About the Author...
Marlie Wasserman writes historical crime fiction.
Her debut novel, Now You Are Listening, tells the story of Martha Place, the first woman to die in the electric chair. Marlie is writing two other novels—one set in Panama in 1906, centered around Teddy Roosevelt’s visit to the Canal, and another set in Manhattan in 1899, centered around a deadly hotel fire.
Before she turned to novels, Marlie ran a scholarly publishing house specializing in nonfiction books in the social sciences and humanities. When she is not writing, Marlie sketches and travels. Topping her bucket list is a visit to each of the United States’ sixty-two national parks. She has visited thirty-nine to date.
Marlie and her husband Mark split their time between New Jersey and North Carolina.
About the Book...
The Murderess Must Die (July 2021)
News and Reviews...
“A true crime story. But in this case, the crime resides in the punishment. Martha Place was the first woman to die in the electric chair: Sing Sing, March 20, 1899. In this gorgeously written narrative, told in the first-person by Martha and by those who played a part in her life, Marlie Parker Wasserman shows us the (appalling) facts of fin de siècle justice. More, she lets us into the mind of Martha Place, and finally, into the heart. Beautifully observed period detail and astute psychological acuity combine to tell us Martha’s story, at once dark and illuminating. The Murderess Must Die accomplishes that rare feat: it entertains, even as it haunts.” — Howard A. Rodman, author of The Great Eastern
“The first woman executed by electric chair in 1899, Martha Place, speaks to us in Wasserman’s poignant debut novel. The narrative travels the course of Place’s life, describing her desperation in a time when there were few opportunities for women to make a living. Tracing events before and after the murder of her stepdaughter Ida, in lean, straightforward prose, it delivers a compelling feminist message: could an entirely male justice system possibly realize the frightful trauma of this woman’s life? This true-crime novel does more—it transcends the painful retelling of Place’s life to expand our conception of the death penalty. Although convicted of a heinous crime, Place’s personal tragedies and pitiful end are inextricably intertwined.” — Nev March, author of Edgar-nominated Murder in Old Bombay
“The Murderess Must Die would be a fascinating read even without its central elements of crime and punishment. Marlie Parker Wasserman gets inside the heads of a wide cast of late nineteenth century Americans and lets them tell their stories in their own words. It’s another world, both alien and similar to ours. You can almost hear the bells of the streetcars.” — Edward Zuckerman, author of Small Fortunes and The Day After World War Three, Emmy-winning writer-producer of Law & Order