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Detective Piggott's casebook: true tales of murder, madness and the rise of forensic science

Kevin Morgan
RRP $24.95
Published by Hardie Grant Books in association with the State Library of Victoria
Paperback 312pp Illustrated ISBN 9781742702650

Welcome to hell, a world at war. The streets of Melbourne – no longer a tidy grid, but fractured with laneways like cracks in old varnish; a hotchpotch of chaos, of shanties and factories, woodpiles and chimneys. Here crime flourishes, the damaged fester and the wicked plot: a circle of the damned into which strides Frederick Piggott — enforcer of the King's law.

This book presents for the first time the riveting inside facts on nine of the most important Victoria Police investigations of the early 20th century, drawing on the long-hidden personal papers of forensic pioneer, Frederick Piggott. Likened by his contemporaries to Sherlock Holmes, Piggott’s investigations — conducted in the shadow of World War I — covered the state's most gruesome and mysterious crimes.

These uncensored accounts expose the graphic and often perplexing nature of the period's criminal investigation work and point to the dawn of a new era in Australian crime detection — the rise of forensic science.

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