Daring, Devious and Deadly: True Tales of Crime and Justice from Nova Scotia’s Past
by Dean Jobb
213 pages, $21.95
Prolific true-crime author Dean Jobb is back with more stories from Nova Scotia’s past.
Daring, Devious and Deadly is a collection of fifteen episodes and is organized by themes, which is something I thoroughly appreciated. That allowed me to jump to Victorian horrors at my first sitting, then I made my way through disorderly courts and deadly disasters, before I finished with baffling bank heists and maritime mayhem.
My favourite story was “Three-ring Robbery,” about an 1876 bank heist that happened when P.T. Barnum’s famous circus came to Halifax for the first time. I also found both “Tell-tale Chalk” and “An Affair of Honour” quite gripping — the first speaks to the insatiable greed of certain assailants, the second to a perfect storm of classism, moral ambiguity, and the strict sexual mores of the mid-1800s.
Different types of images accompany the stories and help to humanize some of the characters. Unfortunately — and not surprisingly, given the era in which the events took place — the images mostly portray members of the elites, such as lawyers, judges, and politicians.
Daring, Devious & Deadly also includes a list of source material for readers who may wish to dig deeper into the details of any particular story. It’s a perfect read for anyone looking for digestible and entertaining episodes.