America’s First Female Serial Killer by Mary Kay McBrayer was given a great review by MBR: Reviewers Bookwatch, read the review here.
America’s First Female Serial Killer
Mary Kay McBrayer
9781642502077, $18.95, PB, 216pp
Synopsis: America’s first female serial killer was not always a killer. “America’s First Female Serial Killer: Jane Toppan and the Making of a Monster ” by Mary Kay McBrayer is a work of deftly crafted fiction based upon the true story of first-generation Irish-American nurse Jane Toppan, born as Honora Kelley. While all previous books about her life and her crimes are all facts and no story, “America’s First Female Serial Killer” posits that while Jane Toppan was absolutely a monster, but she did not start out that way.
When Jane was a young child, her father abandoned her and her sister to the Boston Female Asylum. From there, Jane was indentured to a wealthy family who changed her name, never adopted her, wrote her out of the will, and essentially taught her how to hate herself. Jilted at the altar, Jane became a nurse and took control of her life, — and the lives of her victims.
Readers of “America’s First Female Serial Killer”: Will gain insight into the personal development of a severely damaged person without rationalizing her crimes; Vividly experience the rarely told story of a female serial killer; Understand that even monsters were humans, — at first.
Critique: “America’s First Female Serial Killer: Jane Toppan and the Making of a Monster” will have a special and particular appeal for true crime buffs. While especially recommended for both community and college/university library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “America’s First Female Serial Killer” is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662009211, $22.99, CD).
Jane Toppan and the Making of a Monster
For readers who are fascinated by how serial killers are made. This book is for listeners of true crime podcasts and readers of both fiction and true crime nonfiction. It is for watchers of television shows like Deadly Women and Mindhunter, who are fascinated by how killers are made. It’s for self-conscious feminists, Americans trying to bootstrap themselves into success, and anyone who loves a vigilante beatdown, especially one gone off the rails.