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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I loved this graphic novel! It was everything I was hoping for and more from the description. The cartoons made me laugh at times and I really related to the author. I loved how each page was arranged differently. I will be doing a blog post for this book so when I do I will come back with a link.
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.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! Murder Book by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell is a nonfiction graphic novel about the author's love of true crime. It will appeal to fans of Georgia and Karen's comedy podcast My Favorite Murder as well as fans of Alison Bechdel's Fun Home. The book revolves around how the author became obsessed with true crime, explains what true crime is to the reader, and then attempts to find an explanation for her relatable obsession. Along the way, the author regales us with a few of the murders she thinks of the most, including the "personal connections" she had with the Zodiac killer. In addition, the book refreshingly focuses on the victims instead of the murderers, such as during the insightful scene with commentary on victim-blaming. Overall, Murder Book is a funny explanation of a cultural phenomenon. As the author explains in the opening pages, almost every podcast post-2014 is about true crime. As I was reading this book, it made me really think about why we as a society are so obsessed with true crime. Is it weird? And if it's not, why are some people ashamed to admit that they like it? One highlight of this book is the humor. I found myself laughing out loud as I read this book, which I definitely wasn't expecting based on the subject area. If you're a fan of true crime or a fan of podcasts like Serial or My Favorite Murder, then you will enjoy this graphic novel. If you know anyone in your life like this, this book would also make the perfect Christmas or holiday gift. If you're intrigued by the synopsis, you won't regret checking out this book when it comes out in November!
Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell loves murder. She's the first person to admit that her obsession sounds weird, but Campbell has been into true-crime since she was a child. In the new graphic novel Murder Book, Fitzgerald explores her family obsession with true crime, explains why true crime is so popular, and explores high profile cases that have fascinated us for decades. Fitzgerald Campbell is a New Yorker cartoonist and her work is hilarious. Some of the best parts of the book include conversations with Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell's mother, including a fake Murder 101 class. Her sections on famous serial killers are detailed, well-researched, and doesn't act like Ted Bundy was hot. With jokes about wine, percentages on true crime's expansion, and her personal history, Murder Book is a comedic break in a sea of true crime.
A delightful, funny read that made me realize how much I am obsessed with true crime! In this non fiction graphic novel we follow Hilary as she try to answer one question: why is she so into crimes and murder? What is it that make her so invested and intrigued in something so dark? I loved the art style and the humor in this was PERFECT, the author talk about sexisme, racism, a bunch of crime cases,serial killer, podcast, movies, tv shows and so much more! I learned a lot of stuff in a fun and cute way. This is the perfect read for octobre if you're like me and don't like horror but you still want to read about mysteries in a light-hearted way. Hilary is a fun person (not character) to follow, I loved her relationship ship with her mom, her sister, her boyfriend and friends! After this read I feel like I know her personally and that's so cool! That's the word to describe this book :COOL.
I am a fan of this genre and it’s amazing how many of us there are. I really liked this book! I liked the narration and the illustrations, and all the little asides were fun facts.
You ever thought that you were weird because you liked the idea of catching a murderer or are obsessed with local murder stories. Well go ahead. Pick this book. This book is hilarious to the dot where you look in the mirror and say "What have I become?!". To be honest I had to research a little about Ted Bundy and Zodiac killer but I finished this book in two days with the research. This book was "drawn" beautifully with a very unique design. It was like reading an episode of Keeping up with Kardashian where they are obsessed with murder stories and are basically speaking to the camera as a monologue. It took me a little longer to understand the design of it but overall this book really made me realise how much I love true crime stories and how badly I have to see Law and Order
My name is Jen...and I'm a murderino, In this book, I happily found my people. I am a fan of graphic novels, and although this is not the glossy, moody super hero graphic novels I am used to, I enjoyed the drawings and text. So much of what Hilary wrote resonated with me...I listen to true crime podcasts, read true crime books and thrillers. As a kid raised in the 60s, I read A LOT of Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie, in junior high I was introduced to true crime through the movie Helter Skelter and the book of the same name. From that point on, true crime has been my jam. Hilary's lighthearted take on a serious subject, gave me insight into WHY I am drawn to the genre. Anyone who is a fan of true crime will find a kindred spirit here and will catch themselves thinking..."Hey, I read/watched/listened to that!". For those who have close friends, family, or partner who is a murderino, this quick read will help you understand that obsession a little better. Murder Book is a big thumbs up for me! #murderbook #netgalley I received a digital copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
For the past two years I have become obsessed with true crime shows. My TV is set to ID network. Murder book is about me and all the women like me, who know every recent murder, or missing person case I the news. The author, her sister, her mother, and every female friend sits around with wine or coffee and plays armchair detective. I see me and my girlfriends in her drawing, arguing over "is he guilty?", " think she's still alive?", and so seeing out loud why its so dang hard to just get a divorce! Hillary Campbell hit it square on the head, with a blunt objected, as she explains why women are more fascinated with true crime them men. I adore this graphic novel! Add it to your TBR list asap! Thanks to @ netgalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
Wow! What a fun idea! I already have 3 people in mind this would make a great gift for who love true crime! This would be such a great coffee table book, gift, or conversation piece! Very creative and cool!
