Cover Image: Love in the Time of Serial Killers

Love in the Time of Serial Killers

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Member Reviews

Such a fun story! I enjoyed the romance although at times I was a little to convinced the love interest was actually a serial killer which got confusing. Overall, a fun adventure that read quickly! I recommend.

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I do enjoy true crime but it definitely has its ick factors and these are prominent within the book. A slow-burn romance that takes a bit too much time to get off the ground.

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LOVE IN THE TIME OF SERIAL KILLERS takes what could have been an average romantic comedy and infuses it with wit and true crime goodness. Thompson perfectly delivered characters who were real and complex.

Honestly, this book is the exact type of romance I love to read. It brings together humor, smart dialog, internal conflict, and beautifully flawed characters. Then you add into the mix Phoebe’s obsession…ehem…research into our society's fascination with the true crime genre and you had me hooked. Though this story didn’t in fact have any mystery to solve or murder to deal with, having the main character throw out serial killer facts like most people talk about the music they liked was, in my humble opinion, awesome.

The characters were well developed. The romance had just enough swoon as it did hurdles to overcome. And the writing flowed effortlessly with the banter and inner dialog. This is an unconventional rom-com, but well worth the read.

PSA: I did turn to the audiobook to finish the book. The narrator, Lee Daniels, did a wonderful job of breathing life into the characters and giving them a voice. She is now Phoebe forever in my mind.

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If you love true crime and romance then this is the book for you! Our MC listens to way too much true crime and because of that, is always watching out for the worst in people (who isn't). From the moment Phoebe meets Sam she's convinced he might be a possible serial killer but it turns out for her to be much worse. ;)

Thank you, #netgalley for an early read of #loveinthetimeofserialkillers

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I’m probably one of the only people that isn’t a fan of true crime, but for some reason when I heard about Love in the Time of Serial Killers I knew I wanted to read it. Color me intrigued!

Phoebe sees the world through true crime lenses. While she is working on her dissertation, she temporarily moves to Florida to clear out her dad’s house after his death and begins to realize her next door neighbor might not be the serial killer she makes him out to be in her head. Overall, this was a cute romance (it is not a thriller), but the first half was very slow and I didn’t understand any of the true crime references (and there were A LOT of them). It dealt with some heavy topics (grief, childhood trauma, emotionally abusive parent), but maintained a pretty heavy feel until the very end. I loved Phoebe’s neighbor, Sam but Phoebe never really grew on me. I did enjoy it, but it was just ok for me.

Read if you like:
-True crime
-Slow burn romances
-Adorable sibling relationships
-Childhood best friends

Thank you so much Berkley Romance, Berit Talks Books, and Netgalley for the gifted copy! All opinions are my own.

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I did not enjoy this book. I didn't get the romance at all, and I found the main character completely annoying!

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What a strangely me book? Now, I do not think this is the perfect book for everyone. This really has the "true crime, but make it romcom" vibes that I needed.

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This is one of those times when a cover made me want to read the book. It also had a clickbait title for someone who likes to read thrillers and romance too.

Phoebe Walsh is doing her Ph.D. dissertation on true crime. She travels to Florida to have her dad’s house fixed before selling it. Her dad who was in his 50s passed away suddenly from a heart attack at the grocery store.

When she was a teenager Phoebe’s parents divorced. She left with her mother, and her brother Connor stayed with her father. This scarred her for life. She is closed off to love. She doesn’t trust easily and prefers to be a loner in the company of her serial killer books.

However, seeing her once best friend Allyson around is making her discover that she misses having a girlfriend she can count on. In addition, meeting her young neighbor Sam who is nice to look at, and spending time with her brother and his girlfriend are all causing her heart to thaw. Especially, when a feral cat enters her life too.

I liked the story but didn't love it. I did love Sam. He was sweet and supportive. I understood why Phoebe was so scared of opening her heart coming from a broken home but I thought she was really rude to Sam most of the time. I understand protecting yourself but I have no clue why Sam would let her treat him that way.

