The Curious Habits of Dr Adams: A 1950s Murder Mystery

by Jane Robins

History The Real World

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Perfect for fans of Kate Summerscale, this is the chilling true tale of Dr John Bodkin Adams, the family doctor suspected of murdering 160 of his patients in 1950s Eastbourne.

The Curious Habits of Dr Adams: A 1950s Murder Mystery Synopsis

In July 1957, the press descended in droves on the south-coast town of Eastbourne. An inquest had just been opened into the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Mrs Bobbie Hullett. She died after months of apparent barbiturate abuse - the drugs prescribed to calm her nerves by her close friend and doctor, Dr John Bodkin Adams. The inquest brought to the surface years of whispered suspicion that had swept through the tea rooms, shops and nursing homes of the town. The doctor's alarming influence over the lives, deaths and finances of wealthy widows had not gone unnoticed - it was rumoured that the family doctor had been on a killing spree that spanned decades and involved 300 suspicious cases. Superintendent Hannam of Scotland Yard was called in to investigate.

The Curious Habits of Dr Adams brilliantly brings to life the atmosphere of post-war England, and uses a wealth of new documents to follow the twists and turns of an extraordinary Scotland Yard murder enquiry. As expertly crafted as the best period detective novel, this book casts an entertainingly chilling light on a man reputed to be one of England's most prolific serial killers.

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The Curious Habits of Dr Adams: A 1950s Murder Mystery Press Reviews

A gripping tale that bears an uncanny resemblance to the case of Harold Shipman. - Sunday Telegraph 

Vividly characterised, wonderfully atmospheric and thoroughly gripping. - Evening Standard Book of the Year 

A compelling account of a murder mystery. -  Oldie

One to keep you alert on the beach. - Observer 

This is a compelling, very well-written story. It will feed the British love of a good murder mystery. Robins gives her own verdict in the final chapter but her readers are the jury. - Scotsman

Vividly characterised, wonderfully atmospheric and thoroughly riveting. - Daily Mail

The case against Adams as a serial killer is a classic of British crime, but Jane Robins takes nothing for granted. She re-examines the evidence, consults modern experts (some of whom worked on the enquiry into the activities of Dr Harold Shipman) and presents her own perturbing conclusions. On the basis of this book, would you have convicted the curiously behaved Dr Adams? - Saga

She tells the story with great brio, and a real feeling for the vanished social milieu in which Adams operated - Lynn Barber, Sunday Times

Jane Robins has written an endlessly enjoyable book, which reads like an Agatha Christie - Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday 


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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781848544727
Publication date: 12/09/2013
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781848544727
Publication date: 12th September 2013
Author: Jane Robins
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 368 pages
Genres: History, The Real World,
Categories: Crime & criminology,

About Jane Robins

Jane Robins began her career as a journalist with The Economist, the BBC & the Independent on Sunday. She has written three previous books of non-fiction, The Rebel Queen (Simon & Schuster) The Magnificent Spilsbury and The Curious Case of Dr. Adams (both John Murray).

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