The Maul and the Pear Tree

The Maul and the Pear Tree
Genre : Fiction
Published : 1 Sep 1961 - Faber & Faber
In 1811 John Williams was buried with a stake in his heart. Was he the notorious East End killer or his eighth victim in the bizarre and shocking Ratcliffe Highway Murders? In this vivid and gripping reconstruction P.D. James and T. A. Critchley draw on public records, newspaper clippings and hitherto unpublished sources, expertly sifting the evidence to shed new light on this infamous Wapping mystery. Re-issued by Faber in November 2010.


Fascinating despite the case’s lack of resolution.

Financial Times

James and Critchley evoke the horror of a dark, wintry London where ill-prepared authorities struggle to bring a major murder case to its conclusion

Crime Times

A model demonstration of how to assess fragmentary and often tantalising evidence... It makes an enthralling story

New York Times

This is a grim but compelling picture of an uncivilized corner of Regency England.

Independent on Sunday