Crime Time is a collection of twenty riveting, page-turning, historic true crime stories from 1724 to 1913 covering a host of monstrous American and English criminals, their crimes and their punishment. It includes stories of criminals—men, women, and children—whose gruesome tales have been obscured by the passage of time.
Jack Conway (J. North Conway) was the author of seventeen nonfiction books and recipient of the 2019 John Curtis Award for Lifelong Learning in honor of his entire body of work. Other awardees include David McCullough.
He wrote a quartet of books on New York City during the Gilded Age: Queen of Thieves (2014), Bag of Bones (2012), The Big Policeman (2010), and King of Heists (2009). King of Heists was chosen as one of the top five books of the summer of 2009 by Reader’s Digest. Three of his books have been optioned for theatrical release. He was also an accomplished poet. His poems appeared in a variety of literary magazines, journals, and anthologies, including: Poetry; The Norton Book of Light Verse; The Nantucket Review; The Columbia Review; In A Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare, David Starkey and Paul J. Willis, editors, The University of Iowa Press; Folger Magazine, the flagship publication of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC; and The Antioch Review.
He worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for twenty-five years and taught English at Bristol Community College in Fall River, Massachusetts. He had previously taught at The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth; Bridgewater State University; Northeastern University; and Boston University’s College of Communication. He held a master’s degree from Vermont College and lived in Assonet, Massachusetts.
J. North Conway is a well-known author with a number of very successful books under his belt. This particular volume reads more like a collection of shorts rather than a single narrative, yet is none the less entertaining for that fact. Crime Time: Twenty True Tales of Murder, Madness, and Mayhem is a nice little volume taking a quick peek into a number of cases that, with or without a conviction, have both an interesting course of events and an interesting outcome.
NetGalley Review: 5 stars
Updated 05 Apr 2021
"The title Crime Time is perfection! As History and True Crime are amongst my favourite genres, I just had to read this and am very pleased I did. The author defines "crime" and then delves into the lives of 20 criminals and gangs from 1724-1923, their childhoods and upbringing, crimes themselves and their deaths (often executions). Not only does the author describe murder but also heists, bank robbing, kidnapping and shop lifting and the masterminds (and duds!) behind them. We also read about the origins of several expressions such as "double cross" and the story where dental evidence was first used. Talk about compelling! I hung onto every word.
"Of the twenty stories, several stand out to me including Gentleman Jack who could escape almost everything, including prisons and once even joined the search for a criminal. He even became a venerated hero. The youngest I read about was a bullying twelve-year-old girl who hung for the murder she committed over a basket of strawberries and revenge.
"Interestingly, criminals were often shown the results of their crime by the police to elicit responses including the murderer of the Girl in Green. Sometimes tickets were sold to attend sensational executions such as for Durgan who killed her employer in jealousy. Another story describes vigilantes and what they did to a terrifying gang. Many criminals kept corrupt politicians and police in their pockets through bribery and threats. The author also explains that some criminals repent yet others cast the blame in other directions such as women in general or former lovers.
"Many of these criminals had heinous childhoods but not all of them did; some grew up wealthy and privileged and others were professionals or from wealthy and esteemed families. Still others begged parents to take care of their children and bring them up honourably to avoid pitfalls.
"The photographs and newspaper clippings at the chapter headings are brilliant. I like that the author uses actual confessions, too. Those interested in history and true crime ought to read this.
"My sincere thank you to Lyons Press and NetGalley for the privilege of reading the e-ARC of this thought-provoking and arresting book."
— Brenda Carleton, Reviewer at Agora Books
NetGalley Review: 4 stars
Updated 04 Apr 2021
"Crime Time by J. North Conway is a collection of 20 different true crime stories. It explores many different crimes throughout history, many of which were firsts in the United States.
"This book was so full of great information. I loved how the author focused on lesser well-known crimes and criminals. Many of the stories also took place in my backyard of New York City, so I really appreciated learning more about the history of my hometown.
"True crime stories is a genre I usually do not go for but I’m a huge history buff, so I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and well researched. It’s obvious the author was really passionate about the subject.
"J. North Conway has written several other books on various historical topics and I will definitely be checking out his other works."
