A true crime classic about Daisy de Melker in ragtime Joburg –a city of murder, mayhem and gold.
Ted Botha takes the reader into the underbelly of Johannesburg in the 1920s and 1930s as he traces the fascinating story of the mysterious Daisy de Melker, who was hanged for poisoning her son. Many also believed she poisoned two husbands for their life insurance money.
In the shadow of ever-growing mine dumps, she went about her business quietly and unnoticed–the most unlikely of killers. Even though people close to her kept dying, no one suspected a thing for twenty years. When someone finally spoke up, it led to one of South Africa’s most sensational trials.
De Melker’s story unfolds in tandem with those of colourful Johannesburg characters of the same period such as the Foster Gang, Herman Charles Bosman, the dashing conman Baron von Veltheim and a Bonny-and-Clyde-style couple, Dicky Mallalieu and Gwen Tolputt. Some cross paths with each other and also those of famous writers of era such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sarah Gertrude Millin.
Ted Botha has worked for Reuters in New York and has been published in The New York Times, Esquire, The Telegraph, Condé Nast Traveler and Outside. He has written numerous books, including Apartheid in my Rucksack, the forensic thriller The Girl with Crooked Nose and Flat/White, about living as an immigrant in a chaotic and battered tenement building in Harlem, New York. See more at www.tedbotha.com
|Jonathan Ball Publishers