Howard Street Burial Ground, Salem, MA

Coming from Chicago Review Press – Autumn 2021


Nathaniel Hawthorne, Daniel Webster, and the 1830 Murder that Haunted Two Families for Nearly 200 Years

“Ed Renehan has combed through the murky annals to eloquently reveal one of the most riveting stories of crime, detection, and court drama in the history of American jurisprudence.” – Ashleigh Banfield, Host of Judgment with Ashleigh Banfield on COURT TV

A Killing in Salem tells the story of the brutal murder of Captain Joseph White in Salem, Massachusetts in 1830, which held our young nation in rapt attention and inspired writings by both Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe. Renehan’s account of the twisty tale is riveting, both skillful and scandalous, full of thoughtful research and meditations on the nature of guilt. There’s great reportage here, as well as important literary and cultural history. A must-read for historical true crime fanatics.” – William Boyle, author of City of MarginsA Friend Is a Gift You Give YourselfThe Lonely Witness, and Gravesend     

“Salem, Massachusetts may be best remembered for its witch trials, but Ed Renehan has disinterred another trial, prosecuted by Daniel Webster and witnessed by Nathaniel Hawthorne, that electrified the world in the 1830s—and that was deliberately erased from memory over the next century. A story of family secrets, a stolen will, prodigal sons, and murder, it is at once a meticulously-researched work of historical reconstruction and a haunting American gothic.”—Arthur Goldwag, author of Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies and The New Hate

About Ed

Edward Renehan’s books include Dark Genius of Wall Street: The Misunderstood Life of Jay Gould, King of the Robber Barons (Basic Books), The Kennedys at War (Doubleday), The Lion’s Pride (Oxford University Press), The Life of Charles Stewart Mott (University of Michigan Press), and The Secret Six (Crown). He has appeared on PBS’s The American Experience, NPR, and C-Span’s BookTV, and has written for publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to The San Francisco Chronicle. Ed is a fifth-generation New Yorker who now lives near Newport, RI. Before moving to RI in 1994 he worked for 14 years in New York publishing, doing stints at St. Martin’s Press, Macmillan, etc., with an emphasis on the emerging field of digital publishing. In his spare time (when not writing or sailing) he serves as Managing Director of a very small, family-held digital start-up, New Street Communications, founded 2010, which currently has a catalog of more than 80 titles in audio, digital, and paper editions.

Read from a small selection of Ed’s short prose and/or connect with him on social media:


Representation: Kathy Green, The Kathryn Green Literary Agency, 157 Columbus Avenue, Suite 510, New York, New York, 10023. 212/245-4225. kathy@kgreenagency.com

To reach Ed directly: ejr@newstreetcomunications.com