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Mad Madame Lalaurie:: New Orleans' Most Famous Murderress Revealed

3.17 of 5 stars 3.17  ·  rating details  ·  188 ratings  ·  33 reviews
On April 10, 1834 Firefighters smashed through a padlocked attic door in the burning home of Creole society couple Delphine and Louis Lalaurie. The horrible discovery of chained and mutilated slaves spawned a legend that has endured for over 150 years. But what really happened in the Lalaurie home? Who was "Mad Madame Lalaurie," and what motivated her to commit such ghastl ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published February 18th 2011 by History Press (SC)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 483)
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Really disappointed. Choppy, shoddy writing, almost like they Frankensteined it together. Good facts, but presented in that run-of-the-mill history textbook way. I wish it wasn't so bland. I also hate that they introduce a topic, then add a parenthetical "For more information on this topic, read chapter 7" after a sentence or two. It disrupted the flow and made me feel like I was reading a boring "Choose Your Own Adventure" book.

I also found that the "what if it really happened this way?" chapte
I'm impressed. I didn't think it was possible to make a book about a famed Creole murderess horribly dry. These authors succeeded.

Not a bad book overall, but they spend 4% of the book discussing the folk lore, 95% of the book explaining why it's wrong, and how Lalaurie wasn't really the bad guy, and 1% of the time congratulating themselves for their amazing research.

Enh. Good if you want an extremely brief explanation for who she was.
Alice (Farewell, Office)
What I sincerely appreciated about Love’s and Shannon’s expose was the concerted effort to enlighten the reader on both the facts and fiction of the Lalaurie legend. What I was – at times – disappointed in was the execution.

Although I live only a few hours from New Olreans and have traveled there on numerous occassions, I must claim ignorance of the Lalaurie legend. I suppose that is simply another example to prove the adage that people are sometimes most ignorant of their own culture.

Mad Madame
I am extremely intrigued by the story of the LaLaurie Family and Mansion in the French Quarter, New Orleans. So when this book came out I was extremely excited. Unfortunately it didn't quite hit the mark for me.

While it is a great historical account of the known facts, the storytelling and structure isn't very strong and I found it a struggle to get through.

That said, if you are interested in the history it is a treasure trove of historical accounts and the background of the story, which I hav
Good to read if you are going to visit New Orleans. Gives a little history about the Madame LaLaurie's life as well as history of the city. It tells what stories about the Madame and NOLA are true and what stories are embellished.
Sean Chick
Very much a straight history book that hews to the facts and strays from the myth. Hence the low ratings on Goodreads. Would have liked some footnotes.
I picked this book up at a local Indie store, and was extremely pleased that I did. This story takes place in 1834 New Orleans, and tells the tale of Delphine and Louis Lalaurie a prominent NO couple. When firefighters broke through a locked door in the couple's home they allegedly found chained and mutilated slaves in the room. From that time on, rumors and allegations became a legend in which the Lalauries were charged with murder and torturing of their slaves. The couple fled New Orleans in t ...more
Natalie Salhanick
This is not a sensational book even though the subject matter is horrific. It's a pretty dry account of records, facts and rumor of New Orleans' most famous serial killer. It's kind of a struggle to get through this all because it's not a narrative account. There's actually a chapter that reads as if it was all true because that's really the only reason anyone is reading the book. Factual, interesting but not entertaining.
Written like a thesis paper. And not a good one.

I was very interested when I saw this book. I loved "American Horror Story:Coven" and didn't realize the characters were based on real people. I was hoping for some insight and clarity. Instead, I got a confusing amalgamation of myth, author speculation, and dry historical family connections.
Man. No wonder this book was on sale. What a snooze fest. She successfully took a fascinating story in a fascinating city in a fascinating time and made it completely pedestrian and boring. NEXT
I was so excited to read this book and wound up extremely disappointed. I feel like most of the book was spend talking about the so called "false" versions of the story.
The book provided a good insight into Creole New Orleans. It also offered many options to the sad story of the slaves of the Lalauries. Know one will know all of the truth.
I have always loved the story behind the Lalaurie house in New Orleans. I first learned about it an a walking ghost tour of the French Quarter back in 1999. I knew the horrific stories had to be mostly made up but it did make for one very twisted story.

This book was very well researched bring in every documented piece of information. I love knowing the truth behind things of this nature but in some ways it was kind of sad that so very much other the story was untrue. Not that I wanted such horr
Mary Lynn Stenglein
I really didn't enjoy reading this at all. I felt like it kept going over the same things over and over again in each chapter. Very disappointing.
David Finch
Good historical material, but strung together with weak narrative. Interesting case.
Save your money. Snoozefest.
Nancy Lorenzen
Jan 20, 2013 Nancy Lorenzen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of New Orleans ghost legends
Shelves: 2013
I liked what the authors were doing, which was deconstructing the myths surrounding the Lalaurie house and its infamous owners to see if the truth was better or worse than what everyone believes from all the ghost tours. However, the book would have benefited a great deal from the services of a good editor. I felt like I was reading a first draft instead of a finished manuscript. That was a shame, because this should have been a much better book than it was.
I saw one of the authors at the Louisiana Book Festival so I picked up this book. I had never heard of Madame Lalaurie before so I wasn't familiar with the legend. While the topic was potentially interesting, the writing was not the best. The chapters seemed liked they could have been arranged better for those unfamiliar with all the lore and the writing was choppy. A lot of primary documents were included which while interesting, made it even more disjointed.
Elaine Lamkin
I bought this book along with MADAME LALAURIE, MISTRESS OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE and of the two, this book was by far the most disappointing. It didn't seem as though the authors did much, if any, in-depth research; just regurgitating the few facts already known. For REAL research, try MADAME LALAURIE by Carolyn Morrow Long (available at Amazon). MAD MADAME LALAURIE makes for interesting secondary reading about this fascinating woman.
Laura Bedrossian
Straight and to the point. Great job of going through fact and fiction.
I'm a fan of true crime books and read this book cause I was intrigued by the story, however this book was choppy and I found myself skipping pieces of the story. But I do like how the authors seek to show the facts and dispel some myths surrounding the story. Overall it was a decent read.
Fascinating story and well researched. The authors did a wonderful job of separating the facts from the wild myths that have been passed down for over 175 years regarding the gruesome events that took place by Dr. and Mrs. Lalaurie at their home on Royal Street in New Orleans.
Loved it! Impressively well-written, engaging, clear and thoroughly researched. It was an entertaining romp through courtyards, cemeteries and courtrooms in historical New Orleans to find the truth behind the myth of Mad Madame Lalaurie.
Shannon Bradley
I am fascinated by Delphine LaLaurie and her former home at 1140 Royal Street. I always have been. But this book was very disjointed and disappointing. I learned more about her husbands and family than I did about Delphine herself.
The subject matter is fascinating so I'm not exactly sure how the author managed to make it boring but they did. Bummer. Still interesting though. Just takes a while and a lot of perseverance to get through it.
The research done was fascinating. Some parts went on too long, like the information on people on distantly connected to the legends/myths about Madame Lalaurie. Still the fact checking was impressive.
Christopher S.
Not what I was expecting.

This book is an entertaining history of madam Laularie that ultimately is setting out to check the veracity of the Laularie legend.
Angie Mothes
Initially an interesting history and story of the famous Madame Lalaurie, but started to repeat itself and the last several chapters did not have anything new to offer.
I, of course, love it, I am one of the authors. But we need feedback and want to have discussions with folks that have read it. What do you think about it?
well researched history of the infamous torturer and her husband
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