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The Craigslist Murders

2.52  ·  Rating details ·  167 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Who’s killing the Upper East Side trophy wives?

Unleashing the pent-up fury most Americans feel over the financial crisis, Brenda Cullerton’s wickedly riotous tale of an interior “desecrator” turned murderess is a flaming arrow into the dark heart of Manhattan’s filthy rich.

Working on New York’s Upper East Side for phenomenally rich and frighteningly skinny women who are s
Paperback, 219 pages
Published May 17th 2011 by Melville International Crime (first published October 27th 2009)
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Average rating 2.52  · 
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Feb 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
On paper I don't think this is a novel I should really enjoy. It's kind of like chick-lit but where the protagonist instead of being too wrapped up in her job, getting on in her 30's, single and the best hope for a relationship is a kind of distant prince-charming is all of these things plus a person whose main hobby is trawling through craigslist looking expensive items being sold on the Upper East Side by trophy wives so she can kill them with a fireplace poker (there is probably a better term ...more
May 29, 2011 rated it did not like it
In the "Thanks" section at the end of this book, Cullerton writes:

"[Thanks] to the seventy-eight editors/publishers who turned this book down."

If I was an editor/publisher, I would have been number seventy nine. This book had such inconsistent, garbled character development (if any) that I couldn't identify with the main character, Charlotte, on any level. Supporting characters - her Russian love interest, her mother - seemed to fall out of the sky and into certain scenes just because Cullerton
Jul 27, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what it's called when you put sentences together like this but within two little Kindle pages, we have the following:

"Rolling her neck to loosen the kinks, Charlotte lingers by the kitchen window and watched a cruise ship slip beneath the Verranzano Bridge."

"Pulling on her old shearling jacket and pocketing the piece of paper with Amy's cell phone number, Charlotte fumbled around in the hall closet."

"Tying the laces of her sneakers, Charlotte avoided looking near the fireplace."

Nov 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
I happened to pick up an ARC of this at the ALA conference this past spring, and I finally got around to reading it. I have to say that I didn't much care for it, alas.

The subtitle bills it as "a satire," but it's really more of a post-recession revenge fantasy. The main character, a Manhattan interior designer, takes out her repressed rage against her clients and the world they inhabit by murdering overprivileged women that she meets through the "for sale" section on Craigslist. This much is ma
Aug 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook-book, netgalley

Thirty-seven year old interior designer, Charlotte Wolfe liked making money from her clients but she seemed to hate making overly expensive acquisitions for them, especially the ever-so-ridiculously demanding trophy wives with their me-me, more-more attitudes. In fact, over-the-top wealth and possessions angered Charlotte to the point that sometimes she just had to do something about it; something more than therapy and yoga. She's taken up murdering some of her more blatant clients! How does she
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, america
The Craigslist Murders reads like the bastard lovechild of American Psycho and Sex and the City, with a modern-day, homicidal, poker-wielding Lily Bart as a heroine. Charlotte Wolfe makes her living as an interior decorator to the disgustingly rich. She spends her working hours sourcing ever more ludicrously expensive fixtures and fittings and objets d’art for a network of clients rolling in more wealth than they could ever possibly figure out how to spend. Then in her spare time she likes to wi ...more
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
I received a free digital copy through Net Galley.

"Charlotte had been getting away with murder for years." That's the opening line of this book, and it successfully drew me in. Then I met Charlotte: a woman just as shallow and whiny as the women she loathes! I wanted to like this one; I really did. But that just didn't happen. I was expecting a fun read with some dark humor, but all I got was a self-absorbed, interior decorator irritating the heck out of me for 200+ pages. Even after her "breakt
Sarah Jane
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was ok