— Matthew Flick, Media at The Bookish Man
"An outstanding book. The book is well illustrated and the stories are well done and intriguing. I really enjoyed the way the author brought the characters to life and told their story. I found this book hard to put down. A great read for the true crime fans!
"Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review."
— Ron Baumer, Reviewer at Nawah Energy
Updated 03 Apr 2021
"Okay so I absolutely loved this book! I kinda figured that I was going to because I love both historical true crime and short stories so a book that combines both was pretty much a guaranteed win. I really enjoyed all the stories that were included and the way that the author gave you all the details you need without going too in depth, which leaves room for the reader to get a glimpse at the stories and to pick the ones that they want to learn more about.
"(I plan on looking into all of these in the future because they were all fascinating)
"I had heard of some of these stories but it was still nice to get a refresher and to see where they fit into the grand scheme of things. The stories hit all the main points and paint a really vivid picture of both the time and the people involved. It’s always fascinating to read about historical true crime and the punishments that were doled out for what now seems like petty crimes.
"The only actual issue that I have with this book is a very tiny thing, but if we’re being honest it pisses me off to no end and kind of makes me question some other things. There’s a small mention of Jack the Ripper and when talking his victims the author refers to them as prostitutes when this is proven to be false and I think it’s a dangerous assumption to continue making."
— Deanna Smith, Reviewer at deereadsthings
"I absolutely love true crime and this book was no exception. I loved the look into crimes I knew nothing or very little about. These stories were gruesome and disgusting which I loved."
— Caroline Craig David, Reviewer at @southernbellebooks on Instagram
Updated 01 Apr 2021
"I love this book about true crime stories. As a true crime connoisseur, the best ones are covered here. This will be extremely interesting to all readers."
— Lynn Beck, Reviewer at Washingtong Post Mag
Updated 31 mar 2021
"Interesting stories and written well. Even though most of the stories I've read before, it's a book well worth a read anyway. It was a nice way to spend the short time it took me to read."
— Norma Carroll, Consumer Reviewer
Last updated on 06 Apr 2021
"This is collection of true crime stories about American and English lawbreakers this time. There is a short story about each one, telling about what their crime was and what their punishment consisted of. This is my first book by this author, and I found it to be decently written for this type of subject. I'll be checking out some of his other titles in the future. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author J. North Conway, and the publisher."
— Valerie Shampine, consumer reviewer
"I received this book from netgalley for an honest review #netgalley
"I did enjoy this true crime I liked all the stories in it almost. Which over the years I've grown more picky. And this one I would honestly get four stars I think I found a new author to enjoy."
— Bland Bat Books Bakunzi, reviewer at Blind Bat Books
NetGalley Review: 3 stars
Last updated on 08 Apr 2021
"Crime Time is a compilation of stories about crime in the early 20th century. The stories and accompanying illustrations made for a great read.
"This was a fascinating read! True crime anthologies are fun to read through, and this one was well organized.
"Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review."
— Sophia Grande-Lawlor, reviewer at Bright Young Things
Last updated on 09 Apr 2021
"I loved almost all the reports. A couple of these people I had hear about, one even being from my home town, bundt many were obscure tales that I want to learn more about. Anyone who loves true crime from the turn of the century should check this out!"
— Adelaide McIntyre, consumer reviewer
Last updated on 10 Apr 2021
"This was an interesting collection of cases that I had not previously heard of.
"Fans of true crime and history books will enjoy this.
"I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book."
— K. M. Kenyon, consumer reviewer
Last updated on 12 Apr 2021
"It was surprising for me that there were still some of these criminals that I have not yet heard of. The short stories were entertaining, yet informative. This was a good non-fiction pick to break up these heavy fantasy books I've been reading."
— Rachel Henck, Librarian
last updated on 12 Apr 2021
"I requested this book because of my interest in true crime, particularly the historical variety, and I was not disappointed. Crime Time is an interesting book that covers a variety of true crime tales over three centuries. The crimes are mostly murder and some are definitely gruesome. There is also kidnapping, bank robbery, and criminal masterminds, both male and female. Each chapter is about a different crime and since none of the chapters are over long, it is a fairly quick read. The book is well-written and entertaining. I would certainly recommend this book for those who enjoy historical true crime.
"Thanks to NetGalley and Lyons Press for the free digital copy."
— Connie Yen, reviewer at Connie Yen