When the winter ice melted in April 1850, residents of Saco, Maine, made a gruesome discovery: the body of a young woman tied to a board and submerged in a stream. Evidence pointed to a local physician who was arrested and tried for the death of Mary Bean, the name by which this young woman had been known during her brief residency in Saco. Garnering extensive newspaper coverage, the murder trial revealed many secrets: a questionably trained doctor, connections to an unsolved murder in New Hampshire, and the true identity of “Mary Bean”—a young mill worker named Berengera Caswell, missing since the previous winter.

The Murder of Mary Bean and Other Stories is winner of:

  • New England Historical Association Book Award
  • Peter C. Rollins Book Award, Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association
  • Silver Medal (True Crime), ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards
  • Bronze medal (True Crime), Independent Publisher Book Awards

And has been taught in history, literature, and women’s studies classes at the University of Maine, University of Southern Maine, and the University of New England.

Praise for The Murder of Mary Bean and Other Stories:

". . . an excellent and thought-provoking read. . ." —Nena Sechler Craven, University of Delaware

"In this book, the author took a broad view, detailing a shocking case along with the social conditions that brought it about. On top of the awards, it's that combination of facts and context that merits putting the book on our To Read list." —Laura James, Esquire Magazine and CLEWS

“. . .meticulous research . . .illuminate[s] a fascinating story framed in the context of social fear over industrialization and urbanization.” Polly Welts Kaufman, University of Southern Maine

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