Meet the larger-than-life characters from Nova Scotia’s past who broke the law as well as the mold. Jack Randell, skipper of a Lunenburg-based rum-running schooner, sparked a diplomatic row in 1929 when he tried to outrun the United States Coast Guard. Henry More Smith was a nineteenth-century thief so brazen that he swiped law books from the office of a Halifax judge, then returned them to collect a reward. Samuel Herbert Dougal was a monster who preyed on women and likely murdered two of his wives while serving with the British Army in Halifax in the 1880s. And Irish-American terrorists hatched a fiendish plot to blow up a Royal Navy warship anchored in Halifax Harbour in 1883. Their target? Prince George of Wales, a midshipman on board who would one day ascend to the British throne as King George V.
Madness, Mayhem and Murder, the sequel to 2020’s bestselling Daring, Devious & Deadly, is a collection of sixteen more true tales of crime and justice. The stories are drawn from almost two centuries of Nova Scotia’s history, from the province’s first murder case in 1749 to its last execution in 1937. The cast includes pirates and privateers, terrorists, shadowy Confederate agents, and a motley crew of smugglers, thieves, killers, duel-fighting gentlemen and a few people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. These are stranger-than-fiction tales of crime and punishment, tragedy and redemption, and guilt and innocence, with a lot to say about the past – and the unending quest for justice.