[Review] My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, The Serial Killer

Oyinkan Braithwaite

What rating would you give it?
5 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Goodreads Description)

My Sister, the Serial Killer is a blackly comic novel about how blood is thicker – and more difficult to get out of the carpet – than water…

When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defense and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s long been in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other…

What did you think of the book?

LET ME START BY SAYING: THIS IS NOT A THRILLER, NOR A MYSTERY, NOR A COMEDY, NOR A HORROR, NOR EVEN ALL THAT “DISTURBING” (at least not in the context of the bloody title reading “My sister, the SERIAL KILLER“). At most, I’d call this simple contemporary fiction showcasing mildly disturbing content.

That being said, I still ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS BOOK, but I DO believe it has been mislabeled and falsely advertised, which is why it’s getting some low star or “bad” reviews. People are going into this book looking for a thriller or murder mystery and getting… a confession? A “this is what happened – take it or leave it” sort of book, and it’s not what they expected??? If they could separate themselves from their initial disappointment (maybe even put the book down, walk away, and come back when they’re in the mood to read a different kind of book and not a nail-biting thriller-mystery) they’d realize the the book itself is GREAT. The hints of humor amidst a darkly cast scenario of two sisters struggling to keep it together and take control of their lives in world where women can be bought and sold into marriage no different than selling cattle to the highest bidder, is wonderful.

But is it thriller or nail-biting or have-you-at-the-edge-of-your-seat? Absolutely not.

This book reads almost like a “fictional” memoir than anything else. (Which is, I think, what it should have ACTUALLY been marketed as, jus’ sayin’…)

It’s a quick-paced, easy read that I finished in a single midday sitting. My three favourite aspects of this novel were (1) the message of strong family ties between the sisters, (2) Korode (the older sister)’s dry, almost sarcastic humor, and (3) the wholly entertaining interactions between the sisters: their bickering, their compromising, and their love. The characters are wonderfully developed, and the plot — though relatively predictable — was clear, well-thought, and still had a few surprises throughout, with insightful and illuminating flashbacks to the sisters’ childhood that 100% shaped them into the… *ehem*… killer women they are today.

I absolutely LOVE books that showcase strong bonds between siblings, and this book definitely fits the bill. It goes up there as a newly minted-five star favourite and I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a quick read novella or cozy thrillers/fictional memoirs/literary fiction with strong themes in: family, women supporting women, and African culture.

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

Nothing particularly out of the ordinary.

There’s blood, killing, some mildly sociopathic behavior, and more killing (and cleaning up the murder scene), but I mean… with a title like that, what else did you expect?? xD

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Three, this time!

Thaaat’s right, folks! This was the book I decided to read in honor of Hannigram Day 2019 xD It actually came across much milder than I thought, but it was still a good choice.

Would you recommend this book?

Definitely, definitely, definitely!


Just heed my warning and don’t be misled by all the crap advertising.


THIS IS NOT A THRILLER, NOR A MYSTERY, NOR A COMEDY, NOR A HORROR, NOR EVEN ALL THAT “DISTURBING”. At most, I’d call this simple literary fiction showcasing mildly disturbing content.

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Doubleday Books
Publication Date: Nov 2018
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 226
Genre & Themes: Fiction, Contemporary, Cultural > Africa, Mystery > Crime, Thriller
Age: Adult (??) I mean, as a teen I’d definitely read it no problem…
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Borrowed from local library
Challenge: Goodreads 2019 Reading Challenge, 2019 N.E.W.T.S., Hannigram Day 2019

One thought on “[Review] My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite


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