The original Midsummer murders?

It looks like the most idyllic rural scene of utter calm, doesn’t it? Well yes, but this was also the location for a nineteenth century murder most foul that is the subject of a new book by Peter Moore called ‘Damn His Blood’

“The greatest of all miracles
I’m going to unfold,
Of two atrocious murders
As true as ever was told,

A horrid band of miscreants
A cruel plot did lay
‘Gainst Parker, their Church Minister,
To take his life away”

Oddingley in Worcestershire was a small village of not more than a hundred people when the rector was brutally murdered. It was a case that gripped High Society and, extraordinarily, was not solved until twenty four years later. As can be seen by this newspaper article (kindly supplied by the publisher Chatto and Windus) it was major news in 1830

Peter Moore is a writer who also teaches on the MA in Non-Fiction at City University. ‘Damn His Blood’ is his first book, it is currently Radio 4’s Book of the Week and will be available in the shop from Thursday 21st June.

This promises to be one of those tales of historical misdeeds that grips and informs. It is certainly a book that I am looking forward to getting my grubby paws on…

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