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Elizabeth Bathory: A Memoire: As Told by Her Court Master, Benedict Dese�

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  153 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Accused of having murdered hundreds of her servants, Countess Elizabeth Bathory was walled alive in her castle until she died. Years later, desperate to know the truth behind his infamous mother's crimes, young Count Paul seeks out the only man still alive who can tell her story: Countess Bathory's court master and confidante, Benedict Deseo. However, revealing the truth c ...more
Paperback, 154 pages
Published July 8th 2011 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published July 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  153 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Lady Jade
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Okay, I like goth stuff, metal, vampires, witches, and true crime, but I also like romance and history. And I really liked this book because it has it all. I've been into Elizabeth Bathory since childhood and really appreciate Kimberly Craft's historical research on this fascinating and bizarre woman. I read both Infamous Lady and Private Letters, both straight up history books and both excellent since they offer info that you can't find anywhere else. What I like about this new book though is t ...more
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is not your typical light romance novel and it is not for the faint of heart, that said, I will say it is a very good book. Like “50 Shades of Gray”, there is reference to very erotic and disturbing BDSM scenes, but in a sense it is actually more appropriate and tastefully done in this book as it reflects the time period and characters involved. Readers should go into this book with an open mind and should also have some prior knowledge of Elizabeth Bathory, who was a notorious serial kille ...more
Jenn Cunha
Sep 29, 2011 rated it liked it
I'm torn about this book. I was definitely intrigued, but I think that was more because of the actual historical story than the writing. Craft needed an editor to help her out with formatting (because it drove me up a wall). I also think she fell victim to a new fiction writer faux pas. It felt like she was thinking, "Okay, I have all this information I want to tell my readers, let me get two characters together and one will tell a story." It did make me want to learn more about Elizabeth Bathor ...more
Library Vixen
Jul 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I became a fan of Craft's work after reading both of her groundbreaking, non-fiction titles about Countess Elizabeth Bathory, Infamous Lady: The True Story of Countess Erzsébet Báthory and The Private Letters of Countess Erzsébet Báthory. I was hooked and hopeful that this author would eventually release just one more book about this most "Infamous Lady", one that would still stay true to the history surrounding the Countess, yet let loose just a little bit and entice those of us who have a tast ...more
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. It seems that people either love it or hate it, and I suppose I know why. If you're looking for a nice romance, chick lit, or light historical fiction, do NOT read this book. Yes, it has an element of romance, but it is very much a gothic tale with graphic scenes and violence. Also, if you do not know who Elizabeth Bathory is or anything about her twisted history, you likely will not understand this book. That said, if you know about the world's worst female serial kill ...more
Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-challenge
A short quick Novella to wade through. My 3 star rating is based primarily on the fact there is nothing really new or different about the story. I appreciate the author trying to fill in a motivation for the crimes. However, I'm not buying it. My personal theory is probably too boring and therefore not worthy of fiction. I believe she was mentally ill and/or her undiagnosed "head problems" and blackouts (thought to be epilepsy ) was in fact a brain tumor in an area of the brain that caused her t ...more
Sep 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
Oh Lord. The writing style was dreadful, the format reminiscent of a grade school book report. I found the dialogue laughable, the descriptions forced, and the glaring issue of entire scenes lifted out of her nonfiction work - verbatim. The characters are also jarringly one-dimensional, and we are offered nothing beyond only the most basic of motivations to drive them. There is no arc, no spectrum, no crescendo. Skip this and read her nonfiction if you want an engaging story - it's far better wr ...more
Ashley Logan
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have great respect for Kimberly Craft's work on Elizabeth Bathory. Being intrigued by her myself I was glad to meet someone who had actually done research and translated letters written by her and others. Her biographies on Bathory were wonderful. As a researcher I understand how daunting a task like this can be. As you research a subject you start to concoct your own theories as you start trying to read between the lines, so to speak. As you cannot subject your own theories into a historicall ...more
Ravin Maurice
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
After becoming highly engrossed in Dr Craft's non fiction work about Countess Bathory I was extremely excited to see that she had decided to take a stab at fiction (no pun intend). And although this book is short, it does not disappoint.
I found this story to be very character driven, and Craft fell into the narrative with such ease you'd question whether she was an old pro. Her vision of the Countess is strong and viscous and so real she leaps off the page, her familiarity with her subject is o
3.5 stars.

This is a short novella about the Blood Countess, Elizabeth Bathory, written by the same author of the excellent biography Infamous Lady: The True Story of Countess Erzsébet Báthory. The story is told by Benedict Deseo, who was court master to the Countess and likely witness to many of her crimes.

