Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are the hosts of the much loved podcast My Favourite Murder, and in this book Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, they present a dual memoir which offers life advice with a true crime twist.
The book starts with ‘Let’s Sit Crooked & Talk Straight’, and introduces the journey of the authors in producing their podcast and book. It is then split into 8 main sections, and a conclusion:
1- Fuck Politeness: In this section of the book, one of the greatest life lessons that Georgia and Karen have to offer is ‘fuck politeness’, and it looks at how we need to unlearn the need to meet other people’s expectations. I really enjoyed how the lesson was taught through the story of true crime where we can protect our own safety in these situations by not being polite. Ultimately, we unlearn so that we can learn how to act in our own best interests without being a jerk.
“So how’s about we kick things off with some thoughts on one of our favorite Murderino battle cries: ‘Fuck politeness’ Fuck the way we were socialized. Fuck the expectation that we always put other people’s needs first. And while we’re at it, fuck the patriarchy! Yeah I said it.”
2- Sweet Baby Angel: the authors tell us how we’re all born sweet baby angels until life happens and it can harden you up until your ‘halos crack or rust’. Here, we are told that self-care is super important- and they’re not wrong.
3- You’re In A Cult, Call Your Dad: It’s true, life does have many cults, whether it’s the cult of being polite, Western beauty standards, or popularity. Karen and Georgia offer advice on ‘how to not drink the Kool-Aid, Even When You’re Spiritually Parched’.
“You should always have people in your life that will call you on your bullshit- like, for example, when you’ve joined a cult. But they’ll also then help you get out of said cult, even if they think you were dumb for joining the cult to begin with. And likewise, you should be there for your friends and family when they make dumb mistakes”
4- Send ‘Em Back: This section is introduced with the realisation that almost every serial killer has had a major head trauma as a kid. The term send ’em back is the suggestion that you should send your kid back if this happens (they’re not telling you to literally get rid of your children don’t worry). They suggest that there are a number of red flags to look for, just in case, and a number of things that mess us up as children too, besides head injuries.
5- Don’t Be A Fucking Lunatic: This section starts off by exploring party culture through Karen’s experiences, and by sharing these experiences the authors hope this can help us learn from their mistakes and ‘be a little less of a lunatic’ with some drinking dos and don’ts. Georgia then offers top ten realisations that she had in therapy.
6- Get A Job: Having a job is so important for self-sufficiency in our capitalist society. There are jobs we don’t like and jobs we do like. Here, Karen and Georgia offer advice on both.
7- Buy Your Own Shit: No one can take better of you than you- this chapter is all about providing for yourself. It’s important to spend responsibly though, and although Karen and Georgia talk about the personal reasons for doing so, I think in a time where our climate is so badly affected by mass consumption, we need to be sustainable in the way that we consume.
8- Stay Out Of The Forest: ‘Life is filled with conceptual forests that we’d do best to stay away from’. Karen and Georgia talk about some of the dangers they have faced and how they coped with it, as well as risk taking behaviour that can take us into the dangers of the forest.
All in all, I thought this was a really cool book, you can tell the authors are passionate about true crime and it’s pretty cool that they moved away from the typical self-help book structure to make it an enjoyable read for true crime lovers just as themselves.