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Publisher's Summary

On October 24, 1890, a woman's mutilated and lifeless body was discovered on a pile of rubbish in Hampstead, North London. Her arms were lacerated, her face crushed and bloodied, and her head almost completely severed from her body. A mile away a blood-soaked stroller was found leaning against a residential gate. The dead baby's body, hidden beneath a nettle bush, was not located until the following morning.

So began the incredible story of the Hampstead Tragedy.

Eventually, Scotland Yard knocked on the door of 2 Priory Street, home to Mary Eleanor Pearcey, the pretty 24-year-old mistress of the victim's husband, whose crimes inspired speculation that Jack the Ripper was a woman, and whose dying request was as bizarre and mysterious as her life.

The first full-length examination of the extraordinary case, Woman at the Devil's Door is a thrilling look at a notorious murderess and the webs she wove.

©2018 Sarah Beth Hopton (P)2018 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Woman at the Devil's Door

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good book, sloppy audiobook

This is a solid book. Good subject, great research, well put together. But as an audiobook it's emblematic of a big problem within the industry. The narrator isn't glaringly awful like some others, but a whole load of small problems really add up to an irritating listen. Too many audiobooks feel this way -- rushed, sloppy, dashed-off and un-cared about. There's lazy enunciation (one more "dint" for "didn't" and I'd have slapped her), easily checked place name mispronounciation, badly handled phrasing of complex sentences, and it just all feels like a first take that nobody bothered to listen to before they called it done and went home. And I'm afraid that's exactly what happened here, and seems to happen to so many other books that deserve better. Obviously not everything can be produced like an all-star audio drama, but this blatant and abundant laziness of quality is an insult to the entire audience. Just care a little. A little research, a little editing, a little effort. It doesn't seem too big a request.

20 people found this helpful

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Really Interesting

It was written in a way that you get super involved in the story early on. It gives both sides which I like, and kind of leaves you to decide from there. It was really interesting and I had never heard of this case before. Good for true crime fans.

4 people found this helpful

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excellant research, reading and thoughts.

I am planning to add the hard copy to my collection. Hope you also enjoy.

6 people found this helpful

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Amazed

somehow I can't help but feel conflicted for Mary Eleanor. and her mother Charlotte bless her heart! she is the victim along with the siblings and parents of Phoebe. it's always interesting to me how the law was handled during this time because it's so long ago but still very recent. if you're a murderino or murderina you should give this account a chance.

2 people found this helpful

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mehh, incorrectly titled

this book would have said that it was a commentary on the cultural implications and effects on and from this case. if the author only wrote on the case, it would have been like a 5 chapter book. the reader learns extraneous history of the lawyers, journalists, parents etc. definitely not worth the time.

1 person found this helpful

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Good, quick read

Great job by both the author and narrator. They did well on bringing to life the people involved in the case.

1 person found this helpful

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Worth a listen if you enjoy history

fascinating story about a case I had never heard of before. the story does go out of order of events a bit, and there are so many names included, which both make the story hard to follow. but the history nerd in me loved the references to forensics and psychology in the Victorian Era.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent true story,

Excellent research and put together storyline. The narrator was great. pleasant voice and most of the time I tended to think she was the author, but of course, it was that she had such a smooth presentation. I'll be looking for more from this author and from the narrator.

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Ok Story

The narrator is excellent with a matter of fact tone with enough inflection appropriate to the subject matter. The story was depressing but well written. I’d not heard of this famous Victorian murder. Horrific

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Narrator extremely dull

and mispronounces several names and words. For such a compelling story, she manages to make it sound unbearably boring.

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Profile Image for Flying Fluskey
  • Flying Fluskey
  • 09-14-21

Questionable narrator choose

It was an interesting true crime tale but lord, listening to an Erican narrator butcher place name was painful. Glouw-ster road, Bury Street Edmunds etc etc. It was extremely jarring. Why not find a native British narrator or at least check them?

5 people found this helpful

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  • Shaun V. Hewitt
  • 08-27-21

Over padded

This is a story I know nothing about, so I was looking forward to listening to this book, I was especially happy that it was free from the wonderful Audible.com
My pleasure didn't last long. This is a seven hour book which should have been three hours at most. It is heavily padded with extraneous details which add nothing to the story, which is largely taken from newspaper articles of the time.
The narrator was also a massive disappointment. If you are looking for someone to narrate a story about a Victorian British murder, why pick an American to voice it? I will look for other book with this narrator, she really has a lovely voice, just not suitable for a traditional good old British Jack the Ripper type story.
Disappointing all round.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for J E BEASLEY
  • J E BEASLEY
  • 10-17-21

Not gripping

My main disappointment was with the narrator, who mispronounced so many English names. It also grated that American pronunciation was used for common words even though this is a quintessentially English story.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Clark
  • 02-18-22

Poor pronunciation let's this down.

This is a fascinating story but would have been better read by someone from the UK that would pronounce the names correctly. I found this quite distracting from the story. Otherwise it was an interesting story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • michelle
  • 11-07-21

BAD CHOICE OF ACTOR

Why a non English voice artist was chosen to read a period book set in London is beyond me.
The voice artist had a lovely voice but her pronunciation of areas and street names etc were often terribly annoying.
it's just basics but seem to have been completely ignored.

1 person found this helpful

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  • krissi
  • 08-16-21

True story........made boring.

This is a classic victorian murder, albeit not too famous, with which I was familiar.
I could not go beyond chapter two because of the ridiculous detail, which was sheer waffle, and the stilted, scripted narration.
Not surprised it was a freebie.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Maggsie
  • 05-05-22

Interesting

An interesting, sad and frustrating account of a story I hadn't heard before. The narration was easy to listen to and although I noticed a couple of mispronunciations of English place names (Bury STREET Edmunds instead of Bury SAINT Edmunds and NorWITCH for Norwich), she didn't do too badly for an American!

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  • Jo
  • 04-01-22

Get a British narrator

A British murder story should have a British narrator who knows how to pronounce British location names. Extremely off pointing. It’s a shame as it’s a good book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr N.G.Potter
  • 03-21-22

why an American reader.

This is an account of a murder and subsequent trial of a woman in London. I found the American reader a major distraction with mispronounced place names or Americanised intonation. This was crying out for an Enlish reader with knowledge of these places.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Corsaire
  • 03-20-22

Disappointing story, disappointingly read

A murder happens. The identity of the murderer is clear almost immediately: the murderer is arrested and on trial within a week. The outcome is never in any doubt. The whole of the book is a slow, 'and-then-and-then' account without suspense or even an interesting hinterland. As several others have said, the choice of narrator is a poor one too. Why an American voice was chosen at all for this very London tale isn't clear - but the repetitive, uninterested voice with occasional mispronunciations is jarring, and adds nothing to an already underwhelming story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Robyn
  • 05-18-22

Interesting

An unusual and very sad story well told. The author paces it well, giving additional information at just the right intervals to keep the listener interested. It's also a glimpse of working class London Society at the end of the 19th century so well worth a read.

Always best to select a narrator familiar with pronunciation of English place names - mispronunciations detract from an otherwise creditable performance. Besides, a North American accent is not a good fit with a 100% English (London) story.