Dale Pollock, Chopped

On Thanksgiving 1849, the richest man in Boston vanishes. A Harvard Medical College janitor finds cut-up pieces of a human body in chemistry professor John Webster's privy vault beneath his laboratory. He is charged with murder despite only circumstantial evidence, and the notorious trial that follows offers a spectacle that is as riveting as the O.J. Simpson trial of the 1990s. A young doctor, James Winchell Stone, who takes down the entire transcript of the trial using an early form of stenography, decides to use his deductive reasoning to solve the mystery of who actually killed Dr. George Parkman. In the process he uncovers a tragic truth involving the Underground Railroad and falls into a forbidden romance. Chopped is a thrilling evocation of old-world Boston, and Dale M. Pollock weaves a "whodunit" explanation into the actual court transcript of the case, taken down word-for-word by his ancestor, Dr. James Winchell Stone.


"Murder, romance, unexpected plot twists: Pollock's beautifully researched historical novel set in Boston, 1850, is true crime fiction at its best."

-David M. Lubin, writer, professor, and scholar

"With a journalist's insistence on details, a filmmaker's eye for visuals, and an acute understanding of human behavior, Pollock takes a story more than 175 years old and makes it feel contemporary. This is the best type of historical novel-smart, immersive, and well-told."

-Dr. Joseph Mills, author, poet, and UNCSA professor of the humanities


Dale M. Pollock is a writer, lecturer, film producer, and cinema professor. His previous book was the bestseller "Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas." He and his wife Susie reside in Winston Salem, N.C.

Event date: 
Friday, March 17, 2023 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
304 S. Elm St.
Greensboro, NC 27401