The Murderer’s Maid by Erika Mailman
Publication Date: October 30, 2017
Hardcover; ISBN-13: 978-0997066449
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
My Review: As a lover of historical fiction, there was really no way that I could turn this book down. Though I haven’t been one to research the infamous Lizzie Borden murders, I have certainly heard the fable and have often wondered what really went down that day. I thoroughly enjoy books that give us a different take or perspective on parts of history, so dove into The Murderer’s Maid eagerly, though a little apprehensively. While I do not mind books of “darker” stories, I do not read them often. So I was a bit concerned that it might bother me.
However, Erika Mailman is such an immensely gifted storyteller, that my worries were for naught. What an incredible book! (And a bit creepy, might I add. I seriously didn’t read it at night. No, really.)
The book is a dual time-period story…I love dual time stories. The past is told through the eyes of Bridget, an Irish maid who is looking for a job in the face of discrimination. Desperate for work, she is offered a job at the Borden household and accepts it, despite her misgivings. The present is told through the eyes of Brooke, a girl on the run for her life, who finds out that she is related to Lizzie Borden and becomes drawn to the mystery surrounding her tale.
The author did a wonderful job of seamlessly switching between the time periods, while intertwining the storylines together. I enjoyed reading Brooke’s side of things, but was especially fascinated by Bridget’s narrative. Seeing the events that unfolded through the eyes of the maid was pretty spectacular, while seeing Lizzie’s personality unfold was a bit…disturbing. Definitely out of my usual range of novels, and one that I am glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone for.
Also? Pigeons. I’m just going to leave that right there. Pigeons.
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.
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, October 17
Interview at Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, October 18
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Thursday, October 26
Review at Linda’s Book Obsession
Monday, October 30
Review at A Holland Reads
Tuesday, October 31
Review at The Maiden’s Court
Thursday, November 2
Review at Book Nerd
Tuesday, November 7
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Wednesday, November 8
Review at The True Book Addict
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