The Mystery of Beautiful Nell Cropsey by Bland Simpson
A Nonfiction Novel

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As compelling as fiction, The Mystery of Beautiful Nell Cropsey tells the dramatic story of the disappearance of nineteen-year-old Nell Cropsey from her riverside home in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, in November 1901. Bloodhounds, detectives, divers, and even a psychic were brought in to search for her, and the case immediately became a national sensation.

Bland Simpson, who first heard the tale as an Elizabeth City schoolboy, weaves this true story into a colorful nonfiction account, told in three first-person voices: Nell's sister Ollie; famous newspaper editor W. O. Saunders, who covered the case as a young reporter; and Jim Wilcox, Nell's beau, who was implicated in the case. Nell and Jim's romance, her disappearance, the great search, the trials, and their aftermath are artfully reconstructed from interviews, court records, and newspaper accounts.


About Bland Simpson

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Bland Simpson is author of "Into the Sound Country", "The Mystery of Beautiful Nell Cropsey", "The Great Dismal", and "Heart of the Country". A member of the Tony Award-winning Red Clay Ramblers, Simpson has collaborated on such musicals as "King Mackerel & The Blues Are Running", "Kudzu", and Broadway and international hit "Fool Moon". He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Published September 1, 1993 by The University of North Carolina Press. 184 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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On the evening of November 20, 1901, Gibson girl Nell Cropsey, oldest daughter of a transplanted Brooklyn family, stepped out into her family's front hall in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, to join her suitor Jim Wilcox--and was never seen alive again.

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