John B. Lewis & Charles C. Bombaugh - Stratagems and Conspiracies to Defraud Life Insurance Companies (1896)
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This of course isn't meant as inspiration, to the degree that any century-old book might give the nefariously minded. Instead, it's more a true crime reader detailing various incidents, with sections such as A Clumsy Philadelphia Scheme, The North Carolina Graveyard Operations, Monotonous Repetition of the Drowning Trick, The Wackerle Puzzle, The Belgian Poisoner, The Monster Holmes, Disappearance in the Black Hills, and many more. It does appear to have been intended to detect fraud so there aren't any of the illustrations you might find in more popular accounts.