Welcome to hell, a world at war. The streets of old Melbourne are no longer a tidy grid but fractured with laneways like cracks in old varnish, a hotchpotch of chaos, of shanties and factories, woodpiles and chimneys, the city smouldering under its bludgeoned sky. Here, crime flourishes, the damaged fester and the wicked plot. Detective Piggott’s Casebook presents for the first time the inside facts on ten of the most significant Victoria Police investigations of the early 20th century, drawing on the long-hidden personal papers of forensic pioneer and Melbourne’s own Sherlock Holmes, Frederick Piggott (1874–1962), who joined the Melbourne CIB in 1912 and whose investigations covered many of the state’s most gruesome and mysterious crimes, including the infamous murder of Alma Tirtschke and the subsequent wrongful hanging of Colin Ross. These uncensored accounts expose the graphic and often perplexing nature of the period’s criminal investigation work and point to the dawn of a new era in Australian crime detection.