cover image Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-to Guide

Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-to Guide

Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. Forge, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-17895-4

The genres of true crime and self-help might seem like odd bedfellows, but Kilgariff and Hardstark, hosts of the humorous podcast My Favorite Murder, create a winningly quirky amalgamation of the two. Alternating chapters and writing in a conversational style that mimics their on-air banter, the authors reflect on their upbringings, turbulent adolescences, and how they’ve navigated their careers and relationship struggles. Hardstark describes how her early riot grrrl persona belied a deep vulnerability, recounting how the flattery of a stranger once led her to a “secluded mountaintop with a grown man I hardly knew,” a circumstance not unlike those innocently entered into by countless female victims. With humor and poignancy, Kilgariff relays her experiences with substance abuse, self-sabotage, and recovery. The authors advise readers to eschew the myth of perfection and the reverence for politeness, in favor of dignity, agency, and self-preservation. Fans of the podcast—and those who recognize that it’s as much about the cases discussed as the lives of the hosts—will be particularly engaged by this candid, personable dual memoir. (May)