book reviews

Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History

Tori Telfer

If there is anything I love more than learning about serial killers it is learning about female serial killers! Shows like Criminal Minds, Dateline, and Mindhunter enthrall me — I seriously cannot get enough of true crime. Though I read mostly fiction, especially fantasy, I think the core of my bookish heart might be completely dedicated to the true crime genre. I willingly sacrifice hours of sound sleep, knowing the creepy and gruesome stories will keep me up at night, just so I can get my daily dose of murder and mystery!

So imagine my delight when I came across the book Lady Killers while browsing the true crime shelves of the bookstore, not that I could miss it with the bright pink cover. I flipped through the pages a little bit before buying it and was excited to see the names of people I had never heard of before. Many times, in reading about infamous killers, the same names appear again and again, but not in this book!

Each chapter focuses on a different killer woman and explores her background, history, and, obviously, the murders! I was surprised that none of the women in the book were contemporary killers, in fact, most lived 100 or more years ago. Even so, Telfer writes the women and their stories to life in a way that brings the horror and reality of the crimes to the present, making the horrifying murders just as scary to read about now as they were when they were actually occurring.

For such dark material, the writing is light and informative and critical. Telfer uses a feminist lens to explore these female serial killers and it is very effective at giving a full and in-depth look at what really happened when the women killed. I really enjoyed how Telfer acknowledges and emphasizes the female-ness of the crimes and how, many times, murders by women are romanticized or misunderstood when the reality is that they are just as horrific and evil as murders committed by men.


I give Lady Killers four stars because it was captivating, unique, and, best of all, terrifying! If you’re a fan of true crime or feminist literature and looking for something new and different, definitely check this book out. I’m sure that most of the female serial killers profiled in this book will be ones you’ve never heard of before and will make for a fun (or maybe scary) read. Get ready to be spooked but unable to tear your eyes away from the evil acts of these infamous lady killers!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Have you read Lady Killers? Tell me what you thought about it in the comments!

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