Review: Murder on Teal’s Pond by David Bushman & Mark T. Givens

Description (from cover): “A brilliantly researched reinvestigation into the nearly forgotten century-old murder that inspired one of the most seductive mysteries in the history of television and film.

In 1908, Hazel Drew was found floating in a pond in Sand Lake, New York, beaten to death. The unsolved murder inspired rumors, speculation, ghost stories, and, almost a century later, the phenomenon of Twin Peaks. Who killed Hazel Drew? Like Laura Palmer, she was a paradox of personalities–a young, beautiful puzzle with secrets. Perhaps the even trickier question is, Who was Hazel Drew?

Seeking escape from her poor country roots, Hazel found work as a domestic servant in the notoriously corrupt metropolis of Troy, New York. Fate derailed her plans for reinvention. But the investigation that followed her brutal murder was fraught with red herrings, wild-goose chases, and unreliable witnesses. Did officials really follow the leads? Or did they bury them to protect the guilty?

The likely answer is revealed in an absorbing true mystery that’s ingeniously reconstructed and every bit as haunting as the cultural obsession it inspired.”

My Thoughts:

I am going to preface this review with stating that I know nothing about Twin Peaks and I have never watched the television series. I certainly have heard of Twin Peaks, but didn’t really have any substantial knowledge going into reading this book. I was selected to read an early advanced copy of this book through NetGalley and what really drew me into selecting this book was the fact that it was true crime and based on a real murder mystery. Little did I know that the murder featured in this book was the backstory used in Twin Peaks.

Hazel Drew was in her early twenties when her body was found floating in Teal’s Pond located in Sand Lake, New York in 1908. She was working as a domestic servant for a middle-class family in Troy, New York when she abruptly quit her job. None of her family and friends knew why she quit her job or where she went after doing so. In the next few days, Hazel would travel, see some friends, and ultimately be found dead floating in Teal’s Pond by campers. No one had any clue as to how she ended up dead and who murdered her. Her family and friends were investigated by the police and while there were some promising developments at the time, the case still remains unsolved today.

This is a non-fiction read but flows and reads as fiction. I thought the writing was very well done and engaging and it kept my attention throughout. There were some parts that were repetitive, but nothing that took away from the telling of this story. The authors go further and make their own determinations as to what happened and who killed Hazel Drew. Of course, we really don’t know the real story of what happened to Hazel Drew, but the authors provide a good scenario for what could have happened to her on that July evening in 1908. This was a fun and intriguing true crime novel that I am glad that I have the privilege to read and review.

Overall Rating: 4.5 stars

Authors: David Bushman & Mark T. Givens

Series: N/A

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: January 1, 2022

Pages: 335

Genre: Nonfiction

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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