Keen to make some commission, insurance agent William Wallace makes the journey across Liverpool to meet the mysterious Mr. Qualtrough who has sent a message intimating that he would like to do some business. Meanwhile, back in Anfield, his wife, Julia, is being bludgeoned to death at her own home by an unknown assailant. With the police convinced that Wallace has engineered the ‘perfect’ alibi, he was soon arrested and tried for murder. Move to Murder examines the evidence, putting forward alternative theories as to what really happened that fateful evening in 1931.

The murder of Julia Wallace is a mystery that has always interested me and, over the years, I have read many books about the puzzling case. In brief, a telephone call was received at the Liverpool Central Chess Club asking for a message to be passed on to Wallace. The caller, R M Qualtrough, was keen to take out an endowment policy on his daughter, and wanted Wallace to visit him at his home, 25 Menlove Gardens East, the following evening to discuss it. Travelling across the city on several trams, Wallace discovered that the address did not exist and after trying several similar-sounding addresses, he returned home to find his wife beaten to death and a small amount of money stolen.

Wallace was soon arrested, tried and convicted of the murder of his wife, the death sentence being passed. An appeal saw the conviction overturned, however, and nobody else was ever found guilty of the crime. Move to Murder examines five possible theories as to what could have happened: Could Wallace have been the perpetrator after all, did he arrange the murder or was he completely innocent? Other names have been put forward with accompanying evidence to try to sway your opinion.

I have always been of the opinion that Wallace was the victim of an elaborate set-up but Move to Murder is the first book that has made me actually question my version of events. I liked how each theory was backed up by evidence, asking you to take on the role of the jury in deciding who you would find guilty. I also enjoyed reading extracts from Wallace’s personal journal, something which is not included in other books on the subject.

I really enjoyed the format of this Cold Case Jury book and would definitely read more in the same series.

With thanks to Mirror Books and Net Galley for my copy of Move to Murder.