I finally found a book that answers some deep questions that I’ve had, like “am I wrong for being obsessed with true crime?”. To be fair I do know that I’m not alone on this journey and apparently there is a lot of people thinking and enjoying this topic. I loved the book, I laughed a lot while reading it, I related a lot to some thoughts, it was an overall very good time.
I laughed out loud several times during this book and it was actually a pretty funny and comical insight on the authors way of thinking and obsession when it comes to true crime. When I was reading it felt like I was being called out because I also love and adore true crime as much as this author does so I had a lot of fun. This was perfect for me really! 5 out of 5 stars!
Finally found someone who is asking herself the same question “am I wrong for being obsessed with true crime?” And let me tell you, I feel relieved after finishing this book. It was so fun to read, I loved the characters and how the author managed to make you feel like a friend is telling you a story. I was familiar with the most cases and that just made me get into it so much more. Love how much personal detail the book is caring. Would recommend to anyone who is fascinated by killers and their cases and who does not want to feel alone with their obsession. “Humans, at least the cool ones… are naturally into MURDER.”
5 *stars* I wish my mom was obsessed with thriller and murder mysteries as I am. That would made our connection stronger. Hilary you are really lucky to have your mother. That bond with your mom is so good especially when you have something in common: CRIME OBSESSION for an example! My thoughts: It was really funny and easy to read. (I must say it was quite hard to read it from a phone) After reading this graphic novel I think I will pick up some of the mentioned books and read those myself. I have heard something about those cases, but at that time I was too scared and I clearly haven't found my passion for murder/mystery books. ha ha :D The plane part was so good. I was laughing when she went to bathroom and reminded to not sit on the toilet when peeing. I do the same in public bathrooms. :D I haven't thought about why I like murder/ thriller mysteries. It was interesting to read your thoughts about it. Thank you for the graphic novel! You both are happy to have each other! #MurderBook #NetGalley
The Murder Book is a fast-paced relatable comic, highlighting the psychological POV of "Murder/Thriller" reader enthusiast during the pandemic season. A must read !
Loved this graphic book,a hilarious real look at the authors obsession with True Crime.I can relate to her obsession with Ann Rule booksthe Zodiac Killer,Hester Skeltor.I had so much fun reading it I will be recommending.#netgalley #andrewmcmeel.
Wow! WoW! WoW! This is the book that I didn't know I needed in my life! As a true crime fanatic I can totally relate with the author and her eternal question "is there something wrong with me? is it normal to be so much into True Crime?" I can't wait for this book to be out so I can buy the physical copy and read it all again!!! if you have listened to all the true crime podcasts out there, or keep checking Netflix for new crime documentaries, or if you can't stop thinking "did she really fall down the stairs?" then... you need this book! #truecrimejunkies
Growing up as a women in the true crime era, I am able to relate to Hilary on a level that some, if not most, can’t. The way she writes this, along with the illustrations, is done so well. I’ve heard of some of these serial killers but it was good to be informed about a few others!
I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! It takes my feelings and artistically lays them out in black and white. Not that I ever thought I was the only lover of true crime, but it is so wonderful to receive validation from someone who feels exactly like I do.
I absolutely LOVED this book! It is the perfect blend of true crime documentary, memoir and graphic novel. The art was exceptional and truly brought the story to life in a way that was relatable and hilarious. I love how the author talked about her journey through the world of true crime obsession. She analytically describes the “murder gene” being passed down through generations of her family while showing us glimpses into her past and that of her family. Non-traditional graphic novels are incredibly hard to come by, let alone worth reading. Murder Book blows them all out of the water. A must-read for anyone who considers themselves a murder lover.
