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Murder Book: A Graphic Memoir of a True Crime Obsession

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A humorous graphic investigation of the author's obsession with true crime, the murders that have most captivated her throughout her life, and a love letter to her fellow true-crime fanatics. Why is it so much fun to read about death and dismemberment? In Murder Book, lifelong true-crime obsessive and New Yorker cartoonist Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell tries to puzzle out the A humorous graphic investigation of the author's obsession with true crime, the murders that have most captivated her throughout her life, and a love letter to her fellow true-crime fanatics. Why is it so much fun to read about death and dismemberment? In Murder Book, lifelong true-crime obsessive and New Yorker cartoonist Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell tries to puzzle out the answer. An unconventional graphic exploration of a lifetime of Ann Rule super-fandom, amateur armchair sleuthing, and a deep dive into the high-profile murders that have fascinated the author for decades, this is a funny, thoughtful, and highly personal blend of memoir, cultural criticism, and true crime with a focus on the often-overlooked victims of notorious killers.


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A humorous graphic investigation of the author's obsession with true crime, the murders that have most captivated her throughout her life, and a love letter to her fellow true-crime fanatics. Why is it so much fun to read about death and dismemberment? In Murder Book, lifelong true-crime obsessive and New Yorker cartoonist Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell tries to puzzle out the A humorous graphic investigation of the author's obsession with true crime, the murders that have most captivated her throughout her life, and a love letter to her fellow true-crime fanatics. Why is it so much fun to read about death and dismemberment? In Murder Book, lifelong true-crime obsessive and New Yorker cartoonist Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell tries to puzzle out the answer. An unconventional graphic exploration of a lifetime of Ann Rule super-fandom, amateur armchair sleuthing, and a deep dive into the high-profile murders that have fascinated the author for decades, this is a funny, thoughtful, and highly personal blend of memoir, cultural criticism, and true crime with a focus on the often-overlooked victims of notorious killers.

30 review for Murder Book: A Graphic Memoir of a True Crime Obsession

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Murder Book: A Graphic Memoir of a True Crime Obsession by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell is a 2021 Andrews McMeel Publishing publication. With just a few exceptions, this book could have been about me! Well, to be clear- I’d be the mother in this book- and I’ve made my daughter a true crime addict, too. (As you will discover- that’s not a bad thing, at all) So, I could relate to this book quite a bit. I have watched the movies, read the books, watched all the crime shows and documentaries. Two things Murder Book: A Graphic Memoir of a True Crime Obsession by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell is a 2021 Andrews McMeel Publishing publication. With just a few exceptions, this book could have been about me! Well, to be clear- I’d be the mother in this book- and I’ve made my daughter a true crime addict, too. (As you will discover- that’s not a bad thing, at all) So, I could relate to this book quite a bit. I have watched the movies, read the books, watched all the crime shows and documentaries. Two things I don’t do, though, are- Nancy Grace- and podcasts- but I have tried to add the podcasts in on occasion. But alas, this story is not about me… The story is about a woman, Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell, who is obsessed with True Crime. She thinks she inherited this interest in crime from her mother, but wants to try and figure out the psychology behind why people find true crime so entertaining. High profile cases like that of the Zodiac and Ted Bundy are profiled and analyzed, for starters, moving on to other cases, like Anne Marie Fahey. Hilary lists the authors she loves, and crime shows she watches- both fiction and non-fiction and then of course, as her life progresses, she discovers the true crime podcast. The author attempts to make her obsession sound not all that strange, while admitting there’s some weirdness about enjoying the genre. Other than one warped religious remark, early on, I thought the book was hilarious, and so true. The author nails the obsessive behaviors of many true crime enthusiast, most of whom are women, and many of us can see ourselves in this book. The illustrations are in black and white, perhaps more like something you might see in a newspaper or magazine, than the traditional graphic novel. I enjoyed the criminal cases she chose to examine and got a kick out her defense of the true crime genre and understood her need to explain why she enjoys it and can relate to feeling a certain amount of guilt about that, as well, occasionally wondering what it said about me that I got into what Hilary calls “all that murder s**t”. As her investigation deepens her findings will give all us ladies who enjoy true crime a better understanding of what it is about the genre that attracts us, and we can all breathe a great big sigh of relief because I agree wholeheartedly with Hilary’s findings! No need to explain or feel guilty anymore! Women really have made true crime better! The Thanksgiving scene at the end was hilarious and brilliant and I loved, loved, loved the way the book ends! Anyone up for an episode of Law & Order? Dun Dun!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    If you are a murderino and have read every true crime book and wonder why you're like this you will like this book. It's sort of an autobiography of the author going through the stories that stuck with her and examining why women are so fascinated with murder. Weirdly relatable. If you are a murderino and have read every true crime book and wonder why you're like this you will like this book. It's sort of an autobiography of the author going through the stories that stuck with her and examining why women are so fascinated with murder. Weirdly relatable.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    This is a long book, too long, intending to be funny by a comedian/cartoonist, about her lifelong obsession with true crime. And I do find her likable and amusing at times, but I got increasingly uncomfortable the more I read the book. She calls her self a "murderino" and speaks of case after case--The Zodiac Killer, Ted Bunny, and so on, cases that most of us know about, and she sort of goes primary for laughs as she talks about them, putting more emphasis on her admittedly weird obsession than This is a long book, too long, intending to be funny by a comedian/cartoonist, about her lifelong obsession with true crime. And I do find her likable and amusing at times, but I got increasingly uncomfortable the more I read the book. She calls her self a "murderino" and speaks of case after case--The Zodiac Killer, Ted Bunny, and so on, cases that most of us know about, and she sort of goes primary for laughs as she talks about them, putting more emphasis on her admittedly weird obsession than on the suffering of the victims. She makes it clear that she- Campbell, like one biographer of Ted Bundy, Ann Rule, is sort of attracted to this despicable killer, she admits she and other women find he's "hot," (like all the women who offered to marry Jeffery Dahmer!?) even as she wincingly names many of his victims. She says she cares about these women and she insists that she has sympathy for them; she thinks that the fact that mostly women are true crime fanatics and that women are primarily the victims of serial killers someone makes the genre feminist, but I have to say this book felt less about the women who have been--let's just say it--slaughtered than all the wine-with-ice and her and her friends and family's obsessive watching and listening and reading. I actually did like reading some of the book quite a bit, I say somewhat confusedly and guiltily, because it made me feel a little uncomfortable at times, partly because I (confession time!) also am sometimes a consumer of true crime: 1) I am making my way through Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song, a true crime novel; 2) I am watching the film version of In Cold Blood (a true crime novel I think of as a masterpiece) over the break; 3) I am admittedly reading a lot of noir/thrillers/mysteries that focus largely on murder; 4) I just re-read Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver (based on an actual case for which he was the DA) and hope to re-view the film this coming weekend, and I just started watching Steve Martin and Martin Short's Only Murders in the Building, and find it entertaining. Like Campbell I once watched Law and Order regularly, and read Michelle McNamara's own tale of her obsession with the Golden State Killer. I read Maggie Nelson's story of her aunt's murder, Jane: A Murder, and her reflection on America's obsession with the murder of women, The Red Parts. But she and I were nevertheless still obsessed with her aunt's grisly murder, one of several that too place in the Ann Arbor area in the sixties. I read Robert Bolano's scathing critique in 2066 of writers of all kinds for failing to take a stronger stand on behalf of the dozens of women who were murdered near the Mexican-US border in the nineties. The Black Dahlia, dozens of books about her; what's this cultural obsession really about? Her? Or is it a fascination with violence, and especially, almost exclusively, about the killing of "pretty" women? I know I read three books about her, at least. I can't say I am callous as I read all these books, but I worry about my participation in this phenomenon. But really, who am I to point fingers at Campbell, huh? Am I not at base--my review of 2066 and some of the above notwithstanding--a fellow "murderino" with Campbell? But I have to say the lightheartedness of the book made me question my stance on some of the related issues. I hate it that so much of crime/mystery/thriller books I read focus on serial killers, going for the grisly, for the shock value. Isn't this all as much about sensationalism than it is about empathy? I'm going to (try to?) double down on my role as I read and watch these things. But first I have to get back to The Executioner's Song. . .