I will say that this novel has plenty of political comments so if you're like me who prefers romance without any of them in it, this might not be for you.

Cliffhanger: No

3.5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Berkley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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I had a hard time getting through this book, and I can't figure out what caused that. The premise is generally interesting and unique, the genre is one of my favorites, and the aesthetic of the book is right up my alley, so why didn't I like it? Possibly because it *felt* like a debut novel, though this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm still trying to figure it out.

I didn't hate this book, but I didn't like it either. The dialogue almost felt forced, the syntax and structure almost felt like it was trying too hard, and the main character almost felt *too* quirky. I think I've reached a point where I can recognize a book as my type within the first 5-10 pages, and I could tell that this wouldn't be my cup of tea.

That is to say, I do believe that this book *could* be enjoyed by romance/rom-com readers, but if you're expecting something revolutionary in the world of romance, this probably isn't it.

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This is definitely a romance for true crime fans! In addition to true crime fans, anyone who enjoys family dynamics, a great cast of characters, and witty banter will find something to enjoy in this one.

Phoebe is completing her PhD focused on true crime when her father, with whom she's had a distant relationship, passes away. She heads down to Florida to clean out his house and soon meets the next-door neighbor, Sam. She immediately thinks he's a serial killer (this felt relatable as a woman in modern-day society), but he turns into a love interest.

I really enjoyed their dynamic and Phoebe's relationship with her brother. This was a cute and quirky read!

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I didn’t need to know anything about this book to know that I needed to have it in my hands. Just the title itself is amazing. And then when I read the synopsis, I knew it was going to be a book for me. And listen, I was not wrong. I loved this book and I related to Phoebe and I loved it. Why weren’t more people talking about this before it came out? I didn’t find out about it until August….

Anyway, Phoebe is a quirky character who is getting her PhD in true crime as a genre. Well that’s the short version lol) This sounds like something straight out of my life. No I’m not working on my PhD, but true crime and books are like my second passion. It’s definitely something I could relate to. And then when she met Sam and was really stand-offish with him, I was the same with my husband. It wasn’t because I thought he was a serial killer, but more so because I thought I wasn’t going to be what he wanted. And man seeing that I wasn’t the only one that thought like that made me feel so much better. So basically what I’m saying is I related to her alot. It made the book a lot more fun. And man she was hilarious. With the way she was so awkward and weird with people, I definitely understood that as well. Well in layman terms, I really liked her lol

As for Sam, I LOVED that he was the complete opposite of her. He was a cinnamon roll and I loved how he made exceptions for her. He hated the darkness from true crime, but he was not going to not be there for her. I did like that Thompson had played on this tho. Like she showed he was an elementary teacher and she showed that he didn’t like the way she talked about books, and I really liked seeing the way they were different. This reminded me of my husband too lol He always gets mad at me and asks if I’ve been “watching death and murder” all day.

The plot was what made me not give this 5 stars tho. It didn’t seem like there was one. It was basically about her brother, and then her accepting that she liked him, and then finally them coming together. It just didn’t feel like it was actually going anywhere? I don’t know how to explain it. Like it was just things happening to her and there was no real direction? I’m probably butchering the explanation, but I don’t know how else to say it.

This could have been a five star read for me if there were some changes. But even without it, it was still a good read. I had a great time reading about Phoebe and I really hope to read more by Thompson later on. Definitely an author I want to check out more from. I hope she always has a random true crime element lol

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In Love in the Time of Serial Killers, Phoebe is working towards her PhD and for her dissertation she’s analyzing true crime. At the same time she’s also moving into her late father’s house to start going through things and put the house up for sale and she starts to suspect that the guy next door is a serial killer. With her knowledge of all things true crime she starts to make a great case that the nice guy Sam is a little more than suspicious, but as she gets to know him better is he the psycho murder she thinks he is or is he just a regular guy that could potentially steal her heart.

