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Writing History & Mysteries

When I'm not delving into historical research, I'm planning a character's demise.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bread and Butter 11

Tombstone of Henry Hoag(e) - Alabama Center Cemetery, Alabama, NY
SETUP: Henry is now dead and Polly is moving on with her plans to get Matthew Bardwell back in the shoe shop. But then there is the matter of the children ...


In a conversation she had with Mrs. Barber, Polly reflected back on one of their earlier talks concerning the fortune tellers prophesy of the deaths in her family.

Mrs. Barber stated, “Polly asked me, ‘What did I tell you! There has been one.’ The child [Frances] was then sick.”

Mrs. Barber was referring to the month of August after Henry’s death. Polly’s comment to Mrs. Barber, “There has been one,” foretells that according to the fortuneteller, there was still another death to happen. Thus, the fate of one of her children is subtlety revealed.

We can even assume, since Frances was recently sick after the death of her father as Mrs. Barber states, she would be the first to suffer the same fate as Henry thereby fulfilling the fortuneteller’s prophesy. The fortune given by Miss Orton that day in November would prove to be Polly’s stroke of luck and the catalyst for her plans.
In 1856, in the rural town of Alabama, NY one woman's family suffered from multiple unexplained deaths. The town folk grew suspicious of the now remarried Polly Frisch. An investigation commenced, bodies were exhumed, an affair—exposed. Polly would be arrested for the murders of her first husband and daughters. Her fourteen-year-old son would testify against her. If found guilty, the punishment for such a crime was the gallows. Bread & Butter is the true story of Polly Frisch who poisoned her family with arsenic and the five trials it took to convict her.

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The above excerpt is from Bread & Butter: The Murders of Polly Frisch, an 1850s true crime co-authored with my friend, Ellen Bachorski in 2000. We re-released it into the modern world of POD in both soft and hard covers, and soon for Nook, Kindle, etc. with a new cover, fresh edits and new info. It should go live on Kindle some time this afternoon.



  1. nice cliff hanger there

  2. So Polly saw an opportunity and couldn't resist, eh? It's one thing to take the last piece of dessert, quite another to decide to kill somebody. Am definitely going to get this for Kindle.

  3. Wow, all so grim and even worse because it's a true story. Really a terrific excerpt!

  4. Always amazing the stories that history holds. This reminds me of Lizzie Borden. Quite gruesome.

  5. Man, that woman was creepy. Great snippet, Cindy. :)

  6. I'll have to check Amazon this afternoon.

  7. What a cold and nasty person! First the husband, now starting on the children!

  8. Evil lurks in her heart and spreads without end until she's stopped. Truth often better than fiction and you, Cindy, have a way of telling a story to make my toes curl.

  9. Gosh so interesting. Nice to meet and connect through atozchallenge. http://aimingforapublishingdeal.blogspot.co.uk/

  10. BTW, I know you gave me a copy to check out on the Kindle, but...I had to be part of your sales. So, just purchased my copy!!!!! Now...if I can just find the time to cozy up with it : )

  11. You are too kind Millie. :)

  12. Oh my, if the fortune teller didn't say anything, would she have gone through with it?

  13. I really need to get this book. I am utterly fascinated by it.


Anyone can comment. You don't need to jump through hoops or be a member of anything. Nice huh?

Available in paperback and eBook formats

Available in paperback and eBook formats

Now Available At:

Barnes & Noble
The History Press

Carried by over 20 college/university libraries across the county, according to daily updates by worldcat.org, including Columbia University, Oklahoma State, Texas A & M, and Yale University Law Library.


APRIL 2nd,11-1 PM
The Book Shoppe - Medina, NY

APRIL 16th, 2 PM
Barnes & Noble - Pittsfield, MA

APRIL 19th, 7 PM
Tonawanda Indian Reservation Historical Society,
Tonawanda Indian Community Center- Akron, NY

MAY 14th, 1 PM
Seneca Iroquois National Museum - Salamanca, NY

May 17th, 6 PM Warsaw Public Library - Warsaw, NY

AUG 9TH, 7 pm Hoss's Country Corner -2016 Author's Night- Long Lake, NY

AUG 25TH 6 PM Akwesasne Cultural Center - Hogansburg, NY

More to announce as they are confirmed.

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Bread & Butter the Murders of Polly Frisch

Bread & Butter the Murders of Polly Frisch
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