While not totally unbearable to read, the book was ultimately disappointing. The book was very jumpy, it didn't give me any sense of time or direction. The ending was really abrupt, left out so many details that could have enhanced the book as a whole. I found myself struggling through the middle waiting for it to really pick up but was greeted with more ramblings that left me wondering where it was going which was nowhere. I think it had a lot of potential to be a great book but was let down.
Te-ge Bramhall
Jan 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: worst-of-2019
The worst book I've read so far this year (okay, so 2019 just started and that's not saying much), but I suspect the even in December, this one will still rate as the worst of the year (at least I hope the rest of my choices are better). I had to laugh at the end when the "Thank you" note mentioned that 78 publishers had turned the author down. I can completely understand their sentiment. Perhaps if the author had put half the effort into editing the story that she did into trying to get it publ ...more
Aug 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
Too much whining and designer name-dropping
Jun 20, 2011 marked it as no-thank-you
It really was only a matter of time...
Surupa Mukhopadhyay
May 08, 2018 rated it it was ok

Interior designer Charlotte Wolfe has dealings with the most unbelievably difficult clients in the upper strata of New York. She also comes from a difficult history with her own family. Every woman in upstate New York reminds her of her own mother. Not in a very good way. And what does she do to deal with these women living in their own personal make belief bubbles? She murders them.

As a mystery, there's really not much mystery surrounding this particular book. You know who the perpetrator is,
Apr 17, 2021 rated it liked it
With all of the negative reviews of this book, I thought that I wouldn't be able to finish. But it actually wasn't that bad. I found the book a quick read and somewhat entertaining. I enjoyed the insight into the world of the ridiculously rich and having lived in NYC, I could appreciate many of the scenes described. ...more
Jul 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-general
With a real life Craigslist murderer, I was curious to see how a writer would handle incorporating Craigslist into a series of murders. The main character is a seriously broken woman who lives in the world of the rich and famous because she works for them; we learn later that she actually grew up on this world which had a direct impact on why she is how she is. In addition to being a skilled interior decorator, she is a complex person trying to handle her past and present demons while always bei ...more
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Charlotte, an interior designer goes around tracking down her potential rich and ungrateful victims on Craigslist. She kills them with a poker when she goes to their million dollar homes on the pretense that she is going to be buying whatever they are selling.

Charlotte has issues. Her mother was cruel to her growing up, is still cruel to her as an adult, and this is why Charlotte has turned against wealthy and spoiled women. Her mother is one such person. Very briefly, here and there, we get a
Sam Still Reading
Jul 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those looking for light crime fiction meets chick lit
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: given to me for review by publisher
This was another galley given to me by the kind folks of Melville House Publishing. The Craigslist Murders is murder straightup – we have Charlotte, the murderer by night and interior decorator by day. In between tracking down antiques for her incredibly wealthy clients, she’s hunting Craigslist (like EBay) for young, society wives selling things and then kills them. (Why rich society wives are selling things on the internet I’m not sure, but I guess we can blame the recession).

Rather than being
David Fulmer
Dec 24, 2013 rated it liked it
There's a tantalizing touch of irony in the title the Craigslist Murders, since this superbly-paced serial killer story takes place in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the world among characters so rich they need neither to buy nor to sell anything through that internet flea market to get what they want. As written by Brenda Cullerton (a New York based writer for the interior design industry), this unconventional crime novel is an engrossing exercise in satire and psychology, set in the ap ...more
Julie H.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
The Craigslist Murders is an intriguing read in which interior decorator Charlotte Wolfe has reached her breaking point. Literally. Charlotte comes to define the Upper East Side, which she characterizes as "The richest, greediest 1.8 square miles in the United States" (p. 51) as her kill zone. Specifically, when either one of her often utterly unredeemable clients or her equally hateful mother crosses one too many lines, Charlotte trawls through Craigslist to identify a stand-in for those folks- ...more
Robert Carraher
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: who loves murder and satire that is devilishly funny
Recommended to Robert by: The Publisher
"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.Wicked, 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
Charlotte works as an interior designer to the super-wealthy of NYC and takes her rage at the wealthy elite (not to mention her mother) out by killing wealthy women who post ads on Craigslist selling their designer items.