  4. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    Oof, this did not work for me at all. I was immediately put off a bit by the art style and a joke made in the opening of the book, but I stuck it out in hopes it would get better, and it did not. I very rarely accuse anyone of glamourizing true crime stories because I also find myself very drawn to true crime stories and I acknowledge that it's entirely possible to be interested in the topic without romanticizing the killers, but in this case, the author's general approach towards the subject ma Oof, this did not work for me at all. I was immediately put off a bit by the art style and a joke made in the opening of the book, but I stuck it out in hopes it would get better, and it did not. I very rarely accuse anyone of glamourizing true crime stories because I also find myself very drawn to true crime stories and I acknowledge that it's entirely possible to be interested in the topic without romanticizing the killers, but in this case, the author's general approach towards the subject made me a bit uncomfortable. Aside from the potential motive, though, there's just the fact that the style of this graphic novel is rough. The author cracks a few self-deprecating jokes about how disjointed their storytelling is, but seriously, there were so many pages that I had to re-read because the panels and speech bubbles were so poorly formatted that I couldn't even figure out what order to read them in. At the end of the day, even if you consider yourself a true crime junkie, I don't recommend this. ——— twitter | booktok | bookstagram | blog

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Peterhans

    A graphic memoir that pretends to take into account the victims involved in True Crime, but ends up being just as, or even more, exploitative than a lot of True Crime is. And all of it told in quite poor art. Beyond problematic. (Picked up an ARC through NetGalley)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shirin Tondkar

    Do you love murder? Do you want to understand why your wife, girlfriend, daughter, partner, aunt, and other women around you love murder? Are you a murder? If you can find even one YES, so this book is for you. Hilary Campbell is a professor of murder shit, graduated under her mother and grandmother's watched. She and her ancestors (only women) have an obsession, murder obsession. Obsession to what? Zodiac, In cold blood, Ted Bundy (very bold in this graphic novel), crime books, reality murder tv se Do you love murder? Do you want to understand why your wife, girlfriend, daughter, partner, aunt, and other women around you love murder? Are you a murder? If you can find even one YES, so this book is for you. Hilary Campbell is a professor of murder shit, graduated under her mother and grandmother's watched. She and her ancestors (only women) have an obsession, murder obsession. Obsession to what? Zodiac, In cold blood, Ted Bundy (very bold in this graphic novel), crime books, reality murder tv series, podcasts, and all sorts of things that are related to true crime. This was a funny story about a true-crime lover girl. A graphic book with many texts. Recommended to crime lovers. Thanks to Netgalley, I have given an honest review of Murder Book by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Geoff

    This was a fun, introspective, thoughtful, and engaging graphic memoir of the author's love of (and grappling with her love of) true crime. I learned a new word ("muderino" a title of endearment for the hard core fans of true crime), learned a lot more about the night stalker and the zodiac killer, and thought a lot about the various arguments and reasons why people might love true crime (and why those fans are overwhelmingly women). The art is very loose and light, which doesn't always go with This was a fun, introspective, thoughtful, and engaging graphic memoir of the author's love of (and grappling with her love of) true crime. I learned a new word ("muderino" a title of endearment for the hard core fans of true crime), learned a lot more about the night stalker and the zodiac killer, and thought a lot about the various arguments and reasons why people might love true crime (and why those fans are overwhelmingly women). The art is very loose and light, which doesn't always go with the subject mater, but it fits the author's boozy low key curious journey. Really enjoyed this. **Thanks to the artist, publisher, and NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Schizanthus Nerd

