Timely advice and personal anecdotes from the My Favorite Murder true-crime podcast duo.
In an effective combination of in-your-face realism and plucky humor, sitcom writer Kilgariff and former Cooking Channel host Hardstark deliver the details on navigating life with a tough skin, providing nuanced autobiographical stories and familial memories. In alternating segments, they share the details of their up-and-down pasts, which helped to shape them into the formidable and successful women they remain today. Kilgariff contributes anecdotes from a youth scarred by her mother’s premature death from early-onset Alzheimer’s; later, she dealt with an escalating drinking habit. Sharing the wisdom they’ve collected, the authors offer hard-won truths about themselves as well as timeless reminders about self-care, life balance, relationships, substance abuse, and the restorative power of “kindred spirit” friendships like the one they share. Hardstark writes that though the humanitarian need to help others might come naturally, it should never be done at the expense of one’s personal safety, especially for women: “The politeness that we’re raised to prioritize, first and foremost, against our better judgment and whether we feel like being polite or not, is the perfect systematically ingrained personality trait for manipulative, controlling people to exploit.” She connects this wisdom with memories of her rebellious adolescence observing her divorced mother’s toxic dating life while fully embracing the staunch Riot Grrrl scene (“feminism…delivered in a punk rock package”). A lack of self-esteem led to a sketchy encounter with a lecherous photographer and future psychotherapy sessions to process issues and reboot her psyche. Infused with personality, charm, and clever banter, the narrative effectively reflects both authors’ separate histories, and they helpfully dispense plenty of worldly advice on how to survive with a street-smart attitude and a fierce sense of self-preservation.
Tough love, life lessons, and biting wit combine smoothly with spunky self-help in this must-have for podcast “Murderinos.”