Phoebe and Sam are now my favorite fiction couple with their witty and often dark humor and steamy and sweet scenes. True crime is also one of my favorite genres so I was having a great time reading about all the references that Phoebe was using throughout the story and I loved her dark humor. I couldn’t help but laugh throughout this book as we saw everything through Phoebe’s very cynical eyes. I love how body positive she was when talking about how soft she was and that she and the other characters were proud of how nerdy they are. I also loved that while trying to figure out if the neighbor was out murdering people she was also able form real relationships with her brother and her oldest friend and work on her dissertation. I found it hysterical how Phoebe’s first reaction to anything that’s emotional or troubling is to bring up true crime or murder. The brilliant chemistry between Phoebe and Sam was so fun to read as it developed and I love that she was able to be herself with him. Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for this digital copy of the book. I recommend this book to any readers who love true crime, sarcastic characters, hysterical mix ups and romance.

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I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I loved this book!! I'm not going to say too much about the plot of this because I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that I think this is a perfect cozy type mystery/thriller for the times. The subject matter is so perfect for the time that we live in. There is so much information out on social media and the internet about all kinds of serial killers and mysterious killings that people just didn't have access to 30 years ago. Unless it was a national news story or something that was local, we didn't know about it. Now we have YouTube, blogs, arm chair detectives and podcasts and social media, so it is very easy to get wrapped up in these stories and suddenly you are afraid to sleep with the windows open because your very own neighbors could be serial killers! You start to question everyone and everything because all these stories of seemingly normal people who turn out to be murderers could be the people you know. If you know what I am talking about then this book is for you! I had a great time reading this book, if felt like listening to a good murderous podcast!

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I read this book in a couple hours! Why? Because it was so fun and gave me many laughs during my rather boring day today!

There were so many things I really liked about this book!

First the leading man was so sweet and I just wanted to give him a giant hug the whole time. And he just made me smile.

Second, the sibling relationship was not perfect but I think it was such a realistic depiction that we don’t often seen…siblings who don’t get close until loss or adulthood.

Third, I loved the growth of the main character…at beginning the main character rubbed me the wrong way, but by the end I found her truly endearing and loved her growth! She was a great commentary on how the relationships we see as children and the relationships we have can truly affect us late into adulthood.

AND THEN! Let us not forget all the true crime references…I don’t read true crime but this book makes me want to!

💕Favorite Quotes💕

“…Tried to be so sure about that one person that I wanted to legally make a promise to love them forever. Tried to forget how little forever really meant, how little it meant for people like our parents who maybe should’ve never married at all.”

“To love someone was to need them. To open yourself up to pain and rejection and loss.”

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Despite the good writing, this book wasn't for me. It was missing the romance - yes there was a very slow relationship developing, but it wasn't central to the story. I would have loved for something more to be there. I also found the MC's suspicions about others to be on the annoying side. I can definitely think of some people who would really enjoy this.

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Paranoid, Anyone?!

I really wanted to like this one but I found the main character's paranoia to be over the top.

Phoebe is completely obsessed with serial killers and true crime, and is, in fact, writing her dissertation for her Ph.D. on true crime. Upon moving back to Florida to clean out her childhood home after her father's passing, she becomes deluded by the idea that the next-door neighbor is a serial killer.

With every (normal) action he takes, she becomes more convinced. My eyes couldn't help but roll.

Yes, it's true that she fell for him in spite of it. I wish I could say that I thought it cute, but I did not, I could not suspend disbelief, even though Sam, was pretty awesome.

The other issue I had was simply that Phoebe had a lot of childhood trauma to get past and it lasted through most of the book and somehow, some way, she seemed to do so without therapy in a few short pages, which was completely unrealistic. To that end, this book didn't work for me at all, but I am only one reader and was clearly the wrong one for this novel.

This was a buddy read with Kaceey.