Ms. Craft is not afraid to show gruesome, chilling scenes: there are plenty in here, and the book is definitely not for the overly squeamish. However, I appreciated that the she was brave eno
Freddie Hollerbein
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book. Perfect read before bed if you like something compelling, edgy, and shocking. Yes, Elizabeth Bathory was a psycho serial killer who was eventually walled alive in her castle for her crimes. So, just imagine what she did as a young person....or what made her into a crazy person years later. It was a sick world back then. Seriously. I highly recommend this author's book, Infamous Lady: The True Story of Countess Erzsebet Bathory, for the non-fiction account of what went on. If this b ...more
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is not your typical chick-flick romantic books, If you're not familiar with Elizabeth Bathory and her bloody history I would't possibility recommend it.
I can't string any coherent thoughts and put together to better fit into this review; all in all, it's brilliant.
Sep 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Favorite one. Great story!
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, bathory
Erzsebet (Elizabeth) Bathory was a medieval Hungarian countess who supposedly tortured and killed hundreds of girls and bathed in their blood to keep herself young. Her story has been exaggerated a lot over the years. There's no evidence she really bathed in blood, and the number of dead girls was wildly inflated. In fact, it's even possible that she was completely innocent (see Tony Thorne's book, Countess Dracula: The Life and Times of Elisabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess.)

Kimberly Craft has
Shannon Elizabeth Heffner
After finishing Kimberley Craft's first fictional attempt on the story she covered so well in her non-fiction book on the same subject, Hungary's infamous blood countess Erzsebet Bathory, I was left feeling that rating this particular book would be difficult. I do wish Amazon would let us give half stars because I didn't feel 3 stars was adequate, but 2.75 would have been perfect.

I truly enjoyed Ms. Craft's non-fictional works Infamous Lady: The True Story of Countess Erzsébet Báthory and The P
Cara Palermo
Apr 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Eh...a blend of fact and fiction, quick read, dark... but.. eh.
Constance Markarian


I don't know what came over me as I read this book. Simply put, this book frightened me. I've been having the most horrific nightmares for the last couple nights. Countess Bathory and her husband were both extremely cruel and sadistic people. This book was my first foray into the life of Elizabeth Bathory. I've always been interested in this woman because of all the alleged evil deeds attributed to her. This book is 155 pages of seriously depraved and stomach turning acts of the
Tristan Shelton
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Dark, disturbing, fascinating. This book is an intriguing fictional addition to the two non-fiction books on Bathory that this author has written. Craft states in the foreword that a fictional account allows her to take certain liberties and advance various theories on what went on behind closed doors with this sadistic woman yet lack a documented paper trail. The story flows effortlessly, drawing the reader back in time through the recollection of a close servant who witnessed one horrific deed ...more
Jess (freaks over books)
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars to be exact. It is hard for me to find a decent book, especially a fictional re-telling, on Elizabeth Bathory, and this one, while it kept me reading and entertained, was not as detailed or as well-written as I thought it would be. I was hoping for more of an in-depth exploration of the Countess's psychological and emotional frame of mind when it came to the murders and her reasons behind them, but this book only subtly as well as briefly brushed on those aspects, which left me somewha ...more
Feb 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
This is sadistic porn, right up there with the writings of the Marquis de Sade. It's so graphic as to exceed believability and enters into the realm of camp. I thought I was going to read a historical fiction novel but I ended up feeling like an unwilling participant in the author's voyeuristic fetish. Kind of like I was duped into reading it and she was standing behind me, titillated into a frenzy, getting herself off on my horrified reaction.
I felt like she used Elizabeth Bathory as a vehicle
Magis Tan
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wicked and delicious. And sad in parts, too, that two people who were so close could still be so divided socially. It's number two on the "EroticWhispers" list, so don't read this if you're looking for light romance!!!! All you haters out there, ("Not my cup of tea," "scarring," "blech,") READ THE REVIEWS FIRST.
The Badger
Kimberly Craft is actually known for her research into Bathory's original letters and other related manuscripts. This seems to be her first foray into "fiction," and while it fell a bit short, writing a novel that incorporated the actual facts of Bathory's life (the "what") and attempted to explain them (the very unknown "why") was truly a challenge to overtake, and worth the read.
Kelly Blithe
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
So, this is probably more like a 3.5. What I liked about this book is that it inspired me to learn more about this woman and why she went so freaking crazy. So, it may not be the best book but it did make me think and I love that. P.S. It is pretty graphic in it's descriptions so be warned.
Gottfried Reuter
May 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shocking. Well told story of history's most infamous female serial killer. Not for the faint of heart. Lovers of chic lit and romance BEWARE. This is NOT for you. Step away now. Do not look in dark places. For the rest of you, a fun romp.
William Anderson
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Who doesn't love this, death, romance, intrigue, politics, and some eye popping, jaw dropping scenes. A great little read before bed. :)
Sep 30, 2011 added it
This book was definitely NOT my cup of tea. Sorry Goodreads—I just couldn’t finish it. This book was a Goodreads First Reads win!
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely eerie. But I liked it ALOT.
Jun 14, 2013 rated it liked it
very interesting to say the least
Jun 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Didn't realize it was Historical Fiction when I purchased it. Book was OK, but looking for a non-fiction read on Elizabeth Bathory.
Aug 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: no-don-t
I don't think anything about it. lol ...more
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Kimberly L. Craft holds bachelor and master's degrees as well as a juris (law) doctorate. She also received a Zertifikat Deutsch als Fremdsprache from the Goethe Institut in Munich. Prof. Craft has served on various faculties, including DePaul University and Florida A&M College of Law. An attorney and legal historian, Prof. Craft has spent over a decade researching the life and trial of Countess B ...more

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