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Book Review: "Murder in the Heart of Dixie"

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


Murder in Dixie

Murder in the Heart of Dixie by Fred Simpson & Jacquelyn Gray

The Bottom Line

This third book by Fred Simpson is written in an easy to understand style and is hard to put down. If you're interested in local history and want to read behind the scenes details of events that made headlines in their day, you'll enjoy this book immensely. Simpson has proven that he works on presenting the true facts in his books and they can be relied upon.


  • 13 Trials are Filled with Details, True Facts & Follow-Ups
  • Written in an Easy to Read Style
  • Lots of Photos and Maps to Help Reader Understand Murder Scenes


  • One Co-Defendant Given an Alias--but it is never explained "why"
  • Photo on Page 379 Talks about "the Wall"--but never mentioned in text


  • One of the Most Creative Titles for A Book.
  • Beautiful Cover Painting by Author for Book.
  • Thoroughly Researched & Documented.
  • Told from Someone Who was Actually There for Several of the Trials.
  • Detailed Follow-Ups of all Characters Involved in the Trials.
  • "Murder in Dixie" is availabe at Shaver's Bookstore on Whitesburg Drive or Barnes & Noble.

Guide Review - Book Review: "Murder in the Heart of Dixie"

Three things I have come to know about all Fred Simpson's books: (1) They have the very best titles of nonfiction books anywhere. You would almost swear by the title that these books are pure fiction: "The Sins of Madison County" and "Murder in the Heart of Dixie." (2) The covers of Simpson's books are beautiful. Fred is an artist and he does his own book covers. In "Murder in the Heart of Dixie" Simpson's oil painting entitled "Blood on the Magnolia" (another great title!) is used for the cover. (3) Simpson's books are thoroughly and completely researched. The pages are loaded with details. Jacquelyn Gray is a valuable asset to the writing team making this book much more readable than Simpson's previous book "The Sins of Madison County." One problem I had with this book was that one co-defendant was identified with an alias. Simpson identifies members of the jury, law officers, judges and lawyers. I couldn't understand (and it was never explained) why this one case listed one man only as "Mr. Jones." He was later convicted of a lesser crime in another trial. His wife divorced him and moved out of state, so I can't imagine why his identity wasn't made known. I have to admire Simpson for writing in the third person and brutally describing himself with some unflattering but objective characteristics. He breathes life into the lawyers, judges, defendants and others in this book with some character observations.
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