The 8 Volume Celebrated Crimes series written by Alexandre Dumas is a "True Crime" classic. He minced no words and spared no language to describe the violent scenes of a violent time.
The stories in this series are based on historical record. The subjects which he has chosen, however, are of both historic and dramatic importance, and  they have the  added value  of  giving  the  modern  reader  a  clear  picture  of  the  state  of  semi-lawlessness  which existed in  Europe, during  the  middle ages.
The  first  volume  comprises  the  annals  of  the  Borgias The name  of the noted and notorious Florentine family has  become  a  synonym  for intrigue and violence.
Another famous Italian story is that of the Cenci. The beautiful  Beatrice  Cenci—celebrated in the painting of Guido, the sixteenth century romance of Guerrazi, and the poetic tragedy of Shelley, not
to mention numerous succeeding works inspired by her hapless fate—will always remain a shadowy figure and one of infinite pathos.
The second volume chronicles the sanguinary  deeds in the south of France, carried on in the name of religion, but  drenching in blood the fair country round  about Avignon, for a long period of years.
The third volume is devoted to the story of Mary Queen of Scots, another woman who suffered a violent death, and around  whose name an endless controversy has waged.
The fourth volume  comprises  three  widely dissimilar tales.  One  of the  strangest  stories  is  that  of Urbain Grandier,  the  innocent  victim  of  a  cunning  and relentless  religious  plot. A famous German crime is that of Karl-Ludwig Sand , whose murder of Kotzebue, Councillor of the Russian Legation, caused an international upheaval.
An  especially  interesting  volume  is  number  six,  containing,  among  other  material,  the  famous "Man in the Iron Mask."
Also included among others are the stories of the beautiful poisoner, Marquise de Brinvilliers, The incredible cruelties of Ali Pacha, the Turkish despot.
Dumas in this classic gives "sharp and distinct  reproductions of  character which alone can present to the reader the mind and spirit of  an age.  Not  a  mere  historian, he  has   carefully  consulted the  original sources of information, has weighed  testimonies, elicited  theories, and has interpolated  the poetry of history with its most thorough prose."
MASSACRES OF THE SOUTH
JOAN OF NAPLES
THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK
THE COUNTESS DE SAINT GERAN
THE MARQUISE DE BRINVILLIERS
THE MARQUISE DE GANGES