Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer is a wickedly fun book that is equally smart and is what I call a unicorn book. It doesn’t have comp titles. Publishing isn’t out here doing the good work of bringing us these fantastic #ownvoices books from African countries like Nigeria. Which certainly leaves us extremely thirsty for more once we get a little taste of an excellent work like My Sister, the Serial Killer. So while I haven’t compiled a list of comp titles, I have rounded up a list of great crime books based on elements you may have loved in Oyinkan Braithwaite’s novel about a sister literally cleaning up her sister’s crimes (murdering boyfriends) until her sister sets eyes on the man she loves…
If the exploration of the treatment of women plus the relationships between women are elements you loved in My Sister, the Serial Killer you should definitely be reading all of Megan Abbott's work. In Dare Me, she explores the close and volatile bonds between women through the lens of a high school cheerleading squad that gets a new coach. There’s murder, suspense, girls and women trying to figure out their place in the world, amongst each other, and within themselves. Oh, and there’s a USA Network adaptation that is *chef’s kiss.*
Helene Tursten; Marlaine Delargy (Translator)
If you read My Sister, the Serial Killer because you wanted to read about a woman serial killer and you found the book entertaining and darkly funny, please let me introduce you to octogenarian Maud in Helene Tursten’s An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good. Who would suspect anything from an old lady who lives alone without any ties to anyone? It’s actually probably best that Maud lives a solitary life, seeing as she doesn’t tolerate others very well, especially if they’re in her way, eyeing something of hers, or disrespecting her. Let’s just say that dabbling in a little bit of murder is not beneath her. And I may have fallen off the sofa laughing in the first story.
You want more darkly funny women just up in here murdering people? Okay! Amina Akhtar takes us into the fashion world exploring our society’s obsession with beauty and the price women pay, while setting loose a psychopath at a fashion magazine. So you get a woman serial killer, satire, and women’s issues like in My Sister, the Serial Killer, plus you also get a The Devil Wears Prada meets Serial Mom vibe. Yeah, it’s kind of awesome.
If you really enjoyed the suspense of My Sister, the Serial Killer and the slightly bananapants idea behind a sister who murders her boyfriends and then sets her sights on her sister's love interest, I’m going to crank the bananapants to high and give you suspense with this book: Walter Mosley’s The Man in My Basement. While not from a woman’s perspective, Mosley always explores the issues of race and adds suspense when a white man pays a lot of money to rent a Black man’s basement, and once the deal is complete, a large cage arrives…
Okay, I’m leaving you with one more murderous woman. This time, the main character is a psychopath who loves murdering her assignments—powerful and rich men—and is in a cat-and-mouse game with a former MI6 operative hired to capture her. And yes, the BBC series adaptation is based on these books, although written with a different voice, since Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag!) wrote the first season. So you have books and an adaptation to marathon if you’ve yet to check out either.
Happy murderous reading!
What to Read Next
Jamie Canavés is a Book Riot contributing editor and Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator who always has a book in one hand. She writes the Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter, never says no to chocolate or ‘80s nostalgia, and spends way too much time asking her goat-dog “What’s in your mouth?!” Tweets: @Oh_Dinky.