Great and Horrible News Book Cover

Great and Horrible News
Murder and Mayhem in Early Modern Britain

By Blessin Adams

Enter the sensational and gory world of early modern England, where trials were gossipy events and executions were public spectacles. Follow the pursuit of a fugitive killer and the unraveling of a suspected staged suicide through the emerging science of forensic pathology. Uncover the true stories of murder and criminal investigation, pieced together from original research using court records, coroner's inquests, and more.
Experience the heart-wrenching story of a mother trying to clear her daughter's name amidst the accusations of infanticide and murder, and see how real people confronted the extraordinary crises of death and murder. Despite their cruel historical laws and attitudes, these intensely personal stories may appear shockingly familiar to us today.
"Great and Horrible News!" explores the strange history of death and murder in early modern England and reveals how some things, such as our fascination with murder trials and the persuit of justice, have not changed.

"A true crime treat from former police officer Blessin Adams. Great and Horrible News looks at what we can learn from early modern Britain when it comes to justice and criminality"

- Janice Hallett, on Twitter


"Perfect for fans of true-crime, this is a bone-chilling and brilliantly researched account of murder, cruelty, and scandal in Tudor and Stuart Britain. I couldn’t put it down, but I sincerely regret reading it alone in the countryside. A fantastic debut"

- Gareth Russell, author of Young and Damned and Fair


About the Author

Blessin Adams traded police work investigating today’s crime in the Norfolk Constabulary for academia, tracing the lives and deaths of people in early modern England. Blessin received her doctorate following research in early modern English law and literature at the University of East Anglia. As a fan of true crime she is fascinated by historical stories of murder and justice. She lives in Norfolk with her husband and two dogs, and is a beekeeper in her spare time.

Photograph of Blessin Adams


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'O Murder, lust and murder,
is the foule sinke of sin.'

Murder Upon Murder - 1635