Tuesday, July 5, 2011

“The Craig’s List Murders” by Brenda Cullerton

“Charlotte had been getting away with murder for years. Most interior decorators-desecrators, she called them-got away with murder.”

So opens the satirical murder spree through New Yorks Upper East Side.Craig's List MurdersWicked, delightfully evil and so much fun. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry…or buy a fireplace poker and a yoga matt and join Charlotte in her quest. Both cynically funny and edge of the seat suspenseful reading. Probably the only crime story you’ll read this year that involves a yoga matt, Birkin Bag Syndrome and Private Jet Neck Syndrome. You have to be filthy rich to get those afflictions. “It was almost funny, that the most selfish people on the planet did nothing but talk about empathy.” And Charlotte Wolfe was moved to do something about it.

Charlotte scours Craigslist to find deals on expensive jewelry, antique silver candle stick holders, $15,000 Toto toilets and other luxury items. But more importantly,  Charlotte is on a mission to rid the planet of these women that live in a world that mistook trend for truth, fame for faith and money for meaning. It was a land of the professional time-killer where a woman’s only job was to amuse herself to death. Oh yeah. And to redecorate. So Charlotte hunts the women whose daughter think it is fashionable to have anorexia and shop lift books on Buddhism,  freeing them from a useless and empty life as Charlotte sees it. She is doing them a favor. She is also relieving her stomach cramps and head aches and striking back at her nagging hateful mother.

In the mean time she has to appease her friends who complain about $100 surcharges while wanting to move a swimming pool ten feet to the right to improve the view. Women who spend $55,000 on curtains and make their ice with Figi water. Charlotte is also wooing a Russian oligarch and deciding on whether to become his lover as well as haunting Kinkos to make the contacts necessary to cleanse the earth of these woman who insist that the only thing in their many homes that is contrived is themselves.

Brenda Cullerton“The Craigslist Murders” is such a fun read. A fresh voice in the world of crime fiction that I sincerely hope to hear more from. The author, Brenda Cullerton is a writer for the fashion, beauty, and interior design industries. She lives and works in New York City. She’s got a tattoo of an open book on her left ankle and has written one of funniest books of the year. 

The Dirty Lowdown

Wondering what other bibliophiles are reading? Please visit my book-loving friends at:Cym Lowell’s Book Review Party

Copyright © 2011 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved



  1. I can't wait to read this!!!! Thanks for the great review. Donna

    I have a couple of new reviews up on my blog. Hope you'll pop over for a visit.


  2. It's a great read, Donna. I can't remember the last time I smiled so much and yet couldn't put it down. Lots of fun. I'm going to go see what you have osted on your blog now!

  3. I came from Cym Lowell's Book Review Party Wednesdays (BRPW).

    So on a scale of 1-5, what score would you give this book?

    Cherry Mischievous

  4. I don't often give 5 star reviews, but thi is one of them. The book is very well written. It's a rather short book at around 225 pages and the pace was quick without seeming rushed, the plot was necessarily straight forward - it's not a who dunnit - and explores the psychology of "why" Charlotte acts as she does why painting a fun satire of the ubber-rich, trophy wives, dealers in the "interior decorator world, etc...the characters were well developed, especially because it was so short. Even the main cast. And the description of the homes, New York, 'The Cape', Aspen, inside the shops and galleries, descriptions of "Toto toilets, expensive draperies, and the other accoutrements prized by the ultra bored and wealthy fleshed out the story without turning into a catalog or an expose' from Archetechtural Digest. The book was very well structured with just enough background to make you understand the charatcers motivation and set the scenes well. The dialog was cynically funny and yet the suspense level was pretty near perfect. The novel isn't just a "comedy" it touches on some rather sad thoughts. There was one scene where Charlotte was out with a girlfriend, who talks about leaving Italy after WWII and she observes, "Most of life is about loss and leaving." and later in the scene, "There is nothing lonlier in life than suffering only one's own losses." So, though the main point of the plot is poking fun at "Life Styles of the Rich and Famous" she also makes them human. If I had one critisism for the book it would be that it could have been a bit longer, the end seemed just a tad bit rushed, but not really. It had accomplished it's goal and even had set the scene for a possible sequel. I enjoyed it very much and hope the author writes another novel.

  5. I love it....I want to read it. :)

    Stopping by from Cym Lowell's Book Review Party.

    Nice review.

    Stop by my blog to see my book listed on Cym's linky and for a giveaway of NIGHT TRAIN by Clyde Edgerton...courtesy of Anna Balasi of Little, Brown and Company.

    Contest is on until July 25.

    Hope to see you there.



  6. I am glad that I found your blog! I came over from Cym Lowell. I am actually going to be reading this book for myself.

    Please stop by and have a look at the books I have read and reviewed so far and keep coming back for my review of this book!


  7. Nice blog, Elizabeth. I am now a follower! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. And now I am heading to Tammy's site. You'll enjoy the book Tammy. I look forward to reading your review of The Craigslist Murders. It's a ton of fun.