Pretty Evil New England: True Stories of Violent Vixens and Murderous Matriarchs
by Sue Coletta
For four centuries, New England has been a cradle of crime and murder—from the Salem witch trials to the modern-day mafia. Nineteenth century New England was the hunting ground of five female serial killers: Jane Toppan, Lydia Sherman, Nellie Webb, Harriet E. Nason, and Sarah Jane Robinson.
Female killers are often portrayed as caricatures: Black Widows, Angels of Death, or Femme Fatales. But the real stories of these women are much more complex. In Pretty Evil New England, true crime author Sue Coletta tells the story of these five women, from broken childhoods, to first brushes with death, and she examines the overwhelming urges that propelled these women to take the lives of a combined total of more than one-hundred innocent victims. The murders, investigations, trials, and ultimate verdicts will stun and surprise readers as they live vicariously through the killers and the would-be victims that lived to tell their stories.
My thoughts: This is an awesome true crime book about 5 women in the New England area, all killers. What really surprised me was that I’d never heard of any of them and I’ve been reading about this subject for 45+ years. Author Sue Coletta does a section on each of the women. You get Jane Tappan, Lydia Sherman, Nellie Webb, Harriet E. Nason, and Sarah Jane Robinson each with their own details, history, and M.O. It’s wonderfully researched and written, and I highly recommend it for true crime readers. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Sue Coletta, and the publisher.
Publishers: Rowan & Littlefield – 296 pages
Publication: Nov 1st, 2020
My rating: 4/5 STARS
About the Author– Sue Coletta is an award-winning crime writer. For three years running, Feedspot named her Murder Blog as one of the Best 50 Crime Blogs on the Net (Murder Blog sits at #5). Sue also blogs at the Kill Zone, a multi-award-winning writing blog. In addition to blogging, she’s the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science, both groups founded by New York homicide detective and cold case expert, Joe Giacolone. Sue also founded #ACrimeChat on Twitter to help crime writers add realism to fiction. She is an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. Sue lives in central New Hampshire (Alexandria) and writes two serial killer thriller series published by Tirgearr Publishing.