    I’ve spent so much time watching, reading and listening to all things true crime and I’ve wondered at times if my interest is too weird, too morbid or too much. I love that Hilary shares my obsession. In this graphic memoir, Hilary traces her true crime obsession, from members of her family whose obsessions sparked her own to the movies, books, TV shows and podcasts that kept the flame burning. David Fincher’s Zodiac had a huge impact on Hilary, in part because she lived so close to some of the c I’ve spent so much time watching, reading and listening to all things true crime and I’ve wondered at times if my interest is too weird, too morbid or too much. I love that Hilary shares my obsession. In this graphic memoir, Hilary traces her true crime obsession, from members of her family whose obsessions sparked her own to the movies, books, TV shows and podcasts that kept the flame burning. David Fincher’s Zodiac had a huge impact on Hilary, in part because she lived so close to some of the crime scenes. True crime even got her back into reading as an adult, first with Robert Graysmith’s Zodiac and then anything by Ann Rule. Hilary considers why the majority of people who watch, read and otherwise devour true crime are women. She also tracks how the types of true crime that have been written about have changed throughout the decades. Although this is a memoir, Hilary also explores some crimes that hold special significance to her, including the murder of Anne Marie Fahey and the murders committed by Ted Bundy. I never expected to see true crime explored in a graphic novel, but it worked. The victims of crime are often practically invisible in their own stories but there was a focus on them here. I especially appreciated learning what their interests were. For example, Betty Lou Jensen liked art, school, studying and fashion. I know I like to joke, but in all seriousness, a large part of the reason I love true crime is the hope of justice for the victims. Of course, all of this talk about what started Hilary’s obsession got me thinking about my own. I think I can blame my Nan for planting the seed. Her father was the superintendent of ambulances in our state when she was growing up and he had plenty of medical books showing graphic injuries in the home. My Nan grew up reading these gruesome accounts. I grew up listening in awe as Nan regaled me with the stories in those books, always describing the accompanying pictures in detail. When I was sixteen, the older sister of one of my childhood friends was murdered. She grew up around the corner from me and I had sleepovers at their house when I was a kid. The police officer who lived down the road from me told me more about the crime and subsequent investigation than they probably should have. Obviously I followed the case as it went to trial and the media appearances by her family over the years. My obsession really took off at university, though. My favourite assessment was when my psychology class was given a murder scenario. Our task was to profile the murderer. I loved trying to get inside the mind of the perpetrator. This assessment led me to John Douglas books, which only fuelled my obsession. I wanted to be a criminal profiler years before Criminal Minds premiered. Naturally, I was obsessed with that show (especially with Reid). It’s only been recently that I’ve come across someone who shares my love of true crime and I personally blame them for my latest true crime obsession: Crime Junkie. Within a few short months, I’ve devoured dozens of episodes. I always knew but now I’ve had it drilled into me that it’s never a mannequin. I now answer “And I’m Brit” at the beginning of each episode. “Be weird. Be rude. Stay alive.” has become a new mantra. If you’re a true crime junkie, you will find a kindred spirit in Hilary. If you know someone who loves true crime but you just don’t get the fascination, this graphic novel may help you understand what it’s all about. There’s a lot more text in this graphic novel than most I have previously read. I had difficulty figuring out which order I should be reading panels on some pages but the majority of them were easy to follow. I enjoyed the artwork. There’s humour, like this all too accurate description of movies that are ‘based on true stories’. It’s the DRAMATIC, SEXY version of a REALLY HORRIBLE situation that you would never find sexy if it happened to YOU! It’s relatable. Hilary’s ability to love true crime, Disney, horror movies and Peanuts simultaneously mirrors my own strangely contradictory loves. It’s a graphic novel I definitely want to reread. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this graphic novel. Blog - https://schizanthusnerd.com

  9. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Katz

    An interesting follow-up to the last one I read (Graveneye, which was also about murder, albeit fictional murder in that case) ...but this one was decidedly not for me. I occasionally listen to some true crime podcasts so I was very interested in the idea of a true crime fan's analysis of why they like true crime, which is what this seemed to be advertising itself as being. Instead it came across more of a true crime fan's exultation of being a *fan* in true crime *fandom*, which was just uncomfo An interesting follow-up to the last one I read (Graveneye, which was also about murder, albeit fictional murder in that case) ...but this one was decidedly not for me. I occasionally listen to some true crime podcasts so I was very interested in the idea of a true crime fan's analysis of why they like true crime, which is what this seemed to be advertising itself as being. Instead it came across more of a true crime fan's exultation of being a *fan* in true crime *fandom*, which was just uncomfortable to read. It has the same vibe as people talking about their favorite ships -- like a MCU fan gushing about Stucky, maybe, except that it's about recounting a sense of being attached to murders where people died. There's a sort of stanning to it, a hype, that I couldn't find myself enjoying or relating to? (view spoiler)[There was even an autobiographical bit where as a child she came across the neighbour's cat who got decapitated by the garage door and decided to play with the corpse and treat it as a crime scene. It really read as absolutely monstrous to me. (hide spoiler)] Again, I'm someone who does engage with True Crime as a genre but ... I don't know. There's a sense of trying to lay claim, to have some relationship to it (even to the point of view of starting this after making a joke about wanting to be murdered). And maybe this is a very real element of much true crime (and true stories in general) in that people tend to tie it back to their own connections, where was I when x, etc? I think most of us DO have a tendency to get into parasocial relationships with real people (or situations) we read about a lot. But the way it was done just was an unpleasant one for me, where the author joked about her narcissism -- it was just very pleased with itself in a way that rang weirdly when you remember that, again, these are real people who died horribly. On top of that, the art is rough and with this many characters reoccurring throughout and many of them related to each other it's hard to tell who's who, and the narrative style is so slapdash and bounces around from subject to subject so much that the author keeps commenting in the text about how bad she is at telling a story. Multiple times! So I can't really recommend it on either of those angles either.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    As I read this book, all I could keep thinking of was the Dirty Dancing DVD. Why, you ask? Well, back when audio commentary tracks were all the rage, Dirty Dancing writer Eleanor Bergstein did the best one I ever heard. I truly enjoyed listening to the sparkle in her voice as she excitedly raced to jam in years and years worth of her every thought about the film. Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell, a fanatic about true crime stories, brings that same passion to the printed page as she pours all her ener As I read this book, all I could keep thinking of was the Dirty Dancing DVD. Why, you ask? Well, back when audio commentary tracks were all the rage, Dirty Dancing writer Eleanor Bergstein did the best one I ever heard. I truly enjoyed listening to the sparkle in her voice as she excitedly raced to jam in years and years worth of her every thought about the film. Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell, a fanatic about true crime stories, brings that same passion to the printed page as she pours all her energy and enthusiasm for the subject into this big thick book. I found myself swept up in her musings and reflections about what this obsession means about her and people like her. I was drawn into her recaps of some of the cases that had the most impact on her. I smiled at the banter between her and her mother. Keep in mind, this is more a fan rant than a scholarly work. I imagine you'll either immediately fall in love with her wit, humor, and candor in the first few pages or you'd best set the book aside because it's the same all the way through. I'm not a true crime fan and I've never watched an episode of Law & Order, but thanks to Campbell's cheerleading, I'm tempted to at least try an Ann Rule book sometime in the near future and maybe a couple of the other books she mentions.