I really enjoyed this one! It gets a well deserved five stars. I think more people should tell their memoirs in graphic novel format. This is the fourth I’ve read that way and I just find them so fascinating. Along with the format being fascinating, the content also keeps you hooked start to finish. If you’re also an enthusiast of Murder Shit, this is the book for you. Much like Hilary, I got into true crime through my mom who wrote and read murder mysteries, devoured everything Agatha Christie made, stayed up late with me to watch CSI, Criminal Minds, and every iteration of a true crime show that TLC, A&E, and the like had on, AND saw their horse drawn carriage in Niagara on the Lake the day that Karla Holmolka and Paul Bernardo got married... That very long sentence to say that I identified with this book and I think a lot of people will. You should read this.
For years I have been trying to explain my love of true crime to my boyfriend but its always so hard to come up with an exact answer. Next time he asks, I'm just going to hand him this book. Hilary's autobiographical graphic novel is a must read for true crime fans to understand their own fascination with murder. The dialogue and illustrations were so fantastic that I felt like I was actually having a conversation with Hilary through the whole book. I had so much fun on this journey through Hilary's life and own love of true crime!
That was a really fun ride. I can't say that I personally was familiar with Campbell's cartoon work, but I definitely intend on going to follow her now. It turns out that I really like her style. It's very conversational and approachable - it felt like you were truly sitting and having a conversation with a friend. This book is sort of a deep dive into why people enjoy true crime, and even more specifically, why women enjoy true crime. It touches on so many aspects of it: identifying with the victim, anxiety, trying to protect ourselves, higher levels of empathy, plus inherent sexism and racism in news media. But it also showed just how much the things you love can be shaped by the people around you. A lot of the focus in this book was on Campbell's relationship with her mother (and sister), how they grew up listening to and watching true crime shows, so it felt so normal to them - whereas other people in their family or neighborhoods might think watching so much stuff about murders is weird. I totally relate. My grandmother and my mother have always been interested in crime shows, books, etc., so it's an engrained part of who I am, I swear. All in all, a really fun, and totally relatable, read. I definitely want to pick up a finished copy when it's published!
Before this I'm not realise that statistically women are the biggest audience of the true crime genre. I can relate so much on this graphic memoir since I'm being true crime fan myself. Hilary is so lucky because she and her family( the ladies especially) are sharing the same hobbies. I'm wondering if I can talk to my mother about murder randomly without she's being hysterious. Through this reading I've learn a lot of books that I must put on my tbr. Can't wait. She shares her point of view about Zodiac killer and Bundy obsession. It's quite funny in a way of graphic can represents. I love to share What Makes A Great True Crime Writer? 1. Beautiful, extensive detail. 2. Great empathy and curiousity. 3. The perfect amount of personality. Great, isn't it? Thanks to NetGalley and Andrew McMeel Publishing for this ARC . So check it out the publication date on this November 9th.
I can’t wait to have this book in my hands! As a murderino I love, love, love it. Hilary is so funny and I love her drawing style. I enjoyed how she presents her ideas and I can relate to her train of thought. This is my kind of book and definitely part of my favorites of this year and all times. I hope to see this in Spanish soon. I know a couple of people who will love it too! Special thanks to NetGalley and Andrew McMeel Publishing for this ARC.
I loved this. I don’t have the same deep or ancestral interest in true crime as the author, but as someone who can get caught up in an occasional case, I relate to the obsession one can have with it. As the author touches on, it’s less about the murder itself and more about wanting to puzzle out what might have happened or find something to learn from it. The book bounces around a bit as the author recalls moments that true crime fandom arose her life, as well as a handful of true crime cases themselves. Some of this “bouncing” was a little bit jarring at times in the first half; it’s very much like when a friend goes on an excited tangent and keeps losing track of what their initial point was. This didn’t really bother me, though; it mostly made the book feel conversational. This was really fun to read, even more so if you’re already at least a little bit familiar with some of the more famous true crime cases. If you like true crime, definitely give this a read. If you like graphic memoirs and you’re open to the subject of true crime, I also highly recommend this. Thank you to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for the ARC.
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 some (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.
