"[An] engrossing real-life whodunit." — USA Today
"Aficionados of the unsolved case may find a delectable example in this retelling of the little-known but gruesome murder of an Iowa farmer. Meticulously but briskly rendered mystery." — Kirkus
"Historical whodunit devotees who have devoured all the literature on famous real-life mysteries will delight in this stirring and evocative account of an obscure turn of the century Iowa murder." — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
On a moonlit night in December 1900, a prosperous Iowa farmer was murdered in his bed--killed by two blows of an ax to his head. Four days later, the victim's wife, Margaret Hossack, was arrested at her husband's funeral and charged with the crime.
The vicious assault stunned and divided the close-knit rural community. The accused woman claimed to be innocent, but stories of domestic troubles and abuse provided prosecutors with a motive for the crime. Neighbors and family members were reluctant to talk about what they knew concerning the couple's troubled marriage.
MIDNIGHT ASSASSIN takes us back to the murder, the investigation, and the trials of Margaret Hossack. The book introduces us to Susan Glaspell, a young journalist who reported the story for the Des Moines Daily News and fifteen years later transformed the events into the classic one-act play, "Trifles", and the acclaimed short story, "A Jury of Her Peers."
Patricia L. Bryan and Thomas Wolf researched the Hossack case for almost a decade, combing through the legal records, newspaper accounts, government documents, and unpublished memoirs. The result is a vivid portrait of life in rural America at the turn of the century and a chilling step-by-step account of the crime and its aftermath.
In MIDNIGHT ASSASSIN, the authors masterfully bring to light a century-old murder case that is as compelling now as it was then.