  11. 4 out of 5

    G

    Now, I'm not much of a true crime reader. Let's get that out of the way. Because if you're into that kind of thing, you'll likely love this book, because you will be able to relate. Me, not so much. I find the genre exploitative and of questionable taste; to go and turn the very worst experience someone can have (and I mean the victims as well as their families, friends, colleagues, neighbors, anyone who suffers the fallout of the actual deed) into entertainment fodder (because let's face it, no Now, I'm not much of a true crime reader. Let's get that out of the way. Because if you're into that kind of thing, you'll likely love this book, because you will be able to relate. Me, not so much. I find the genre exploitative and of questionable taste; to go and turn the very worst experience someone can have (and I mean the victims as well as their families, friends, colleagues, neighbors, anyone who suffers the fallout of the actual deed) into entertainment fodder (because let's face it, nobody reads this stuff for scholarly purposes) and, by extention, into nice hard cash for themselves... nah. Not. My. Thing. But this autobiographical (!) graphic novel sounded like, um, not fun exactly, but maybe the author might take a similar approach to herself and her outlook on things as Alison Bechdel did with "Fun Home"? Like, turn a sharp eye on why we are the way we are and why we do things and find a lot of absurdity and heartbreak and humor along the way? Yeah, well, I guess that joke was on me. Because this book is on True Crime, and how fun and fascinating it is in all its shapes and sizes, and what a cool and crazy chick the author is for loving it. I think "oh dear" sums it up pretty nicely. In fact, about half of the book is spent on cataloguing the author's idiosyncrasies -- that she loves the 1970s and has loads of obsolete technology in her apartment; that she was a precocious "old soul" type of kid who watched "The First Wives Club" on opening day, when she was, apparently, five years old; and, unsurprisingly, that she can't tell a story. It looks like she did some stand-up comedy as well, with laugh-out-loud lines like "Hope to be murdered someday!", which struck me as something only a truly vapid person would say or even just consider funny. (That same less-than-juvenile kind of humor shows up again in the section dealing with the Zodiac, where she inserts herself into the action with the types of funny questions and quips and asides that would make an 8-year-old groan. God help us.) As for actual True Crime, we get the usual suspects -- the Zodiac, Ted "Enough Already" Bundy -- as well as, for some reason, Tom Capano and that wife-and-unborn-baby killer Scott Peterson; I'd be tempted to skip over this whole section, because it really brings nothing new to the table, were it not for some misplaced righteousness, or may I even say hypocrisy. Because the author quite correctly points out that it's the white serial killers that get all the love, while you can literally kill 60 people (Wikipedia lists an even higher number) and not enter public lore just because you're a POC, which really is totally unfair and everything. Which in itself is quite an, er, interesting line of thought, I guess, but does the author anything to "rectify" this injustice? Does she hell. We get a little side panel showing the mugs of six Black serial killers and one tiny mention of the Night Stalker as well as some fairly lame lip service as to how media coverage of violent crime is historically racist, but Ms. Campbell herself is covering only white perps and victims, so moaning about lack of representation feels a bit icky. Which brings me to my main issue with "Murder Book". The way the author talks about the victims is for the most part as callous as it is puerile. Take for example the panel that ticked me off the most, on page 48, which shows David Farraday and Betty Lou Jensen, the Zodiac's supposed first victims, leaving the burger place where they just had their first (and final) date with this happy exchange: "Where next!?" "Our untimely demise!" Just in case you're a bit fuzzy on the details, these are two kids, 16 and 17 years old respectively, real-life teens who died a brutal, senseless death, terrified and in pain and alone; an act that shattered their families and traumatized their friends to this day. There are people out there who still miss these kids. So yeah, let's please joke about it. Show the world how super quirky you are. This display of utter callousness is then followed by a hypocritical spread on how it's really "all about the victims" for the author and "what lovely young kids these two were", which actually made me puke in my mouth a little. Because, you know, actually it's not about these or other lovely murder victims (it never is, to be fair; it's just the way this whole genre works -- the victims are just the fuel that keeps the sensationalist machine that is True Crime running), it's mostly about how endearingly weird and quirky and flat-out fascinating-in-that-bumbling-cutesy-dumb-way the author is, and it's just as "ugh" as it sounds. Also, it's about her family, mainly her mom. Who is also into true crime. So if you're interested in two not overly interesting women talking about other people's tragedies like it's some sort of competition set up for their amusement, well, here you go. Along the way, lots of wine gets drunk (on ice cubes -- WTF) and passes made at unsuspecting guys in bars; there's some bonding over shared True Crime passion and lots and lots of toilet sessions, as the artist seems to have a weird obsession with drawing herself on the bowl. (All that watered-down wine, I presume.) On the technical side, I was not impressed with the artwork. That kind of style probably works fine for a New Yorker cartoon, but at 330+ pages I found it fairly unfriendly on the eyes. Same goes for the lettering, which is truly atrocious. There are some attempts at true-to-life drawing (most of the victims as well as, strangely, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dick Wolf and the cast of Law & Order), none of which do their subject any justice at all; their only purpose seems to be to show up the artist's limitations, at which they admittedly succeed well. Ever scribbled a face in your notebook with your ballpoint pen instead of paying attention to algebra? Yup, that's the skill level I'm talking about. Just try and put names to those celebrity portraits; I dare you. All in all, this was fairly disappointing. I would have liked some exploration on a personal level into what it is that intrigues so many readers, the vast majority of them female, about depictions of real-life violence against women, and how they justify (even just to themselves) supporting that blatant exploitation of other people's tragedies and pain for their own entertainment. It's obvious that something about the idea of women meeting brutal ends at the hands of men and the feeling that in our society, this could happen at any time, in any place, to anyone, deeply resonates with the author, who claims to consume nothing but True Crime; unfortunately, she never explores those deeply subjective, personal issues in any depth, instead going for stupid jokes and over-the-top antics, completely devaluing her concerns in the process. Behind all the not-funny banter and me-so-crazy deflection, there is another, deeply personal story we only catch fleeting glimpses of -- Ms. Campbell, in passing, mentions eating disorders, body issues, unhealthy relationships, and general, therapy-level anxiety. Add to this her obsession with violent death, and you have a woman who clearly has much more to tell than she does in "Murder Book"... once she feels like shedding her clown costume and finds the courage to step out into the open. I'd like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an ARC of "Murder Book" in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brandi

