegance of America’s Gilded Age and the vice, crime, and sin of the most corrupt city in the country. During the 1880s and early 1890s, Chicago was home to killers, thieves, gamblers, con artists, and whores–and hosted perhaps the greatest World’s Fair in our nation’s history. It was to this place that a man named H.H. Holmes was drawn like a moth to the flame, and Chicago embraced him as one of its own. Charming and dapper, Holmes soon slashed his way into American history with devious schemes, unconscionable swindles–and bloody murders. Killing for profit and convenience, he claimed an unknown number of victims with his infamous “Castle” on Chicago’s South Side, a grandiose monstrosity that was filled with trapdoors, winding passages, secret doors and staircases, torture chambers, a crematorium, and worse. Then, finally on the run from the law, he left a trail of corpses behind him before his past crimes finally caught up with him and led to what the newspapers called the “Trial of the Century”.

In this spellbinding book, author Troy Taylor tackles the chilling tale of H.H. Holmes, cutting through the myths and exaggerations that have plagued the strange story for years and presenting a clear and concise account of Holmes’ murders, his swindles, his confessions, and the myriad of lies that effortlessly spilled from his lips. How many people did Holmes really kill? Who was the intrepid detective who finally brought about his downfall? And did a supernatural curse really surround those who sent Holmes to the gallows? You’ll find out in one of the author’s best books so far!

©2013 Troy Taylor (P)2022 Troy Taylor

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best HH Homes book ever!

Troy Taylor always digs deep for the truth in the history - not satisfied with myth or sensationalized tales. If you want the truth of the notorious HH Homes and all his evil deeds, this is the book for you. Taylor takes the reader along for a ride to all the places stained by Homes and allows our emotions to pull us along.
The performance of Mr. Huddleston was perfect for this book and the music enhanced the experience. He is rapidly becoming one of my favorite Audible readers.

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Listened by Nightlight

This is a fascinating book. Imagine life in the 1890’s, early Chicago history, and a deceitful, intelligent, and ruthless main character. H. H. Holmes never ceased to amaze me with his antics, Chicago ‘castle’, and by living multiple lives. Yet I sympathized with his numerous unfortunate victims. Justice eventually prevails thanks to dogged Pinkerton detectives (there’s a short history about this agency), but it hardly seemed enough for the carnage that Holmes wreaked. Charles Huddleston was superb as narrator, adding depth, emotion, and character accents to the story. I particularly enjoyed the period music including gramophone, piano, strings, and even a barbershop quartet. They highlighted important passages and chapter ends, and transported you back to that time. Overall, it was extremely entertaining and I’m grateful never having to cross paths with a villain like Holmes.

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Read Adam Selzer's book instead.

The Good: Narrator is fantastic. It's read clearly and with great enthusiasm. Sure, he pronounces half of the names incorrectly and dons a bizarre Southern drawl for some "characters," it was easily the best part. Overall, it's an entertaining book with just enough lurid detail to keep you engaged. The Bad: Perpetuates TONS of false and/or unconfirmed rumors, such as the Castle being erected for the purpose or murder hotel guests attending the World's Fair (The HHH Castle was NEVER a functioning hotel and those who stayed there were generally employees and contractors living there longer-term). It's maddening, especially since the author goes out of his way to acknowledge just how much of H.H. Holmes's legacy is invented myth and not supported by the evidence. Troy Taylor presents information that Erik Larson (The Devil the White City) admits in his own book that he completely made-up for dramatic effect as FACT. All that is bad enough, but don't worry, there's more! He calls sex workers "prostitutes" and speaks about them with the spurious judgment of a sensational crime journalist from a century ago. He says "committed suicide" even though that terminology is considered, at best, extremely insensitive and, at worst, completely inappropriate. Suicide is not a crime or something done to you against your will. STOP saying "committed suicide." Even bluntly saying "killed themselves" is more appropriate. The Ugly: The G-D music. It was cute the first couple times to build atmosphere, but it almost killed this book for me. EVERY chapter you can expect up to a minute grating, old-timey music (often repeated) and if that's not bad enough, don't worry, you will also get music every chapter break. It's less sensational but not as entertaining as The Devil in the White City and doesn't even hold a candle to Adam Selzer's H.H. Holmes.

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  • crochetdiva
  • 06-25-22

The most comprehensive account yet

I've read, listened, and watched, many accounts of H H Holmes, but this is the most comprehensive I've come across yet. This covers most of the adult life of the man, and through most of his killings. I say most, because I don't think anyone ever knew the complete total. Very well written, and brilliantly narrated.