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History’s Most Daring Rogues and Villains (Paperback)

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

True Crime P&S History

By Nigel Blundell
Imprint: Pen & Sword True Crime
Pages: 152
Illustrations: 32 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781399017671
Published: 1st April 2022


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Gathered together within the pages of this book is a roguish array of artful tricksters, fantastic fakers, rascally fraudsters and cunning conmen. They all bend the rules and usually the law. Yet however reprehensible their misdeeds, these thoroughly rotten scoundrels often display the very essence of enterprise and adventure.

It would be wrong to condone their antics, of course, but it is difficult not to admire their artifice. After all, this sort of raffish crime has spawned scores of anti-heroes in books, movies and TV series. But the stories told here are all true – among the most barely-believable dodgy misdeeds of the past two centuries.

Powerful motives drive this book’s extraordinary characters as they rampage on the wrong side of the law. Greed is the most usual, ambition is another, lust sometimes plays a compelling part. But many are compelled by no other cause than a perverted sense of adventure. It is these various forces that link the disparate bunch of characters in this fascinating catalogue of crime.

If, as the saying goes, ‘the Devil has the best tunes’, he certainly also has some of the best stories – and here are some of the most startling case histories. Together they’re the diabolically fiendish work of History’s Most Daring Rogues and Villains.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Tricksters are always a fascinating type of characters and this book is a good introduction to a cast of these rogues.
Not all are nice and not all entertaining, it was an informative and well researched book.
Highly recommended.

NetGalley, Anna Maria Giacomasso

Nigel Blundell introduces us as well as reintroduces us into the disturbing world of charlatans, perverts, and all-around horrid human beings. Hopefully, this book will have all of its readers reevaluate who they emulate and admire.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This was a very interesting read to really get to know the different rogues which some I'm fascinated about.
I really enjoyed reading this book.

NetGalley, Dee A.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

In the past two hundred years, artful tricksters, fantastic fakers, rascally fraudsters and cunning con men have bent the rules and usually the law to their own gain. While no one would condone their antics, it is difficult not to admire their artifice. True stories are gathered together for one’s enjoyment.

I’m always intrigued by true tales of men and women who followed their own path. From artists who forged pictures to make a point, to men who boldly sold national monuments to naïve visitors, each story was interesting. A few I had heard, such as DB Cooper who parachuted out of an airplane with thousands of dollars and is never heard of again and Frank Abagnale, who inspired the movie Catch Me If You Can. However, most of the tales I had never heard of before.

Each story is a reasonable length, making it easy to read. Though by no means an in-depth biography of each person, it contains enough to be informative and interesting.

Readers who enjoy true tales and have an interest in the rogues of history will enjoy this one.

NetGalley, Bethany Swafford

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is an entertaining read.
What a cast of characters!
There are many people and their stories that were new to me.
This is an engaging book, I highly recommend.
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

NetGalley, Karen Kenyon

An extremely interesting and enjoyable look at the life and times of some of the infamous, illustrious and downright dodgy. Plenty of questionable behaviour and practices!

NetGalley, Vanessa Rivington
 Nigel Blundell

About Nigel Blundell

NIGEL BLUNDELL is a journalist who has worked in the United States, Australia and Great Britain. He spent twenty-five years in Fleet Street before becoming a contributor to national newspapers and magazines. He is author of more than fifty factual books, many on crime and criminal behaviour.

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