Think of this as the female and decidedly less graphically violent or sexual version of American Psycho. Charlotte's rage against the wealthy is our rage. (Well, unless you are the wealthy.....) It's kind of revenge porn, and it works. Charlotte is more than a murderer though, h
Feb 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: american
okay I feel like I've been grouchy in my reviews lately and I want to stop that. This books had it's highs and it's lows, there was one glaring editing error, but that will be fixed before it's published I'm sure.

I think the idea is neat, I never know how much credit to give the author, but here it seems like the satire is solidly layered. I mean Charlotte is everything she hates, but she thinks she's above it. She's projecting all these horrible traits onto these women, many of which she has o
Yvann S
I can't even really figure out what is going on here. Charlotte, an interior decorator to the absurdly uber-rich, likes to murder the uber-rich women who live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and hunts her victims by Craigslist, the US-based online classifieds community. As we join Charlotte in her crazy (seriously) life, she is fondling a fancy Hungarian piece of chinaware and preparing to batter her latest victim with a fire poker, instead of buying an eighteen-carat bracelet from her.

So f
Rogue Reader
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Who's killing Manhattan's trophy wives?"

Cullerton's The Craigslist Murders is hilarious and a little scarey too. The protag's a psychopath, an interior designer who's filled with anger at her wealthy, exacting and nutcase clients. Charlotte Wolfe trolls Craigslist, enchanted with the mundane and the ridiculous, looking for just the right Upper East Side woman dumping something desireable. That's Charlotte's in of course, a meet to look at the goods with cash in hand and a poker rolled up in a
Kelsey Weekman Walkowski
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own
Ugh, not good. Once again, I expected great things because of the riveting name.

The first shock to me is that it's a novel. For some reason I just thought it would be real? It's fine. It's not. But if you have free reign on how awesome to make a story, why is this one so bad?

The character was never, at any point, likable. And an antihero is great in some cases, but this one wasn't even interesting. It's about a pretty, rich lady with lots of talents and a bad attitude. For some reason, she hate
Aug 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Oddly, I didn't find a point in this book, but I finished it to the end. So, Charlotte is a homicidal interior designer with great tastes. She hates all of the rich people who be fulfilled just with what they have, so she finds ways to murder them. All this was inspired by a dark childhood past, and that just basically sums everything up. Oh, and the ending was similar to the overrated slasher films where the final scene is where killer comes back from the dead, overused, and no imagination nece ...more
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a great book that dealt with a woman who is an interior decorator that caters to the very rich. For a hobby she likes to go on Craiglist under an alias and act like she likes certain items and wants to purchase them, but goes over to kill women. It kind of drove me crazy because all the women in the book were very rich and could never be happy unless they paid a lot of money for something that they'll never actually use. It did get very intense towards the end and you won't be able to p ...more
BrendaCullerton Cullerton
Dec 05, 2009 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone but toddlers
I wrote it. It's good. "A brilliantly prophetic and modern tale of the macabre," says James Wolcott at Vanity Fair. "A novel that roars across the intersection of Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho and Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities..."
"Swift, sensational...A flaming arrow into the dark heart of New York's filthy rich," says Amazon.
Feel free to check it out on line at Amazon and Barnes&Noble.
Apr 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
I try to give books a fair chance, but 30 pages in I realized I had a disgusted look on my face and it wasn't worth it to keep reading. The author throws way too many random characters in that bring nothing to the story and the main character is amazingly weak. No backstory, no thoughts about what's around her, just a narrative of her random pointless encounters and fancy names for junk she's seeing around her. Can't even finish it. Yuck. ...more
Bookish Enchantment (Katherine Quirke)
I would give this 4 stars but I thought the writing style a little jagged ie not free flowing. This caused me some confusion particularly earlier in the book.

The general story was quite good. Good enough to encourage me to continue to the end even though the end was a little on the cliche' side.

A good read if you want something not so meaty and doesn't tax your brain.
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