First, a big thank you to Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell and NetGalley for this e-book in exchange for an honest review. I relate so much to the author and the premise of this graphic memoir, being an avid true crime fan myself, I’ve spent a lot of time worrying and wondering why such a macabre topic could be so fascinating to me. In fact, I think this is a universal experience when it comes to being interested in true crime, especially when the rest of society implies that those that possess this interest are sick in the head. Campbell presents several factors that can lead to our fascination and, at least in my case, all of them apply being addicted to seeing justice carried out, being intrigued by human behavior and the reasons behind the act of murder, enjoying the act of trying to figure the case out, relating to the victim, etc. Most of all though, I believe that the biggest contributor to our fascination with true crime, especially when it comes to women (who are the majority of the true-crime “audience”), is the feeling that by watching these documentaries and reading these books we’re protecting ourselves. Women are almost always the victims in true crime cases and, because of that, when we consume those pieces of media we’re attempting to learn how to avoid being murdered. As this is a memoir, Campbell tells us a great deal about her life and how her true-crime obsession came to be. She informs the reader that she’s always been close to her mother and that the women in her family have always been interested in true crime, which I think it’s so nice that they all bond over this shared interest (something I don’t have with my family). The author is successful in blending information about the cases that marked her the most with the flow of the memoir without making it seem forced. Furthermore, she explains the cases better than several true crime podcasts I’ve listened to and not only does she provide a ton of information on them, but also recommends great true crime books/writers. Campbell doesn’t overlook the racist bias that permeates the subject, she criticizes how the media only publicizes the murders of white women, whereas the murders of BIPOC are ignored. She also points out how misogynistic the coverage of the cases is and calls out those who victim-blame the women that get murdered. On top of all that, the book is incredibly funny, which shouldn’t come as a surprise since Campbell is also a stand-up comedian. I loved the art style; however, I found the font a little hard to read and was in fact unable to decipher some of the smaller text, maybe that happened because I was reading it on the computer, but nonetheless I don’t recommend the e-book version because of this reason. The only other negative thing about this was that the author goes off-topic a little too often in the beginning and it gets irritating after the first couple of times. Overall, this is one of my favorite reads this year and my favorite graphic novel/memoir of all time, so I highly recommend you buy it once it’s released! Marina Garrido.
True crime is a guilty pleasure that almost everyone can understand. I have always appreciated a good true crime story, and Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell wants to understand why in her graphic memoir. I found the style of her writing and her comics to be comforting - it was like having a good conversation with a friend. The book describes the author’s experiences with true crime, dives into a few stories that she finds compelling, and asks some questions about why people find true crime to be so fascinating. I definitely will be recommending this to all of my fellow true crime friends.
I absolutely LOVED this graphic novel! My interest was picked from the very first moment I saw Murder Book by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell. As a true crime enthusiast, someone who is interested in reading all the true crime books, listen to all the true crime podcasts and to see every true crime movie, documentary or tv-show, I was very much interested in reading about the trials and tribulations of a true crime fan, and Campbell’s quest to understand how she came to be fascinated with true crime. Something which I liked was that throughout the novel, the author did an incredible job at describing victims as more than just that, victims, by remembering them by who they were, highlighting their personalities and the things they loved to do. The artwork was good, which I was already expecting, as the author is also a cartoonist. The artwork really fitted the theme and complemented the author’s humor perfectly. I do have to say that because I was reading the graphic novel on my phone, some of the illustrations where a bit pixelated... but that wouldn’t be a problem on a paperback edition.
I just had to read this after seeing the description. I’ve been reading true crime for over 45 years now, and saw a lot of myself in what was written. It makes me a “murderino” too, I suppose. I had a good time reading this and was impressed with all of the effort and thought put into it. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell, and the publisher.
I loved, loved, loved this book. Hilary spends the book discusses some true crime cases in conjunction with analyzing her love for the genre and what this means. I thought the book was thought provoking and informative. It also made me want to be friends with the author.
A definite must read for true crime aficionados.Hilary goes through many reasons why she is obsessed with true crime. Many reasons revolve around her mother's love of true crime. Since most of the people who are obsessed about true crime are women the conclusion she comes to is that women are more empathetic towards the victims (since most of them are women as well). This is a funny, sometimes dark look at her life as a true crime fanatic.
This was oddly a stroll down memory lane when reading about cases and when thinking about how my mom fed into my love of true crime and crime related drama. I grew up on the Ramsey and OJ cases, I was actively following Scott Peterson, and I cut my teeth on CSI. I'm in the corner screaming "please stop touching things without gloves", and sighing "classic husband murder shit" because my mother was the same. Will make a great physical book, it was a little hard to read on a phone screen.
Absolutely loved this graphic novel. This will be a funny and very relatable read for any true crime lover. The author’s connection with her mother is lovely, and so is the one between her and other murderinos. It’s an insightful look into what makes us weirdly obsessed with murder. I created a Goodreads list with some of the books mentioned in Murder Book, a few more books to add to the TBR!
I love this book! As someone who is a bit obsessed with true crime this was a relatable and hilarious take,. It was full of interesting information about actual murders as well as musings on why it's such a popular genre. The illustrations make the content even better. I would recommend to anyone who is interested in true crime!