Stay sexy, read about murder

“The half-life of murder is forever.”

y450-293I expected to love Tori Telfer’s Lady Killers. I was not disappointed.

Illustrated with Dame Darcy portraits of the murderesses portrayed in the fourteen stories Telfer tells, Lady Killers relates the tales of a select group of female serial killers from history, ranging from the rumored hundreds of murders carried out by Elizabeth Bathory in sixteenth century Hungary to the poisonings carried out by Nannie Doss in the 1950s. The vintage stories give readers some distance, and Telfer relates each tale with plenty of detail and just a bit of feminist editorializing. (I’m not complaining.) Continue reading Stay sexy, read about murder

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Slasher flicks and FINAL GIRLS: A review of Riley Sager’s novel

There will be mild spoilers below for assorted horror movies of the last 40 or so years—namely, revealing the names of the “final girls” of said movies. Read on at your own risk.


Screenshot 2017-04-22 15.55.00Until I was 13 or 14 years old, I hated horror movies. I had always hated Halloween because there were nothing but men in scary masks hacking up teenagers on TV (and because I hated seeing teenagers in those same masks running around the neighborhood) and I didn’t like being scared. Life can be awful enough; why subject yourself to extra torture?

But it was the middle of a weekend day, probably on AMC’s Halloween marathon, when my mom (who also largely disliked scary movies) and I ended up engrossed in 1998’s teen slasher, Urban Legend. That moment will live in infamy in my life, as that was the movie that spawned my concurrent love affairs with late 90s teen slasher flicks, Joshua Jackson, and final girls.

Continue reading Slasher flicks and FINAL GIRLS: A review of Riley Sager’s novel

Hail Satan and have a bitchin’ summer

Don’t worry, be happy : )

9781594748622Months ago, I stumbled upon Grady Hendrix’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism, and I knew I had to make it my own. It’s the story of Abby and Gretchen, best friends since an ill-fated, ET-themed fourth-grade birthday party brought them together, who seem to be successfully transitioning into teenager-dom. That is, things are grand until one night the girls, joined by two other friends, decide to drop acid at a sleepover and Gretchen runs off into the woods, missing in the darkness for hours on end.

When Abby finally stumbles upon her best friend after searching for her all night, Gretchen is naked and terrified. She seems to have been attacked, but she won’t elaborate on what happened in the woods. And then things get weird.

Continue reading Hail Satan and have a bitchin’ summer

Two books into 2016 and, damn, but I’m on a roll

My blog, as you may have noticed, ended up on a bit of an unintended holiday hiatus. It’s been a bit of a stressful last few weeks — good stress and bad stress — and I let my writing suffer as a result. I read a lot more. I watched thirty-eight and a half episodes of The Americans. I played Penny Dreadful Clue. I rang in the new year on the West Coast, my first time heading out that way. I forgot to pack a James Bond book for the flight.

But I’ve got plans for 2016 — resolutions, of sorts. And I thought I’d check in here, just to see what was what and to make a few promises. I’ll finish all of Fleming’s Bond books in 2016. I’ll keep up with reviews. I’ll put a dent in the TBR pile that’s been around since 2013.

Continue reading Two books into 2016 and, damn, but I’m on a roll

I have to tell you about ‘Bohemian Gospel’ real quick

Bohemian GospelI’m new to both my publishing career and this whole reviewing process. So I’ve been sitting on a whole lot of feelings about a phenomenal book that my company will be publishing in November, unsure if it was proper etiquette to rave about a book you have a hand in helping put together and selling to the general public. But seeing as my boss (who edited said book) encouraged me to rate and review it on Goodreads, I guess I can share a little more now.

So, a few months back, when I was still pretty new to the editorial assistant thing and worked just three days a week, my boss turned to me (we all work in one office–we’re tiny) and basically just said, “Katie, you have to read this.”

I did. I absolutely did have to read it.

Continue reading I have to tell you about ‘Bohemian Gospel’ real quick

A ‘Marvel’ amongst circus fiction

Church of MarvelsIs it just me, or does the next genre trend seem to be turn-of-the-century historical fiction set in and around side shows, or focusing on characters who make their homes, fame, and fortunes in circuses, carnivals, and the like? The Night Circus was a big hit recently, and I feel like I’ve seen a few such manuscripts come into the submissions box at work (have I mentioned that I’m an editorial assistant at a New York-based independent publisher? I don’t get to read nearly as much as I’d like, but I’m working to shift my duties back to the submission pile).

And when I came across Leslie Parry’s Church of Marvels (I think I signed up for a Goodreads giveaway of it a few months ago), I knew I had to read it. I’ve been on quite a circus fiction kick of my own, spanning artistic mediums these last few months. And the story of several distinct people living disparate, yet irrevocably intertwined, lives in 1895 New York City sounded exactly like the kind of book I’d devour. After losing the giveaway I’d entered for it, I placed a large order at Barnes & Noble, including a pre-order of Church of Marvels. Another book in my shopping cart, unfortunately, won’t pub until mid-June, so I’m, unfortunately, still waiting for my new haul.

Continue reading A ‘Marvel’ amongst circus fiction