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3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  83 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Nutcracker begins at the ballet but tells the story of a seemingly wholesome all-American family, whose tranquil life's surface erupted in shocking acts of avarice, theft and murder. The victim was Franklin Bradshaw, Mormon self-made millionaire, workaholic. The killer was Bradshaw's grandson, prep school student. The architect of the crime was said to be Frances Schreude ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 464 pages
Published December 1st 1985 by Dell (first published 1985)
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Anne Hawn Smith
As I continue to explore the mind of the female sociopath this book provided an incredible multilayered example. I read the book years ago and it was so powerful, I remembered most of the story, but it was still fascinating. This time I tried to focus on the relationship of Berenice to her daughter, Frances. The story is about Frances Bradshaw Schreuder who contrives to get her son to murder her father. Aside from the sociopathy, there are other serious mental illnesses in this family of three g ...more
The title says it all! Excellent true crime nonsense that proves the tired old adage that truth is stranger than fiction. Pulpy true crime drama about a high profile murder in 1978.

Frances Schreuder is a one woman made for lifetime tv movie. She is a deranged, status seeking, paranoid schizophrenic, racist, drug addict, alcoholic, sadistic psychopath. She physically and emotionally tortures her 3 kids, alternately bestowing on them over the top affection and then heartlessly tormenting them with
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 28, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: True Crime Buffs
There are actually dueling books of this murder of a self-made millionaire by his grandson at the urging of his mother, the daughter of the victim. Jonathan Coleman's At Mother's Request from what I've read focuses more on the investigation and prosecution. Alexander's is more on the family dynamic, which practically from birth became centered on Frances Schroeder, a sociopath who goaded her son to become a murderer so she could continue to live the life of a wealthy socialite based on the wealt ...more
Dennis Littrell
Alexander, Shana. Nutcracker: Money, Madness, Murder: A Family Album (1985) *****

Oh boy. Just how much intense, stupid madness can one family harbor? The story reads like a parody of human behavior. Alexander's narrative, chuck full of detail and precise diction and some wonderful turns of phrase, often spirals into something like a long-running slapstick comedy too bizarre for television. The horror of neglect and greed, hatred, prejudice and violence are all here, but the form they tak
♥ Marlene♥
Aug 12, 2011 ♥ Marlene♥ rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: not only true crime readers but everyone who likes to read about crazy women
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This was a book I couldn't put down. Not because it was exciting, because I couldn't believe someone could be so evil, not only to her children but also to her parents. So much so to have her children kill her father. She was definitely a sociopath. Not only was she diabolically evil but I also put some blame on her mother. Her siblings also left a lot to be desired. This is one of the books I put first ahead of Ann Rule.
I think this family should define "dysfunctional" in dictionaries. I think Frances should be locked up with the criminally insane, not the regular prison population. Can't say I "liked" it, but it was well-written and hard to put down. It' was kind of lick watching a train wreck and wondering what was going to happen next, then being stunned when it did.
Jane Anne
Have u ever noticed how the STINGY ppl of the world end up either w nothing or on the wrong end of a crowbar? What's it all for? And who will ever forget Francis coming down her marble stairs like a Kabuki actor, yelling @ her old mother, "WHAT....ARE....YOU....DOING?" I've done that w my Aunt, I must admit, lol.
True Crime book about Frances Schreuder and her sons one of whom she enticed to kill her own father. If I've learned anything from this story, it's that it's important not to give children everything they want. Frances was bad, no doubt, but her family created her!
Linda Summers
Wonderful character studies into the minds of the family members. As I read, I was totally amazed at the avarice and manipulation and depravity one woman could wreak upon her family.
Kathy Kaylor
Here's a contender for the Truth is Stranger than Fiction medal. It's about fratricide and majorly twisted family weirdness.
This is your average True Crime book. A guilty pleasure with little literary value.
Stephanie Rubin
ooooooh--very gooey guilty pleasure
M Ale
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