“Journalist Colquhoun has crafted a marvelously suspenseful account of the investigation, a trans-Atlantic manhunt, and the ensuing trial. This is an intriguing story about emerging forensics and also an engaging social history, focusing on how a spectacular crime, the first on a British railroad, riveted public attention.”
— Booklist on Murder In the First Class Carriage
In July 1864, Thomas Briggs was traveling home after visiting his niece and her husband for dinner. He boarded a first-class carriage on the 9:45 pm Hackney service of the North London railway. At Hackney, two bank clerks discovered blood in the seat cushions as well as on the floor, windows, and sides of the carriage. A bloodstained hat was found on the seat along with a broken link from a watch chain. The race to identify the killer and catch him as he fled on a boat to America was eagerly followed by the public on both sides of the Atlantic. Kate Colquhoun tells a gripping tale of a crime that shocked the era.