The Kidnap of Elizabeth Canning


There’s a dark story connecting this 18th century abduction with a 20th century crime novel.

Thanks to my guest, Tana French. The new Penguin edition of The Franchise Affair, which includes her introduction, is available now. And Tana’s own latest novel is The Searcher, now available in paperback.

This episode contains minor spoilers for The Franchise Affair.

This episode also marks the start of the Shedunnit Pledge Drive! I’m aiming to add 100 new members to the Shedunnit Book Club by the end of 2022, and as a thank you I’m sharing the Shedunnit Guide to Golden Age Detective Fiction. If you’d like a copy and feel able to offer some support, please visit

Mentioned in this episode:
The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Amelia by Henry Fielding
The Canning Wonder by Arthur Machen
Elizabeth is Missing by Lillian de la Torre
The Canning Enigma by John Treherne
The Appearance of Truth: The Story of Elizabeth Canning and 18th Century Narrative by Judith Moore
Josephine Tey: A Life by Jennifer Morag Henderson

NB: Links to Blackwell’s are affiliate links, meaning that the podcast receives a small commission when you purchase a book there (the price remains the same for you). Blackwell’s is a UK bookselling chain that ships internationally at no extra charge.

Thanks to today’s sponsor:
— Backblaze, astonishingly easy cloud storage and backup tools. Shedunnit listeners can get a 15-day no credit card required trial at

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Find a full transcript of this episode at

Music by Audioblocks and Blue Dot Sessions. See for more details.




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