Monday, December 18, 2017

Erika Mailman's The Murderer's Maid: A Lizzie Borden Novel - #Review #LizzieBorden

My thoughts
Anyone who knows me knows I'm obsessed with Lizzie Borden. Ever since I was a girl and watched The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975), I've been fascinated. I've read a few novels and watched other shows/movies with differing points of view. However, in The Murderer's Maid, it's the first time I've encountered the story told in such a unique way...with a tie to the future.

The author moves seamlessly from 19th century Massachusetts to the present day. She also adds quite a thrilling element to the story, above and beyond an already thrilling (true to life) tale. I found myself lost in the story. Lizzie's story was handled so deftly that the feelings toward Lizzie ran the gamut from complete distrust and fear to utter sympathy and compassion. Feelings which were richly showcased from the maid, Bridget's point of view.

The present day story, Brooke's story, was a twisting and gradually unfolding mystery. Her story is tied to the legend of Lizzie and I found it a satisfying addition to the story. I applaud the author for adding it. The best kept me guessing until the end. I love that!

I can't recommend this book highly enough. Whether the reader is intrigued by Lizzie's legend or not, they will find the story intriguing. Those who do not know much about Lizzie Borden will learn a lot from this book. The author changes some facts, which she explains in her author's note at the end, but the majority of the story is historically accurate. She also recommends a further reading list which I will be exploring in the future.

About the book
Publication Date: October 30, 2017
Bonhomie Press
Hardcover; ISBN-13: 978-0997066449

Genre: Fiction/Historical/Mystery

Bram Stoker Award finalist Erika Mailman brings the true story of the brutal murder of Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother into new focus by adding a riveting contemporary narrative.

The Murderer’s Maid interweaves the stories of two women: one, the servant of infamous Lizzie Borden, and the other a modern-day barista fleeing from an attempt on her life.

Trapped by servitude and afraid for her own safety, Irish maid Bridget finds herself an unwilling witness to the tensions in the volatile Borden household. As Lizzie seethes with resentment, Bridget tries to perform her duties and keep her mouth shut.

Unknowingly connected to the legendary crime of a century ago, Brooke, the illegitimate daughter of an immigrant maid, struggles to conceal her identity and stay a jump ahead of the men who want to kill her. When she unexpectedly falls in love with Anthony, a local attorney, she has to decide whether to stop running and begin her life anew.

With historical detail and taut, modern storytelling, Erika Mailman writes a captivating novel about identity, choices, freedom, and murder. She offers readers a fresh perspective on the notorious crime and explores the trials of immigrants seeking a better life while facing down fear and oppression, today and throughout history. Intelligent and detailed, The Murderer’s Maid is a gripping read from beginning to bloody conclusion.

“A complex and riveting parallax view of domestic crimes, decades apart.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Erika Mailman writes a page turner of a thriller that will fascinate as well as terrify.” — Margaret Lane, New York Journal of Books

“Fascinating, mesmerizing, and so darkly atmospheric that you keep looking over your shoulder as you read.” ―Diana Gabaldon, internationally-bestselling author of the Outlander series

“The Murderer’s Maid is a fascinating and deeply chilling tale. Erika Mailman weaves a story that is by turns poignant, compelling, and murderously suspenseful.” ―Kathleen Kent, author of The Heretic’s Daughter

About the Author
Erika Mailman is the author of The Witch’s Trinity, a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book and Bram Stoker Award finalist, and Woman of Ill Fame, a Pushcart Press Editor’s Book Award nominee. She’s a Yaddo fellow and lives in Northern California with her family.

For more information, please visit Erika Mailman’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


This post/review was supposed to be a part of a tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. Unfortunately, my busy life got in the way and I was unable to finish the book in time for the tour. My sincere apologies to Amy Bruno and Ms. Mailman.


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  1. I entered a giveaway for this book but didn't win. I really like the sound of it. Have you read "See What I Have Done" by Sarah Schmidt. It is marvelous!

  2. Very cool! The Lizzie Bordern story with Nicole Ricci is in my queue on Netflix. I'll have to give it a go. Great review and I should read this for my horror reading next year.

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