Did a small, neat, mild-mannered, Dickens-reading tailor commit the first railway murder in history –a crime that shocked both America and Britain? In July 1864, Thomas Briggs was traveling home after visiting his niece and her husband for dinner. He boarded a first-class carriage on the 9:45 pm Hackney service of the North London railway. A short time later, two bank clerks entered the compartment and noticed blood pooled in the seat cushions and smeared all over the floor and windows. But there was no sign of Thomas Briggs. All that remained was his ivory-knobbed walking stick, his empty leather bag, and a bloodstained hat that, strangely, did not belong to Mr. Briggs. The race to identify the killer and catch him as he fled on a boat to America was eagerly followed by the public on both sides of the Atlantic. The investigation and subsequent trial became a fixture in New York newspapers–and a frequent distraction from the Civil War that ravaged the nation. In Murder in the First-Class Carriage, acclaimed writer Kate Colquhoun tells the gripping tale of a crime that shocked an era.