April 9th: Death in Peking: Who Killed Pamela Werner – Graeme Sheppard

The brutal murder of the young and beautiful Pamela Werner in the city of Peking one night in January 1937 shocked the world, but the police never found or named the murderer. A best-selling book, Midnight in Peking, declared the murderer to be an American dentist, but English policeman Graeme Sheppard, 30 years with Scotland Yard, decided that conclusion was flawed, spent years investigating all aspects of the case and came up with an entirely different conclusion.

Instead of focussing on the expat debauchery that had entranced the author of Death in Peking, Sheppard metho­dic­ally shines his policeman’s torch on the diverse company of characters whose lives intersected with that of Pamela, teasingly dissecting their often bizarre backstories, flaws and idiosyncrasies, and possible motivations for violence.

Part of our CRIME SEASON. Buy a CRIME SPREE TICKET to all 4 events – and save £4!

Tickets £6 from Hungerford Bookshop, or on-line at ArtsForHungerford.com

April 24th: Churchill’s Abandoned Prisoners: The British Soldiers Deceived in The Russian Civil War – Rupert Wieloch

Churchill’s Secret Prisoners tells the previously suppressed story of fifteen British prisoners captured during the Russian civil war. The book explains how the bitter fighting ebbed and flowed along the Trans-Siberian Railway for eighteen months, until Trotsky’s Red Army prevailed. It includes the exploits of the only two British battalions to serve in the East, the “Diehards” and “Tigers”. An important chapter describes the fractious relationships between the Allies, together with the unenviable dilemmas faced by the commander of the American Expeditionary Force and the humanitarian work of the Red Cross.

The focus turns to the deeds of Emmerson and the other soldiers in the select British group, who are ordered to “remain to the last” and organise the evacuation of refugees from Omsk in November 1919.

The events described in this book are not only a stirring tale of courage and adventure but also only lift the lid on an episode that did much to sow distrust and precipitate events in World War Two and today.

Tickets £7 (allowing £5 off the book on the night).  Hungerford Hub. 7:30pm.

Tickets from Hungerford Bookshop (01488 683480) or on-line at ArtsForHungerford.com