America's First Female Serial Killer

America's First Female Serial Killer : Jane Toppan and the Making of a Monster

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The First Lady-Serial Killer

The nurse from hell. Always cheerful, helpful, and sweet, nurse Jane Toppan was the last person you would suspect to administer a dose of death. When countless patients sought treatment for minor ailments and ended up dead, it was often thought accidental, due to the shortcomings of medicine in the late 1800s. But behind the jolly mask, there was a monster that was years in the making.

From kind to killer. When Jane was a young child, her father abandoned her and her sister to the Boston Female Asylum. From there, she was never saw her sister again, was indentured to a wealthy family who changed her name, never adopted her, wrote her out of the will, and essentially taught her how to hate herself. Jilted at the altar, Jane became a nurse for hire and took control of her life-and the lives of her victims.

Fact is stranger than fiction. If you have ever wondered how killers are made, this intimate account of "Jolly Jane," America's first female serial killer, will take you behind the curtains and into shadowy depths. This book is an imagined retelling of Jane Toppan-one of the deadliest poisoners of all time-and readers will get a fly-on-the-wall perspective that will leave them up at night.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 140 x 216mm
  • FL, United States
  • English
  • 1642502073
  • 9781642502077

Review quote

"In America's First Female Serial Killer, Mary Kay McBrayer brilliantly presents one of the most fascinating serial killers in American history-and not just because the killer was a woman. McBrayer digs into the troubled life of Jane Toppan, who is by far one of the most disturbing 'angels of death' found in the annals of murder. What McBrayer offers us is a complex-and terrifying-portrait of a killer who seemed almost doomed from birth."
-Kate Winkler Dawson, author of American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI "Mary Kay McBrayer has written a thoughtful and inspired take on one of the greatest poisoners in history. America's First Female Serial Killer: Jane Toppan and the Making of a Monster seethes with rage, compulsion, and a righteous condemnation of the servitude of the underclass. A chilling and sobering read."
-Robert Levy, author of The Glittering World and Anais Nin at the Grand Guignol
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About Mary Kay McBrayer

Mary Kay McBrayer is a co-founder and host of the podcast Everything Trying to Kill You. She is a Book Riot correspondent and professor of literature in Kennesaw State University. Her writing and prose are feature in the Santa Fe Writers Project Quarterly Review and Chicago Literati. For more, you can visit her blogs, and Book Riot.
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