    [1.5 Stars] This was a unique approach to a memoir but I don't think it worked for me 1. While I appreciated the simplicity of the illustrations, I think it was sometimes hard to follow the flow of the panels. The organization definitely could have been better 2. The regurgitation of true-crime stories got a bit boring because I had heard about it all before. I wanted more reflection on what true crime meant to her over straight facts 3. the bits of memoir that we did get also felt repetitive. It w [1.5 Stars] This was a unique approach to a memoir but I don't think it worked for me 1. While I appreciated the simplicity of the illustrations, I think it was sometimes hard to follow the flow of the panels. The organization definitely could have been better 2. The regurgitation of true-crime stories got a bit boring because I had heard about it all before. I wanted more reflection on what true crime meant to her over straight facts 3. the bits of memoir that we did get also felt repetitive. It was the same questions and same answers over and over. 4. Also, her take on true crime was slightly bothersome. It took her almost the whole book to point out the racial disparities in what's popularized within the true crime genre. Also, Hilary claimed to have a feminist, victim-focused view of true crime, but she really didn't. I felt that the victims and their stories were largely neglected. Or even completely left out. When discussing the Serial podcast Hilary doesn't even name Hae Min Lee. Instead opts to just say "a girl was murdered" and then focus on her suspected killer instead. My rating is reflective of my enjoyment of the presentation and organization of the information, not of Hilary's experiences or views.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a True Crime Graphic Novel. I found this Graphic Novel was fun to read. I did find there was parts of this book was a little repetitive, but I still enjoyed it. I enjoyed the pictures in this book, and I found the pictures really help bring this book to life. Even through this book was covering a hard topic (murder) it was funny and fun to read. Great read. I received an ARC of this book. This review is my own honest opinion about the book like all my reviews are.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    I had an Advance Reader of this from NetGalley. I understand that memoir books are very personal and as such it's very hard to judge them as anything other than a very individual perspective, but this book tries to do too much. There is the memoir part of it, but there are also 2 other equal parts of the narrative. The first is a recounting of some true crime stories - unfortunately, most of these are rethreads of crimes we all know (even if you aren't into true crime you know who and what Ted B I had an Advance Reader of this from NetGalley. I understand that memoir books are very personal and as such it's very hard to judge them as anything other than a very individual perspective, but this book tries to do too much. There is the memoir part of it, but there are also 2 other equal parts of the narrative. The first is a recounting of some true crime stories - unfortunately, most of these are rethreads of crimes we all know (even if you aren't into true crime you know who and what Ted Bundy is), the author touches on the fact that True Crime tends to glamourize the perp, and that the perps that tend to be glamourized are white and male, yet... well that's what she does too. Commenting on something while doing that same thing, is meta, sure, but not progressive. The second thing she's doing is trying to figure out WHY she (or women in general) are attracted to True Crime - unfortunately, here we fall into a lot of generalisms and repetitiveness. Blaming her mother, or generalizing on what women are or are not as a collective. Women are not (as much of anything that can have nuance) a monolith, and feeding into "positive" stereotypes of women as the empathetic gender or such seems counterproductive. I wish she had laser-focused on the memoir part of this. She could have talked about the crimes she talked about but much more about how SHE digested them and less about a beat by beat of the crimes (especially since we all know what the Zodiac Killer did!) The last problem I had with this book is that it was difficult to read. I am a pretty savvy comic and graphic works reader, and even I was stumped as to the reading flow of this graphic novel.. The panels were staggered in one way but when I read it according to the structure, I would quickly realize I had it wrong... This happened more than once. I think the author would do well to study graphic panel conventions so that the reading of her future works could flow better. The writing, however, was nice and the story was funny (although I wondered why there were so many scenes with the main character on the toilet!), It just took on way too much and as such lost the thing that it was meant to do which was tell a story of someone who for reasons of their own fell in love with a good murder story.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Charlene ✿

    4.25 stars  ★★★★ **I was provided with an ARC from Andrew McMeel Publishing and Netgalley for an honest review** ☞ Trigger warnings: *contains spoilers*(view spoiler)[  murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, mentions of previous animal death, mentions of sexual assault, mentions of gun violence, anxiety, dead body, grief & loss depictions, incarceration, intrusive thoughts, loss of autonomy, nightmares, physical and verbal abuse, depictions, manipulation of a dead body, fire, stalking. (hide s 4.25 stars  ★★★★ **I was provided with an ARC from Andrew McMeel Publishing and Netgalley for an honest review** ☞ Trigger warnings: *contains spoilers*(view spoiler)[  murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, mentions of previous animal death, mentions of sexual assault, mentions of gun violence, anxiety, dead body, grief & loss depictions, incarceration, intrusive thoughts, loss of autonomy, nightmares, physical and verbal abuse, depictions, manipulation of a dead body, fire, stalking. (hide spoiler)] This book spoke to me and looked into my soul and psyche as a huge true crime lover. I have loved it since I was a child. I listen to true crime podcasts; I read true crime books and watch all the true crime documentaries and love most crime tv shows. I tell people about weird crimes I have heard and my conspiracies about famous murders all the time. I am considered to be one of 'those' people obsessed with murder. This book basically asks the question that most people ask. The question: Why? Why do we love true crime? "I'm not a murderer, I'm just obsessed with murder. There's a difference" This book aims to accomplish multiple things. Firstly, it is a memoir about the author, their childhood, family and relationship with true crime and their own mental health. It also touches on why women in particular are interested in true crime, and the link that women are more likely to be a victim of crime, particularly violent crimes. "Its why the woman are so into true crime. Were the ones dying! The women in these cases could be any of us" The author has an entire section on how her love of true crime is hereditary, going as far back as her grandmother obsessing over true crime, reading true crime detective magazines, and reading crime novels. My true crime obsession is also through my mother. She has always been interested in true crime, and we watch crime shows together. We have slightly different tastes though, where she has a preference for documentaries including documentary tv crime shows 20/20 , Forensic Files and 48 hours where I also love dramatisations and legal/detective/crime shows (which a generally based on real life cases) like Criminal Minds , Law & Order: SVU , Elementary . My mother and I have a penchant for British crime shows like Broadchurch , Line of Duty and of course our favourite, Midsomer Murders . My sister is slowly getting corrupted by us, where we have forced her to listen to my favourite podcasts and watch shows I know she will like. The process is slow but I know I will be successful in having another obsessive fan in my family. "I feel like, for me, im just always trying to figure out what are all the warning signs of a murderer." True crime has been around for longer than many think. True crime is a booming genre, with big streaming services like Netflix pumping them out like candy, and true crime podcasts cropping up like weeds. There are more ways to consume true crime than ever before, and it is a genre that will be hard pressed to die (pun intended) as crime is a side-effect of living in a society. Documenting true crime has evolved throughout history and it is highlighted in the first section. I loved this look at the past, the timelines of true crime and the evoltion of the genre. "How are women not supposed to be afraid? Our husbands are always killing us!" There are many references to many famous true crime cases; including The Zodiac Killer, Ted Bundy and Lizzy Borden. I was not only excited to read about crimes I already know, but I was excited to read about new cases. There is an entire section about Ted Bundy but plot twist, it is actually about Ann Rule!! I love that Ann Rule was the real focus because not only is she the true queen of true crime, but Bundy's notoriety has been exaggerated in a way that doesn't do justice to the victims. I appreciate the author focusing on the victims of not just Bundy's crimes but also other famous crimes like the Zodiac killer. There was a small amount of information about their interests because they were more than murder victims; they were people with lives, loved ones, futures. "We need to teach ourselves, our daughters, to trust their gut feelings. If you think something is wrong, it is." Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell doesn't shy away from the political issues of true crime. They illuminate the media handling of victims, particularly female victims, and the inherent misogyny and racism within crime reporting and investigating. Women who are victims of crime are often slut-shamed, and "women are either the virign or the whore in the press" defined by their items of clothing or jobs. Sex workers are one of the most vulnerable people in our society and experience higher levels of violence against them. Statistics range from 40% to 60% more likely to be murdered than non-sex working women. One study says 93% of women sex workers had been the victim of sexual assault. Transgender sex workers and trans women, especially people of color, endure higher rates of violence than those of cisgender women. Violence against sex workers is difficult to investigate (if they are even reported or if the police actively try to solve the case). In countries where sex work is illegal, sex workers are unable to report violence against them as they too could be arrested themselves. Sex work is widely, highly stigmatised, resulting in many cases remaining unsolved. The police themselves are often the perpetrators of this violence, and the trust between the sex worker community and the police is almost non-existent. People of colour are often the most ignored victims when it comes to true crime shows and documentaries, and Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell rightly states, men of colour are somewhat 'expected' by society to perpetuate rape and murder, so when a white man does it, it is senstaionalised and studied as if they are an anomoly. Ted Bundy is an obvious example as someone who was constantly underestimated, given freedoms that most convicted killers are not, and had groupies that believed he was innocent. There are so many people of colour who are often victims of false convictions; people who cannot afford bail so they sit in jail for years without a conviction, and others in jail for racisit policies like the war on drugs, and the three strike laws. Feminism has entered the true crime genre in a new exciting way that allows women and other identities to be in charge of their own stories, and uplifts victims that have been silenced for too long. Women like Ann Rule, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark (from My Favorite Murder ), Michelle McNamara I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer), Ava DuVernay and Sarah Burns( When They See Us ) and so many more!! There are so many books, podcasts, movies and documentaries and tv shows that are mentioned. I had to stop to add each book to my goodreads but some book titles were really hard to read, and I struggled with a few of them, that I had to try and guess the book through my goodreads recommendations of other books. I was disappointed with the end. I had expected a list at the end that has all the books, podcasts tv shows and movies mentioned.  "Never date a truck driver. They can hide a body anywhere." I was surprised when I finished it because it felt somewhat unfinished. It is fitting, she ends it with her mum, watching a true crime show, but I might have expected some form of ephiphany. A conclusion that talked about the future of true crime, and where the genre will evolve towards. I had hoped there would be resources, mental health services, a call to action for people who can help victims of crime, and petitions for legislation changes, or even a satirical to-do-list to avoid getting murdered. I guess it itself had an unsatisfying ending like the crimes Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell talks about. Life keeps going, and we hope that ourselves or the people we love don't become the victims of crimes. "I've actual learned to be a stronger woman because of true crime! It has taught me to stand up for myself and listen to my instincts, so i dont wind up on Dateline!" Overall, this is an empowering, funny and informative memoir that is perfect for fans of true crime or just starting to gain an interest in the genre and friends and family of someone obsessed with murder and wants to understand why. ☁︎  Would I recommend this book? Yes! Especially if you are interested in true crime, or have a friend or family member that is 'obsessed' and you want to understand their obsession with murder. ☁︎  Would I re-read this book Yeah, I would love to get a physical book of this, and maybe use it as a coffee table book that I let my friends borrow so they can truly get my obsession. 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  16. 5 out of 5

