One of the most popular of all Ripper suspects, Montague Druitt appears on the surface an unlikely killer. Born into a comfortable bourgeois family, he was educated at New College, Oxford, qualified for the Bar and played cricket for a number of strong club sides. But, there was another side to the agreeable Mr Druitt. He moved in the artistic and aristocratic circles that overlapped with London's secretive homosexual culture, was summarily dismissed from his post at a boys' school, and a few weeks later was found drowned in the Thames, just months after the Jack the Ripper murders. Six years later, Chief Constable Sir Melville Macnaughten named Druitt as the murderer and gave the unhappy barrister a kind of immortality. D. J. Leighton has dug deep into the background to Druitt's unhappy life and uncovered a web of intriguing connections linking the eldest son of the heir to the throne, the Cambridge Apostles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Virginia Woolf and the cricketing legend Prince Kumar Ranjitsinhji.
The book is a fascinating period piece that deftly weaves together the criminal, sporting, aristocratic and homosexual worlds of late nineteenth-century London, in search of the truth behind Macnaughten's surprising allegations. This book is an excellent piece of period crime history with a Jack the Ripper setting. It is a colourful Victorian underworld story, mixing high society with scandal, the golden age of amateur cricket and murder. It is the authoritative debunking of the case for Druitt as Jack the Ripper. It features and reviews potential in "Ripperologist" and other period crime magazines, and also in cricketing press. It has a strong local interest in Blackheath, where Druitt worked and played the key cricket matches that rule him out as a Ripper suspect. D. J. Leighton is a retired director of the Portals Group with a lifelong interest in cricket, from which his interest in the Druitt case arose.