Strange Exits from Hastings is a unique fusion of local history and true lives and deaths; a cornucopia of forty unsolved murders, bizarre accidents and inexplicable acts of self-destruction.

Each intriguing chapter is based on a true story from the newspaper archives, meticulously researched, diligently re-examined and expertly retold by an author with a passion for the past.


"Thirty three deliciously dark tales of murder, misery and misfortune befalling Hastings residents and visitors from 1804 to 1948...I read the book in one open-jawed, bug-eyed sitting...An entertaining and thoroughly researched book...I absolutely bloody loved it" Joel Griggs, proprietor of the True Crime Museum

"Serious social history told in an entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking way. With the skill of a pathologist, the author peels back the skin on these deadly stories to reveal the human dramas behind the 'strange exits'. There are several unsolved murder cases where the author turns sleuth, cracking mysteries like a fearless and groundbreaking Victorian lady detective. Her unravelling of the Bopeep Railway Tunnel murder of 1891 is breathtakingly good, and one of the many highlights of this superb book."Ripperologist magazine

"A gem of a book... full of detail and illustrated throughout with photos, maps and illustrations of the time. A highly recommended read." Amazon reviewer Stephanie

To be published March 2021. ISBN 978-1-904109-372

Paperback, 194 pages. Price £10 plus £2 P&P

Select your location and click the 'Buy Now' button below.

choose your location
The Hastings Press has been verified by Paypal and has held its Approved Business Account status since 2002.

Any queries? Email us

"Some of the tales are funny, some are gruesomely horrific, but all are intriguing and memorable. Under normal circumstances this would be a best-seller in bookshops in the local area and would make good presents." Hastings Online Times full review here

I confess I inhaled it in just one sitting. The characters are so fascinating they tumble out of the pages and jostle for position in the forefront of your mind." Elly Gibson, Hastings Independent Press full review here.

"A fascinating dive into the darker side of Hastings. A compelling and addictive read. Highly recommended."Amazon reviewer Paul Kennard.

"Absorbing from start to finish; the author has gone into superb detail and her research has been flawless. We've learnt heaps of things we never knew about Hastings & St Leonards. A must for those who have a passion for local history and mystery! The perfect marriage beautifully crafted and woven into this perfect gift of a book. You will not be disappointed!" Amazon reviewer Steve Dadson.

"Written with an elegance and panache rare in the field of popular history...painstakingly researched, lavishly illustrated... A more compelling read I have not come across in a long while." Amazon reviewer Eric.

"Helena tells these stories with a researcher's eye for detail. She wastes no words and there are no fanciful passages, so every page is packed with detail. From the opening goat-attack (which gored a soldier through his scrotum) to gruesome deaths on the railway lines, it's a real gem of a book... a rattling little read and features some great photographs too, which allows comparison with our modern town." Tony Harris, Facebook