The Lady in the Cellar

The Lady in the Cellar 1

Murder, Scandal and Insanity in Victorian Bloomsbury

by Sinclair McKay

Hardback Publication Date: 30/10/2018

4/5 Rating 1 Reviews
RRP  $39.99 $33.50

Bestselling author Sinclair McKay sheds light on a murder in the heart of Victorian London, which intrigued and scandalised Bloomsbury society.

Number 4 Euston Square was a respectable boarding house, well-kept and hospitable, like many others in Victorian London. But beneath this very ordinary veneer, there was a murderous darkness at the heart of this particular house.

On 8th May 1879, the corpse of former resident, Matilda Hacker, was uncovered by chance in the coal cellar. The investigation that followed this macabre discovery stripped bare the shadow-side of Victorian domesticity, throwing the lives of everyone within into an extraordinary and destructive maelstrom.

For someone in Number 4 Euston Square must have had full knowledge of what had happened to Matilda Hacker. Someone in that house had killed her. How could the murderer prove so amazingly elusive? Bestselling author, Sinclair McKay delves into this intriguing story and sheds light on a mystery that eluded the detectives of Scotland Yard.

Social & cultural history
Publication Date:
Quarto Publishing Group UK
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):
Sinclair McKay

Sinclair McKay is the bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bletchley Park, The Lost World of Bletchley Park,The Secret Life of Fighter Command and The Secret Listeners for Aurum, as well as histories of Hammer films, the James Bond films and the pastime of rambling. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

4 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • A body in the cellar in Victorian London

    by on

    I’d never heard of this murder in Euston Square in London so this was a fascinating read. Imagine a body found in a cellar which has been there for two years at least? How, even in London with its slums and growing chaotic population does someone go missing without being reported? When it’s a respectable woman in a respectable boarding house, the mystery grows

    The boarding house was a fascinating mix of immigrants of German and Luxembourg descent. There’s a quirky bunch living there and no one seems to have any idea of the body or who it might have been. The police are called and the trial of the century begins..

    Apart from being areal life crime story, this is a fascinating look at London itself. The locations sadly are no longer there and I think there should be an old fashioned map in the book as real ones don’t show many of the actual locations! The house is now in the area of Euston Station for example.

    I also enjoyed the way the main story was enhanced with stories of other scandals and historic events of the time. This is a trial narrative so could have been a bit staid, but it was an fascinating look into London Victorian society at the time.
    And that poor woman in the cellar. Is the mystery finally solved? I’ll leave that up to you. For me it remains an historically complex mystery on many levels.