Thanks to Berkley Publishing Group for an arc via NetGalley.

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I really enjoyed following Phoebe during Love in the Time of Serial Killers. This book mixes a traditional romance with true crime and it's really a lot of fun! The book does touch on some heavy and difficult topics, but it's handled really well and I was very impressed!

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I really ended up tearing through Love In The Time of Serial Killers. I loved the true crime and pop culture references. I thought Phoebe was a delightful character.
This book has two of my favorites, romance and true crime. Actually, this is a fun book, a bit of a slow burn with steam. Phoebe is home after her father’s death. She meets Sam, the neighbor who seems nice enough but Phoebe thinks he just might be hiding something.
It also touches on some heavy topics and I think the author handled it beautifully.
If you haven’t read it yet, I absolutely loved this book.

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THE 411...

Fellow Cappies Rejoice we've got ourselves our very own Capricorn female MC and I dare you not to draw parallels as you take a trip inside the mind of Pheobe Walsh. Obsessed with True Crime and working on her dissertation analyzing the genre leaves Pheebs with very little time to even think of dating. Her father has recently passed away and she is now back in Florida trying to get her childhood home in order to sell. Having had a tough relationship with her dad that resulted in leaving with her mom after they divorced, she also has her brother Jeremy to reconnect with. The brother who stayed with their curmudgeon dad and is very sweet natured is also worried his sister's obsession with true crime has reached new levels. Pheeb's swears the hot and mysterious neighbor Sam MUST be a serial killer and she's gone as far as logging in his coming & goings. There's only one problem with this theory & that's that with every interaction they have she has to admit Sam is just a great guy but this doesn't mean she's going to make it easy for him.


Our main character Pheobe puts the grump in grumpy sunshine and her dark sense of humor isn't for everyone. Some readers may even find her to be unlikeable because we get a heavy dose of her paranoia with many mentions pop culture references of serial killers. For other readers who may listen/read true crime, the research in the genre may actually be a bonus and the dissertation process to have been detailed nicely. The romance takes off a bit later in the story with the steamy scenes falling short and I know that's probably going to hurt the overall ratings for this book. I feel this one is going to land with those who don't mind their female protagonist to be a bit unlikeable, perhaps even pessimistic and cynical. Sam the love interest is hard not to love, he's a music teacher who can't help but want to assist Pheobe with moving furniture or any project really as long as he's getting to spend time with her. I almost wish this had been dual POV to give us a break from Pheeb's thought process while also giving us a chance to get to know Sam. Taking all of this into account... this is my personal opinion but I feel male grumpy protagonists are ALWAYS preferred over a female grump 😂 yet they DO exist and deserve to be loved just as much! haha! To be honest I loved so many of the other themes in this book like the sibling dynamics, second chance friendships and unresolved grief of a parent being addressed. I feel these did compensate for some of the other things that needed more developing. 

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗱:

💓Plus size representation
🕵🏻True Crime genre explored
😒Grumpy/Sunshine trope🤗
🐈‍⬛Stray cat claiming squatters rights
👫Sibling relationship explored
👭🏻Second chance friendships
📚The Library as a secondary setting

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Promising complex and difficult family situations, Love in the Time of Serial Killers delivered. Phoebe navigating her relationship to her recently deceased father was one of my favorite elements. Because in death we have to reconcile who the person we thought we knew was versus who they might have been. Sometimes we can have someone who will change our perception of them. And other times, we have to realize that the person we thought we knew was an illusion to who they actually were.

Not only that, but throughout Love in the Time of Serial Killers Phoebe also gets to know her brother. The ways how as they were separated by divorce and how they grew up. Speaking of Phoebe, I loved her character. I could never listen to as much true crime as she does - I'm a huge scaredy cat - but I loved how much it influences her life. How in some ways it's supposed to prepare us about the dangers in plain - or hidden - sight. But also how it's profoundly shaped our ideas of fear and cultural 'bad' guys.

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