    Eustacia Tan

    I found this book on NetGalley, and even though I read more manga than graphic novels, I requested it because of its subject matter. I’m fascinated by True Crime, and the fact that it was subtitled as a “memoir of a true-crime obsession” made me think it would be a cross between Gone at Midnight (in that the author’s journey is important) and Savage Appetites (exploring why women, in particular, are so drawn to the genre). Unfortunately, I think Murder Book fell short of one of these expectations I found this book on NetGalley, and even though I read more manga than graphic novels, I requested it because of its subject matter. I’m fascinated by True Crime, and the fact that it was subtitled as a “memoir of a true-crime obsession” made me think it would be a cross between Gone at Midnight (in that the author’s journey is important) and Savage Appetites (exploring why women, in particular, are so drawn to the genre). Unfortunately, I think Murder Book fell short of one of these expectations. It was an intensely personal book, exploring why she and her family all seemed to be into True Crime, but attempts to explore the bigger issues in the genre seemed to be a little lacking. For example, podcasts like Serial and My Favourite Murder were brought up, but the toxic culture/allegations of toxicity found in some podcasts and other problematic aspects (ahem, the host of Sword and Scale) were completely glossed over. For example, is it okay to use 911 calls in the podcast? Are jokey catchphrases fun or disrespectful to victims? Can we use podcasts as advocacy channels or are they meant to be as balanced as possible? I was hoping for some discussion of these questions because they are questions that I have, but they didn’t appear, although there was a segment on racism in the true-crime industry which led to “women make true crime better”, which is not the conclusion I was going for. That said, in exploring her family’s personal history with murder, Hilary does talk about anxiety about one’s safety and empathy as one reason why women are fascinated with murder, and I thought that section was interesting and the closest we got to exploring the appeal of the genre. Her other reasons, like wanting to live in the 70s/80s or having very casual parents, felt a bit too specific/American and I couldn’t really relate with those. Another thing I liked were the recaps of the cases. I already knew a few, like the Ted Bundy one because I’ve read Ann Rule’s book, but I have never heard of Tom Capano and I thought that the case was fascinating (Wikipedia link if anyone wants to look at it). Overall, I enjoyed this but it was not the book for me. Thinking about it, the reason why I was not as engaged with the book as I wanted was that I didn’t know why I should be interested in Hilary’s story. Is she meant to be a typical (American) fan? Was she trying to explore meta-issues about the genre? I don’t know. Add a rather rambly and meandering narrative style to this and I wasn’t particularly interested in the book – the next book on my TBR was probably a bigger motivator to me finishing this! But I did enjoy some of the recaps, so it wasn’t a complete washout for me. P.s. Friends who are familiar with graphic novels – is it common to have the author draw herself on the toilet a lot? I think I saw a toilet scene at least five times and it didn’t really feel like a motif/that it had any deeper symbolism (like the Psycho shower scene or something, it was just her sitting on the toilet), so I’m not sure if it’s a common thing? Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, but all opinions are my own. This review was first posted at Eustea Reads

