Being a woman is scary and hard. You have to hold your keys in between your fingers as you walk to your car, make sure you dress pretty (not sexy, sexy is asking for it), have 911 pre dialed if the cab driver creeps you out, smile and nod but also be fierce, don’t make anyone angry (they could be a future stalker). Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark know this well.
In their hit podcast My Favorite Murder, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark acknowledge these things and empower listeners to live full lives even with their fear. And now they have written a book: Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide. My Favorite Murder is a true crime comedy podcast which, they will be the first to say, is hard for some people to wrap their heads around. But if you are the type who likes to laugh to keep from crying, this book (and podcast) is for you.
I discovered My Favorite Murder when I was living alone for the first time. My anxiety was running rampant, each night as I was falling asleep, I imagined every single way I could be murdered (this did not produce fun dreams). Then I found Karen and Georgia and somehow hearing them talk about all the things I was most afraid of (and be hilarious while doing it) soothed my anxiety. Like submerging yourself in a hot bath of your biggest fears (with a bath bomb made of comedy!).
Reading this book feels like hanging out with your cool aunts and getting advice on all the things you are too afraid to ask your mom about. Karen and Georgia are truly innovating the genre of dual memoir. The book is a delight; full of practical, crass and moving stories and advice. For tried and true murderinos (fans of the podcast) and for people who are new to the world of MFM it is hard not to fall in love with (or re-fall in love) with Karen and Georgia.
Each chapter is based on one of Karen and Georgie iconic quotes from the podcast. My favorite one is “You’re in a Cult, Call Your Dad” which includes the essay “Karen on How Not to Drink the Kool-Aid Even You’re Spiritually Parched” which is a hilariously and incredibly helpful account on how she did not join the Church of Scientology when she first moved to Hollywood. I needed this when I was 18 and moved to LA to become a screenwriter – I didn’t become a Scientologist (thank L Ron) but “spiritually parched” was most definitely my constant state. If this essay (and My Favorite Murder) had existed then maybe I would have been a famous screenwriter but probably not because I really hate kale and I’m honestly not crazy about movies.
Give this book to your niece who is trying to make the acting thing work. Give this book to your aunt who loves Dateline. Give this book to yourself, to your best friend, to your cat and your mom. Because it a true pleasure to hang with Karen and Georgia. Hanging out with them is like venting to a friend who always says the right thing.
Sarah Dealy is a bookseller and murderino.
Come celebrate the release of Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered with us on May 28th at 5pm!