Lady Killers: Real and Imagined

Sarah Schmidt’s See What I Have Done, a fictional account of the murder of Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother, has readers talking about this infamous case again. Borden's story has enjoyed a long shelf life, and the case has been covered in both fiction and nonfiction. Her story continues to fascinate readers. Although acquitted in court, the idea that a woman, especially one of Borden’s social stature, could have committed such a brutal crime was almost unthinkable.

In that lurid vein, I recommend the following books about lady killers.

Interested in true stories of female serial killers? Check out Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer. Chicago-based Tefler offers up some grisly biographies in her darkly witty and well-researched compendium.

Megan Abbott is writing some of the best crime fiction featuring women. Her noir novel, Bury Me Deep, is a fictional retelling of the Trunk Murderess case in the Jazz Age.

From the haunted mind of Shirley Jackson comes the sympathetic and amoral Merricat, featured in We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Jackson ratchets up the unease page by page in this eerie gothic tale.

When Yayoi strangles her abusive husband in Out by Natsuo Kirino, she enlists the help of her friends to help her dispose of his body. This is only one crime of many in this dark, twisty thriller that is not for the faint of heart.

Who is your favorite murderess, real or imagined? 

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