Strengths: A different premise, it evokes vague Sex and the City moments.
Weaknesses: It’s hard to dislike the murderer, but it’s also difficult to like her.
Why I read it: Sent for review by the publisher.
Setting: New York City
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
Rating: 7 out of 10
If you liked this, try: Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
This was another galley given to me by the kind folks of Melville House Publishing. This book was different, as it was written in English (in comparison to Death and the Penguin and One Man, One Murder) and was written recently. The Craigslist Murders is murder straightup – we have Charlotte, the murderer by night and interior decorator by day. In between tracking down antiques for her incredibly wealthy clients, she’s hunting Craigslist (like EBay) for young, society wives selling things and then kills them. (Why rich society wives are selling things on the internet I’m not sure, but I guess we can blame the recession).
Rather than being a portrait of a cold blooded killer, this book is witty and draws parallels with Sex in the City at times. Set in New York with another Charlotte (albeit with a different personality than the other one) and a lot of designer items are mentioned by name, it has that guilty but good feeling. However, it’s hard to link interior designer Charlotte with murderer Charlotte. It seems quite disjointed at times and I wondered if this was intentionally so to expose a personality disorder in Charlotte or if the author wanted the reader to like Charlotte and feel sympathy for her. Although we find out Charlotte’s backstory in pieces, I don’t think it was strong enough to justify her murders. There was a certain glamour aspect to this book though – whether from the brand names or the style, I’m not sure – as well as a bit of a Hitchcock feel.
The ending of this book is excellent and somewhat unexpected. It was the last thing I was thinking of to happen! If you’re squeamish, this is a better crime fiction book for you as it’s not graphic in its descriptions.
A quick and easy read – an interesting topic with a twist, as the story is told by the murderer herself. A good debut by Brenda Cullerton.