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Publisher's Summary

“Riveting! Camilla, high-five! Amazing work!” (Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, number one New York Times best-selling authors of Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered)

An audacious novel of feminine rage about one of the most prolific female serial killers in American history - and the men who drove her to it.

They whisper about her in Chicago. Men come to her with their hopes, their dreams - their fortunes. But no one sees them leave. No one sees them at all after they come to call on the Widow of La Porte.

The good people of Indiana may have their suspicions, but if those fools knew what she'd given up, what was taken from her, how she'd suffered, surely they'd understand. Belle Gunness learned a long time ago that a woman has to make her own way in this world. That's all it is. A bloody means to an end. A glorious enterprise meant to raise her from the bleak, colorless drudgery of her childhood to the life she deserves. After all, vermin always survive.

©2021 Camilla Bruce (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"In the Garden of Spite is a chilling, pitch-perfect novel that should finally make Belle Gunness a household name. A superb and unforgettable read." (Deanna Raybourn, New York Times best-selling author of A Murderous Relation)

"Mesmerizing.... Fans of fictionalized treatments of notorious murderers will be fascinated." (Publishers Weekly, starred review) 

"Bruce uses a framework of fact to create fiction that horrifies...[a] grisly historical thriller." (Booklist

What listeners say about In the Garden of Spite

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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My interest waned

After about the first 1/3 of the book my interest waned. It became repetitive and predictable. I did not prefer the way the narrator did some of the male voices and I was eager for the book to come to a close.

5 people found this helpful

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Drivel

I listened to this book based on a recommendation from a podcast I usually enjoy, My Favorite Murder - now I have to question my choice in podcasts. This is really, really, tragically, horribly BAD. I read/listen to a fair amount of "true crime" ( aka human history). I love a telling of events through the eyes of the women who lived it - even when theoretical. The story/history of Bell Guinness, her extended family and her victims is complex, documented, and truly fascinating. However, this telling is no more than an excuse for poorly written semi-erotica (requiring a wholly fictional character) and adolescent story telling wrapped in the history of real people who suffered real tragedy. It is boring, belittling and poorly written. Despite the insultingly bad story, the performance was really excellent.

4 people found this helpful

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Awesome Fictional retelling

Belle is one of my favorite black widows to read about because of how little is know for certain. This fictional retelling was very enjoyable and having known most the story ahead of listening to it, the characters and in between times were well done based on what is known. Definitely suggest it.

3 people found this helpful

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Definite must listen for Murderinos!

You know who you are, if you’re intrigued by what you’ve learned about the Widow of La Porte, then you must learn the full story, well the embellished version I guess. Some truth, some speculation, but all juicy as hell! You will love and hate the woman Belle Gunness. Your heart will break for her and she will break your heart... and many others. So very well done!

3 people found this helpful

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Worth every minute listening!

Along with being very well written, this story moves along from beginning to end, never a lagging page. The writer clearly knows her characters and they come together in a way that engages and ensnares.

2 people found this helpful

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enjoyed it

Narrator is excellent! kept me listening to the end, but maybe a bit long. I am a true crime fan and didn't know this story.

2 people found this helpful

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capturing story

I couldn't wait to start it up whenever I got the chance.....morbid....humorous at times...crazy addicting story incorporating historical facts in a great tell.

1 person found this helpful

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Yuck

I stuck with this book 1) it was my first book on audible 2) hoping for justice and I regret wasting my time. I never connected with a single character and found the plot and dialog exhausting.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved this book

Heart breaking, stomach turning, twisty turns, this book is a must read for true crime lovers.

1 person found this helpful

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I almost didn't Finish reading it she made me mad

When I 1st start reading it I was upset because of how she was treated in her Hometown then I became mad at her when I knew how manipulative she was with her new husband She was something else and I in all actuality the narrator did her will well it was really a good read I went from reading it to purchasing the audible The audible is better