The Murderer’s Maid by Erika Mailman
Publication Date: October 30, 2017
Hardcover; ISBN-13: 978-0997066449
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.
“A complex and riveting parallax view of domestic crimes, decades apart.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Erika Mailman writes a page turner of a thriller that will fascinate as well as terrify.” — Margaret Lane, New York Journal of Books
“Fascinating, mesmerizing, and so darkly atmospheric that you keep looking over your shoulder as you read.” ―Diana Gabaldon, internationally-bestselling author of the Outlander series
“The Murderer’s Maid is a fascinating and deeply chilling tale. Erika Mailman weaves a story that is by turns poignant, compelling, and murderously suspenseful.” ―Kathleen Kent, author of The Heretic’s Daughter
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Bridget Sullivan was the Borden’s maid during the time of the murders, she was even home when it happened; however, when was outside washing the windows, a fact that might have saved her life. As the maid, Bridget was privy to much of the Borden’s private quarrels and any inside information of how the strange family lived and gotten along. Bridget’s testimony during Lizzie’s trial had the potential to sway guilt or innocence upon Lizzie. Bridget’s side of the story during the Borden murders is one that is still left to be told. In the present, Brooke , the daughter of a Mexican-American maid shares a distant connection with Lizzie and Bridget. While celebrating the 4th of July with her mothers employer and family, the Carr’s, Mrs. Carr drowns. Years later, Brookes mother is murdered and Brooke receives evidence that she is next, Brooke goes off the grid and moves frequently believing it is the only way to stay alive. It isn’t until Brooke digs into her absent fathers past that she unravels the mystery of the deaths and feels confident to once again live her life.
I have always been in I have always been intrigued by the Lizzie Borden murders and Lizzie Borden herself. I truly do believe that she was a woman out of her time wondered how her life would have been different if she were born a century later. While I cannot say whether not Lizzie was guilty or innocent, I do enjoy reading stories that dare to guess about the true circumstances that happened that day. Replete with historical detail and intense emotion, Bridget's side of the story gave a point of view that I have never heard before. Bridget's place within the family gave her a front row seat to the drama of the Borden's life. Along with her place on that fateful day, Bridget maybe one of the only other people who truly did know what happened to Mr. and Mrs. Borden. Paired with Brooke's story in the modern-day The Murderer's Maid lends an interesting twist. Brooke seems to have much in common with Bridget as the daughter of a maid to a family with many issues themselves. As Brooke finds her life unraveling, she comes across Lizzie’s story and an unlikely connection which helps her bring everything together. I was entranced by the voices of these two women, one of whom history might have swept under the rug due to her position within life and another which modern society might dismiss due to her lot in life. I will continue to be haunted by the Borden murders, and The Murderers Maid has shown me even more nuances to this complicated case.
This book has been received for free in return for an honest review.
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.
For more information, please visit Erika Mailman’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.