Midtown Scholar Bookstore-Cafe
Award-winning Independent Booksellers | Since 2001

Who's in town

Back to All Events

Lady Killers: An Evening with Tori Telfer

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is thrilled to welcome Tori Telfer to the stage to discuss her book, Lady Killers! A book signing will follow discussion. This event is free and open to the public.

About the Book

LadyKillers pb c.JPG

Inspired by author Tori Telfer's Jezebel column “Lady Killers,” this thrilling and entertaining compendium investigates female serial killers and their crimes through the ages.

When you think of serial killers throughout history, the names that come to mind are ones like Jack the Ripper, John Wayne Gacy, and Ted Bundy. But what about Tillie Klimek, Moulay Hassan, Kate Bender? The narrative we’re comfortable with is the one where women are the victims of violent crime, not the perpetrators. In fact, serial killers are thought to be so universally, overwhelmingly male that in 1998, FBI profiler Roy Hazelwood infamously declared in a homicide conference, “There are no female serial killers.”

Lady Killers, based on the popular online series that appeared on Jezebel and The Hairpin, disputes that claim and offers fourteen gruesome examples as evidence. Though largely forgotten by history, female serial killers such as Erzsébet Báthory, Nannie Doss, Mary Ann Cotton, and Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova rival their male counterparts in cunning, cruelty, and appetite for destruction.

Each chapter explores the crimes and history of a different subject, and then proceeds to unpack her legacy and her portrayal in the media, as well as the stereotypes and sexist clichés that inevitably surround her. The first book to examine female serial killers through a feminist lens with a witty and dryly humorous tone, Lady Killers dismisses easy explanations (she was hormonal, she did it for love, a man made her do it) and tired tropes (she was a femme fatale, a black widow, a witch), delving into the complex reality of female aggression and predation. Featuring 14 illustrations from Dame Darcy, Lady Killers is a bloodcurdling, insightful, and irresistible journey into the heart of darkness.

DSCF1103-2.jpg

About the Author

Tori Telfer graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing. Her writing has appeared in  the Atlantic, Smithsonian, Vulture, Salon, Vice, Jezebel, The Hairpin, The Awl,  and elsewhere. Her screenplay, Detective in the City of Beautiful Women, was awarded honorable mention in the Table Read My Screenplay contest. She has written, produced, and directed two plays, and has a podcast called Criminal Broads.