Warning: Spoilers Included

Thanks for stopping by the discussion page for The Poisoned Glass!


The Poisoned Glass (2019)


I’d love to hear your thoughts about The Poisoned Glass, including Jennie and her family, Paterson, the murder and investigation, the sentence and punishment the men received. People often comment about the conditions in the mills and women going to work, and safety.

Some of the most interesting topics people talk about include:

  • Were all the men (Walter McAlister, George Kerr, William Death, and Andrew Campbell) equally guilty?
  • What was Sculthorpe’s nature?
  • Was their punishment fair?
  • How much weight did wealth carry?
  • Why were the people of Paterson–Dr. Townsend and the saloonkeeper Saal, for instance–unwilling to expose the men?

Hello Old Spirituals readers!

I’ve missed writing and reading your comments, but I’ve been spending all my time on Book #3. I’ll share a little update about Book 3, some news about The Poisoned Glass, and Cold Heart, but first I want to ask you a question to identify the type of post you’d like to read next on Old Spirituals:

Book 3 update: This has been, by far, the hardest to write of the three. I think this is mostly because I’ve written it at home, where it’s so easy to be distracted. With my other two books, I would go to cafes to write and get a lot done in a short amount of time. But the world shut down for the pandemic–and California is still shut down–so I’ve been writing at home!

The other reason this book has been such a challenge is because some crucial information has been hard (and in some cases impossible) to find. Thank God for the people who have helped me at the museums, historical societies, and archives! I would be sunk without them.

And my beta readers. I sincerely believe none of my books would be very good if it weren’t for my beta readers and their feedback. They transformed both of my earlier books into something good! I’m hoping to send this manuscript to them by the end of this week. (Fingers crossed!) The new book will be out in March 2022, and I’ll be announcing the title and a synopsis later this summer.

The Poisoned Glass update: I will be leading a live, virtual presentation about the Poisoned Glass for Somerset Library in New Jersey in October. It’s free to attend and participate online, and you don’t need to be a member of the library. Sign up here  The link to register is directly under the image of the book, on the left. I hope you can be there!

Cold Heart update: I’ve heard from some of you who are audiobook readers and have been awaiting the arrival of the Cold Heart audiobook, and I have good news! The audiobook was released today! It’s available on Audible and Audiobooks.com 

Do you know of any good, mostly forgotten historical true crimes you’d like to suggest? Reach out to me at Kimberly@OldSpirituals.com  


Warning: Spoilers Included

There have been some great discussions about Cold Heart happening around the web! I’ve gotten a few questions about whether there is a forum on this site for discussing the book, so I’m creating one!

I’d love to hear any thoughts you’d like to share about Cold Heart, including the suspects, their motives, the crime scene, the investigation, and the inquest, or feel free to weigh in on any of these controversial questions:

  • What were Mrs. Hull and Dr. Marcy discussing in the basement the morning of the murder?
  • The crime scene was staged in some way. It looked as though Ed had a guest and the visit turned deadly and that a burglar had come in. Were either of these things true, or was the murderer already in the house when the family went to bed?
  • The police quickly narrowed down the list of main suspects to Arthur Pennell, Carrie Pennell, and Mrs. Hull. Did they overlook or dismiss anyone too quickly? Could there have been a plot between any of the suspects?
  • Why did several people who were close to Ed, including his daughter and his business partner, leap to the conclusion he had committed suicide?
  • The police completed their investigation of the crime scene within hours. The Burdicks had servants that lived in the home. Why was the den left in the condition it was for so long after the murder?