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By Paul Slade

The book that inspired Radiolab’s new five-part podcast series The Vanishing of Harry Pace

I spent the last six months of 2020 working with Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee as they prepared a podcast series based on my 2014 Black Swan book. In January 2021, as they went off to make the actual episodes, I got down to rewriting the book to incorporate all the new information and insights we’d discovered. You can buy the new, expanded, 2021 edition here.

The book rock critic Greil Marcus called “a dauntingly complete and fascinating piece of work”

Despite selling out its initial run, my Murder Ballads book is now sadly out of print. I got dozens of enquiries from would-be buyers after discussing Knoxville Girl on Dolly Parton’s America, but by then my publisher had shut down, so most went away disappointed. The rights have now reverted to me, so if there’s another publisher out there who fancies giving the book a second life, do get in touch. In the meantime, you can enjoy my out-takes from its interviews and a bunch of other bonus material here.

Two book-length PlanetSlade essays now available for more convenient reading on the Kindle

Pearl Bryan is the story of a particularly grisly Kentucky murder in 1896 and the ballad it inspired, while The Outcast Dead gives a history of London’s notorious Cross Bones graveyard and its surrounding outlaw borough of Southwark. You can read both these books on PlanetSlade too, but they’re long enough for the Kindle to be more convenient. Click the title links above for more.