Margaret Eby is the author of South Toward Home: ­Travels in Southern Literature.
 (August 2019)

IN THE REVIEW

On the Beat with Harper Lee

Harper Lee; illustration by Joanna Neborsky

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee

by Casey Cep
How do you write the history of a book that was never written, by an author who, if not exactly a recluse, was more determined than most not to publicize her life or writing process? And how do you make that mystery worth reading when its conclusion is widely known? These questions loom in Casey Cep’s remarkable, thoroughly researched Furious Hours, an account of the true-crime book that Harper Lee intended to write but ultimately abandoned more than two decades after the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird had made her a household name.