  17. 5 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    New Yorker cartoonist, Fitzgerald Campbell, scrutinizes what draws her specifically, and us generally, to true crime. Is it a learned/inherited hobby (from her mom) that grew as media and pop culture shifted? Is it victim relatability? Through this research, she discusses specific cases and media influence. It’s absolutely fascinating, darkly humorous, and an absolute gateway for true crime noobs like myself.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Fem looniemo0ny

    It may seem a bit weird to call a book about murder a “fun and light read”, but it really was! Murder Book is a non-fiction graphic novel about the writer’s obsession with true crime. We learn more about some famous murder cases and how Hilary’s specific interest in serial killers came to be. My favourite parts were the “story times” about the specific killers. They were told in a light and funny way while also remaining respectful to the victims. After a while, it did start turning into more and It may seem a bit weird to call a book about murder a “fun and light read”, but it really was! Murder Book is a non-fiction graphic novel about the writer’s obsession with true crime. We learn more about some famous murder cases and how Hilary’s specific interest in serial killers came to be. My favourite parts were the “story times” about the specific killers. They were told in a light and funny way while also remaining respectful to the victims. After a while, it did start turning into more and more of the same and I have to admit I started skipping some pages to get to the more “exciting” bits . This is such a niche book that most readers will probably already know serial killer stories like Ted Bundy and The Zodiac Killer. Though it is nice to learn how hearing these stories influenced Hilary personally and to wonder if it may have influenced us in the same way. If you’re into true crime and graphic novels, this is a MUST READ! Murder Book is coming out November 9th so definitely keep an eye out for that! Thank you to NetGalley for sending me this ARC!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell is obsessed with true crime. Born to later-in-life parents who had already raised a few kids, she grew up mainly in the company of adults, and listened in on the conversations where crimes in the news were often discussed around the table. Soon she was forming her own opinions and becoming hooked on the horrific crimes of the Zodiak and Ted Bundy. In her graphic memoir, Campbell gives us the stories behind some of her favorite crimes and lists her favorite true crime bo Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell is obsessed with true crime. Born to later-in-life parents who had already raised a few kids, she grew up mainly in the company of adults, and listened in on the conversations where crimes in the news were often discussed around the table. Soon she was forming her own opinions and becoming hooked on the horrific crimes of the Zodiak and Ted Bundy. In her graphic memoir, Campbell gives us the stories behind some of her favorite crimes and lists her favorite true crime books, documentaries, and podcasts. She looks deeper into her childhood and her family and the inherited obsession she has with the genre. Fully willing to admit it’s a strange obsession, Campbell looks at the psychology behind it and the reasoning behind why women find the genre so appealing. This is a humorous memoir that works well in the graphic format! I enjoyed the black and white panels that reminded me of a vintage on-going newspaper strip. Weirdly relatable, this is a book that most any murderino is going to enjoy! Thanks to Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Murder Book is scheduled for release on November 9, 2021. For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  20. 4 out of 5

    Becka

    Murder Book is described by the publisher as “A humorous graphic investigation of the author's obsession with true crime, the murders that have most captivated her throughout her life, and a love letter to her fellow true-crime fanatics.” Unfortunately I did not find it humorous, and in fact am rather disturbed that it would be considered humorous for someone to say that they “hope to be murdered someday.” Thanks go to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read an advance Murder Book is described by the publisher as “A humorous graphic investigation of the author's obsession with true crime, the murders that have most captivated her throughout her life, and a love letter to her fellow true-crime fanatics.” Unfortunately I did not find it humorous, and in fact am rather disturbed that it would be considered humorous for someone to say that they “hope to be murdered someday.” Thanks go to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    I need to start this off with this: I love true crime and I love a good murder mystery. I have watched all the CSI's and all the Law and Order's [and loved them all]. I am forever intrigued by trials for suspected murderers, the hunt for killers and the process behind them. I absolutely adore British crime TV [I may or may not have just binged a whole season of a new show today]. I think John Grisham and his books are amazing. I am a total "guess who the murderer is" junkie. I say all that to le I need to start this off with this: I love true crime and I love a good murder mystery. I have watched all the CSI's and all the Law and Order's [and loved them all]. I am forever intrigued by trials for suspected murderers, the hunt for killers and the process behind them. I absolutely adore British crime TV [I may or may not have just binged a whole season of a new show today]. I think John Grisham and his books are amazing. I am a total "guess who the murderer is" junkie. I say all that to let you know that this book should have absolutely been right up my alley. Unfortunately, it so was not. I am not sure if it was the format, or how the story was told or what it was, but this was the most disjointed story I have ever read and it made it close to impossible for me to get even a smidgen of enjoyment out of it. The story jumps around a lot, there is excessive language, and there are huge gaps within the story that are never really resolved or the thread isn't picked up again and you are left wondering why it was even in the story to begin with. What was to be a book where I could bond with the author over a love of all things murder [and yes, I am deeply aware of just how awful that sounds], ended up being nothing more than a two day dive into a book of frustration and deep unfulfillment. I am really disappointed in this one - in my opinion, it could have been so much more. Thank you to NetGalley, Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Vivienne

    My thanks to Andrews McMeel Publishing for an advance review copy via NetGalley of ‘Murder Book: A Graphic Memoir of a True Crime Obsession’ by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell in exchange for an honest review. Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell is a cartoonist for the New Yorker and in this quirky memoir she celebrates her life-long love of true crime (and some crime fiction). She credits her mother for this obsession. Indeed, it appears to run in her family back to her great-grandmother, Annabel Fitzgerald, My thanks to Andrews McMeel Publishing for an advance review copy via NetGalley of ‘Murder Book: A Graphic Memoir of a True Crime Obsession’ by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell in exchange for an honest review. Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell is a cartoonist for the New Yorker and in this quirky memoir she celebrates her life-long love of true crime (and some crime fiction). She credits her mother for this obsession. Indeed, it appears to run in her family back to her great-grandmother, Annabel Fitzgerald, sister of F. Scott. While I am more drawn to crime fiction, I too have been bitten by the true crime bug so could definitely relate. Fitzgerald Campbell has a playful, tongue-in-cheek style and her humour is very dark. While I was aware that women are avid readers of mysteries and crime fiction, I wasn’t aware that the same was so of true crime. She offers some possible reasons for this trend. She analyses some famous cases including The Zodiac andTed Bundy and celebrates Ann Rule’s prolific career as a writer of true crime. She then moves on to true crime documentaries and the rise of true crime podcasts, something that I expect is more of an American phenomenon as none mentioned were familiar to me. Woven throughout are witty personal anecdotes. Aside from her work as a cartoonist, she is also a standup comedian, so some of these were a bit edgy. I definitely could relate to her love of Law & Order and its ‘ripped from the headlines’ storylines. Overall, I enjoyed this memoir and Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell’s playful cartoon style of art.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    Pros: As someone who enjoys a great true crime podcast, I was very curious to read a graphic memoir about true crime obsession. With true crime being such a popular topic, I think many readers will relate to this book. What makes this book special is its format--a graphic memoir. The combination of text and illustrations adds so much to the story and made for a fun and funny read, which made more sense when I learned the author/cartoonist is also a comedian. I never expected to see the stories a Pros: As someone who enjoys a great true crime podcast, I was very curious to read a graphic memoir about true crime obsession. With true crime being such a popular topic, I think many readers will relate to this book. What makes this book special is its format--a graphic memoir. The combination of text and illustrations adds so much to the story and made for a fun and funny read, which made more sense when I learned the author/cartoonist is also a comedian. I never expected to see the stories about the Zodiac Killer and Ted Bundy in comic form, but it was unique! I enjoyed the author's commentary on why so many people (i.e., anxious women) are obsessed with true crime. While reading this book, I had to set it aside at times to do a bit of research on crimes I had not heard of and to research the author's familial connection to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Also, a class about "the history of murder stuff" sounds fascinating and like something most/all of my friends would want to attend. Cons: Some readers might find the tellings of the true crimes as cartoons to be insensitive to the victims of the crimes. Also, this book was difficult to read on my phone; I think it would be great to read a print copy where the text is a bit bigger. Thank you to NetGalley and Andrew McMeel Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    brianna

