my interest in reading crime books again was sparked by an ad I saw for a book recently boasting a female who kills purely for pleasure. I dont remember the name of the book, so Im wondering if any of you know of books where:


a) a female is the killer


b) the female killer does what she does for pleasure



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I've had female killers, but they usually had a more mundane motive, though a couple enjoyed it, at least in terms of the adrenaline rush of power.

In a lot of cases giving away the killer would be a spoiler, wouldn't it?


if you don't mind that then Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent has a female killer, thouigh not for pleasure.




thanks for the recommendation, Ill check it out.


I like a book that writes from the killers perspective, to give a glimpse of the twisted reality in their heads. So in those cases its not a spoiler to say who the killer is.

Who are the real life kill-for-pleasure females, I wonder?

Martha Needle would have to be one. She insured each of her family members (a husband and 3 infant daughters) before she dosed them with rat poison. Then, when she ran out of family members, she found herself a boyfriend and started murdering his family members. At first the police thought it was financially motivated until they realised that Martha spent months nursing her victims back to health and then poisoning them again. The shrinks reckon she did it because she liked to watch the victims suffer, often giving her victims enough poison to keep them in agony for months without actually killing them, and because she liked to see them become hopeful before she finally killed them.

Wow. Reminds me of a cat toying with a mouse before killing it.
Check out Women Who Kill (Five Mile Press) by Lindy Cameron (me) and Ruth Wykes - if you want an insight into women who kill because they want to, because they can, because it's a thrill. New edition has literally just been released.
Thanks. Sounds like a great resource for authors.
I've read several books where the killer is female, but I haven't run into any (that I remember) that kill for pleasure. Interesting plot line, though.
My best recommendation is Nightlife by Thomas Perry. The female killer is fascinating. And a female cop is chasing her. Great read!  In fact it inspired me to write a novel with a woman killer. The rough draft is done, tho it won't be out for a while because I'm about to launch my second in my New Orleans suspense thriller series. DIVA has a female protag too, but she's not a killer, she's a famous flutist. But fame can be dangerous. An obsessessed ex-military man is stalking her ...
There's a book called HEARTSICK, in which the hero is suffering post-traumatic stress from having been held captive and tortured by a woman who killed for pleasure. The crime he solves in the book involves a different killer, but a storyline about the woman who held him captive is woven throughout.

There are plenty of true-crime stories about women who kill, though the motives are complex, though---insanity aside, and we can't rule that out--- financial gain and jealousy are two biggies. A fictional female who killed purely for pleasure would strike me as highly sensationalized. There are female killers in at least two of Lawrence Sanders' early novels---one a psychopath, the other driven by extreme jealousy.  Poisoning is supposed to be a "woman's crime," and it was certainly true of Anne Miller Kuntz, a real-life killer from North Carolina who poisoned her husband with arsenic. That is, she had her lover help her.  But that lover  killed himself---she was using him. It took a long time to convict her, and she herself could never admit her true motives, but it seems she had been nurturing a secret fantasy life. I supposed she felt justified in poisioning Eric Miller; she wanted to preserve her image and her lifestyle and perhaps her financial security! Otherwise why not just divorce the guy!


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