Book review ~ A Revolting Transaction ~ Barnaby Conrad



Most people in Providence know Barnaby Castle. It's an elaborate Victorian mansion on Broadway, which had been gliding gracefully into disrepair for years, until restoration began in the last couple of years. What most don't realize is that there's a murder mystery attached to the house.

Josephine Barnaby, the widow of the successful merchant who built the house, was murdered by poison in a bottle of "whiskey" that was sent to her through the mail. She was in Colorado, and the bottle was mailed from Boston, using stamps from Providence. It was the first known - and possibly only - case of murder by mail in the U.S. There's a collection of possible suspects, though it's no spoiler to say that her doctor, Thomas Graves, was initially convicted.

The history is written by Barnaby Conrad, Josephine's great grandson. It's thoroughly researched, although he injects quite a bit of personal opinion into the text. It's definitely a worthwhile read for people with an interest in history, true crime, Denver, or Providence.

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