    Thank you to Netgalley for giving me a copy of this eArc. I'm going to be honest, I was a little suspicious when requesting this as the description is, self-admittedly, "A humorous graphic investigation of the author's obsession with true crime, the murders that have most captivated her throughout her life, and a love letter to her fellow true-crime fanatics." The humorous is really what threw me off, so I decided to try to give it the benefit of the doubt because I am a forensic science student Thank you to Netgalley for giving me a copy of this eArc. I'm going to be honest, I was a little suspicious when requesting this as the description is, self-admittedly, "A humorous graphic investigation of the author's obsession with true crime, the murders that have most captivated her throughout her life, and a love letter to her fellow true-crime fanatics." The humorous is really what threw me off, so I decided to try to give it the benefit of the doubt because I am a forensic science student who is subsequently also interested in true crime because of it. Big mistake. The book opens up with "Welcome to my book, my murder book!" and asks if you're here because you love murder or your sister/girlfriend/some woman in your life loves it. It very much rubbed me the wrong way. I get the whole "grab the reader's attention with a joke" but given the seriousness of the topic of true crime, it felt in very poor taste. There should be nothing to "love" or be obsessed about in relation to true crime, especially as this is not directed towards victim advocation but a seeming fetish for serial killers like the Tumblr fangirls. And this honestly does not improve throughout the rest of it. Making references to Nancy Grace's "determination" when she has been proven countless times to be problematic, talking about a hope to be murdered some day, ignoring the racism within the community itself for most of it, and more. It felt more like an exploration of victims and an author trying to be "not like other girls" than describing an actual interest in true crime investigation. Also, it was just super disjointed. I had to reread often as I would get lost every few pages. Save yourself the time and money and don't read this.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    A creative and insightful view on the author's obsession with true crime and where it stems from. I loved the way the information was laid out as if it were being taught in a class. The deep dives into Ted Bundy's spree gave a good overview on what happened and how people were reacting at the time. There was quite a bit of research done into how the true crime phenomena has evolved and taken hold of the population but it was presented in a fresh, easy to understand way without being bogged down A creative and insightful view on the author's obsession with true crime and where it stems from. I loved the way the information was laid out as if it were being taught in a class. The deep dives into Ted Bundy's spree gave a good overview on what happened and how people were reacting at the time. There was quite a bit of research done into how the true crime phenomena has evolved and taken hold of the population but it was presented in a fresh, easy to understand way without being bogged down with too many statistics. All in all, a quick, entertaining, and humorous read. I received a copy from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ankita Goswami

    I love graphic memoirs and true crime (and crime fiction) in every form, so this book felt like it was written FOR me. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about and relating to Hilary's true crime obsession - I loved the self-awareness, the humour and the random bits of trivia about the evolution of true crime media. It also acted as a refresher on (in)famous cases like the Zodiac murders and crimes of Ted Bundy, and I liked how she honoured the victims by listing out their 'likes' and reminding us tha I love graphic memoirs and true crime (and crime fiction) in every form, so this book felt like it was written FOR me. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about and relating to Hilary's true crime obsession - I loved the self-awareness, the humour and the random bits of trivia about the evolution of true crime media. It also acted as a refresher on (in)famous cases like the Zodiac murders and crimes of Ted Bundy, and I liked how she honoured the victims by listing out their 'likes' and reminding us that they were real humans. My favourite part of the book, though, was her bond with her murder-obsessed mother. The way Hilary describes her mom sounds like she is a quirky and fun mom, and reminded me a lot of my own mother who (too) passed on her movie and crime fiction obsession to me. I honestly enjoyed this book so much that I didn't want it to end. Thank you Netgalley for an ARC!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ave Reads ♡

    Rating: 3.25 🌟 My sincere thanks to Netgalley for providing this e-arc. Reading this book has provided me with a wealth of new information about crime and the people who are obsessed with it. In the middle of the book, I was surprised to learn that the killer was based on an actual individual.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dana Cristiana

    3.75 ✨. Review to come.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ru

    The title "Murder Book" caught my attention, I was interested to see what this graphic novel would be about as a lover of murder mysteries. I grew up reading a lot of Agatha Christie which is not true crime but I was intrigued nonetheless. This graphic novel covers a wide range of topics, like why people are interested in crimes, what True Crime is, and notable instances that have horrified the nation. It's also a combination of autobiography and memoir, detailing how her curiosity with crime ev The title "Murder Book" caught my attention, I was interested to see what this graphic novel would be about as a lover of murder mysteries. I grew up reading a lot of Agatha Christie which is not true crime but I was intrigued nonetheless. This graphic novel covers a wide range of topics, like why people are interested in crimes, what True Crime is, and notable instances that have horrified the nation. It's also a combination of autobiography and memoir, detailing how her curiosity with crime evolved into an obsession over the course of her life. The art style, which wasn't my favourite, and the transitions between sections/topics were not always smooth. While reading, I found my mind wandering a bit, and it didn't keep my attention throughout, but True Crime aficionados may find more to relate to. It was almost impossible to not dnf it. I’d like to thank Netgalley for this arc.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    More like 3.5 stars. Weirdly relatable but also she was somewhat too much. And this book didn’t need to be as long as it was.

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