I love stumbling across little-known historical true-crime stories and much to my macabre delight, I found an eBook version of Gregg Olsen's "Starvation Heights."
In 1911, Linda Hazzard presents herself as a doctor with the key to good health - fasting. Unfortunately, the patients at her sanatorium are so emaciated that the local townsfolk refer to it as "Starvation Heights." In addition to withholding food, Dr. Hazzard obtains power of attorney over her patients and acquires their jewelry, land and money after starving them to death.
Dr. Hazzard's downfall begins with the death of a British heiress and the near death of her sister. After fleeing the sanatorium, Dora Williamson makes it her mission to avenge the death of her sister and see Dr. Hazzard punished for her crimes. Olsen uses extensive access to historical records to tell a story that is as consuming as it is horrifying - a forgotten bit of American crime that resonates in the present as much as the past.
To download a copy of "Starvation Heights," visit the library's eMedia page to find out if your device is compatible and how to get started.
--Sara S., Tesson Ferry Branch