Few things are more evocative of Victorian Britain than its criminals; they are, together with railways, gas lamps and swirling fog, vital ingredients in any Victorian melodrama. The truth, however, was often stranger, more thrilling and more horrifying than fiction. In this book, four eminent crime historians reveal the realities of this aspect of Victorian life, illuminating not just the criminals and their victims, but also the policemen, forensic scientists and others who rubbed shoulders with the nineteenth-century underworld. Notorious crimes – the Road Hill Murder, the Balham Mystery and Jack the Ripper – stand alongside long-forgotten, neglected cases; the most shocking and terrifying cases appear next to everyday horrors, some stunning and some merely sad. This unique work of reference deserves a place on every true crime reader’s bookshelf.