Title: The Murderer’s Maid
Author: Erika Mailman
Date: October 30th 2017
Publisher: Bonhomie Press
Genres: 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.
The Murderer’s Maid by Erika Mailman is a historical fiction book, inspired by true events. Set in the late 90s of the XIX century, Bridget is a maid in the Borden’s household, but she’s afraid of Lizzie, the youngest daughter of her employers.
Her story is inter-woven with the story of Brooke, a woman who lives in our days and who has been escaping from someone who wants her dead for years.
I highly enjoyed the book. Before reading it, I had never heard about Lizzie Borden’s case, and this book made me so curious that I searched on the Internet more information.
There are only two things that bothered me a little. The shift of time from chapter to chapter made the story a little hard to follow, because I had to re-read several times which year we were in; and the fact that, even though Bridget was creeped out by Lizzie and the woman did some strange things, she didn’t quit her job.
I loved Brooke. I love that her mother was immigrant, because this let us see more into their life. Bridget was an Irish girl who came to America to earn money to send to her family in Ireland, while Brooke’s mother came to America to find a better life.
She unexpectedly falls in love with Antony and has to decide whether to stay with him and face those who want her dead, or flee again until they will stop following her. I could her growing arc and it was very great.
The book portrayed how people looked down on them, treating them badly only because they weren’t considered Americans. This still happens often, though less than before.
I liked the author’s hypothesis about why Lizzie was the murderer as well.
I highly recommend this book, it was enticing and intriguing. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
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.
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