Furious Hours, Casey Cep

Staff Pick

Cep's true-crime narrative is the perfect combination of author biography and murder mystery that you never knew you wanted. A staff writer at The New Yorker, Cep unravels the story behind the unwritten book that plagued Harper Lee to the end of her life. The work is split into three sections, each dedicated to a different player in the story: the reverend (who murdered loved ones to claim their life insurance money), the lawyer (who defended the reverend and then the man who killed the killer), and Harper Lee (who becomes a character herself in the tale of the murder investigation). While Lee's extensive notes aided Cep's journalistic account, Cep's own passionate and lyrical writing kept me breathless until the very last sentence.

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101972052
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - September 29th, 2020

Don't Call It a Cult, by Sarah Berman

Staff Pick

I am a crime junkie through and through and nothing captures my attention quite like a good cult. Oh, I’m not supped to call it that. Erm, nothing captures my attention quite like a good sex trafficking pyramid scheme/harem disguised as a self-help organization. From NXIVM’s beginnings as an MLM in the 1990s, to the demise of its leader in 2019, Berman expertly lays out every odd detail of  what's been dubbed a “sex cult.” Warning: there’s rape, branding, and…volleyball? Also, the Dalai Lama.  

Don't Call it a Cult: The Shocking Story of Keith Raniere and the Women of NXIVM Cover Image
ISBN: 9781586422752
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Steerforth - April 20th, 2021

Furious Hours by Casey Cep

Staff Pick

Had things gone according to plan, Harper Lee would have followed To Kill a Mockingbird with a true-crime book called The Reverend, an account of Willie Maxwell, an African American preacher from Alabama accused of killing five members of his family, one by one, in the 1970s. Determined to stick to the facts--unlike her friend Truman Capote, whose In Cold Blood Lee had helped with--Lee spent a year in Maxwell’s hometown reporting the story, but never managed to get the book written. Working from Lee’s notes, letters, and the historical record, Casey Cep, in her powerful debut, has. Furious Hours (Knopf, $26.95) in fact is three books in one. Along with the account of how and why Maxwell committed the murders—including the possible role played by voodoo—Cep examines the relationship between Maxwell and his lawyer, a white liberal who defended Maxwell through several trials, and then, after Maxwell was shot at his stepdaughter’s funeral, defended his killer. Clearly, Lee was on to a great story, and Cep adds to it with a rare inside look at one of our most reclusive writers, delving into Lee’s complicated and often contradictory attitudes to race and the South and correcting the many misunderstandings that have crept into the Lee legend.

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101947869
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf - May 7th, 2019