Skip to content

Loading Events

April 28 @ 6:00 pm EDT - 7:00 pm EDT

Meeting Location:
  • In-Person
The Muse Writers Center
2200 Colonial Ave, Suite #3
Norfolk, VA 23517 United States

Patti McCracken Book Launch and Q&A

Join The Muse Writers Center for a reading by Patti McCracken from her new book, The Angel Makers. After the reading, there will be a Q&A and book signing. This event will be held in person at The Muse and copies of the book will be available for purchase. See the Muse’s current Covid-19 policies. For those who are not able to attend in person, there will be a live stream of the event on the Muse Facebook page.

“…a compulsively readable account… This is a must for true crime fans.”

—Publishers Weekly


About the Book:

The Angel Makers: Arsenic, a Midwife, and Modern History’s Most Astonishing Murder Ring

The Angel Makers is a true-crime story like no other—a 1920s midwife who may have been the century’s most prolific killer leading a murder ring of women responsible for the deaths of at least 160 men.

To look at the unlikely lineup of murderesses—village wives, mothers, and daughters—was to come to the shocking realization that this could have happened anywhere, and to anyone. At the center of the ring was a squat, pipe-smoking midwife known as Auntie Suzy, who carried arsenic in her pocket and doled it out to women who were tired of their abusive spouses and sickly children. For more than fifteen years, the unlikely murderers aided death unfettered and tended to it as if it were simply another chore—spooning doses of arsenic into soup and wine, stirring it into coffee and brandy.

After a series of anonymous notes to authorities in 1929 and decades of mysterious deaths, 16 women went on trial for poisoning their husbands and sons in a case that riveted the world press. They were all convicted: three of them were hanged, and three—including Auntie Suzy—died by suicide rather than face life in prison. It’s thought, the authors writes, that over the years hundreds of men of Nagyrév were slipped arsenic into their brandy, soup, or goulash by the women in their lives.

The Angel Makers captures in expertly researched detail the entirety of this harrowing story, from the early murders to the final hanging—the story of one of the most sensational and astonishing murder rings in all of modern history. Purchase your copy online here.


About the Author: 

Patti McCracken was born in Virginia Beach, VA. As a teen, she moved with her family to Clearwater, Florida, and during and after college, she worked at a news magazine in Washington, D‭.‬C‭. ‬for a decade before moving to Chicago, where she was an assistant editor at the Chicago Tribune‭.

She relocated to Europe to work as a journalism trainer, free press advocate, and newsroom consultant for the then-emerging democracies of the former Soviet bloc‭ and post-war Bosnia. ‬She was based in an Austrian village near the Slovak border, but her work often included long stints in Eastern and Central Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus, and later North Africa and Southeast Asia‭.

‬She was twice a Knight International Press Fellow‭. ‬Over 20+ years, her articles have appeared in Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, Smithsonian Magazine, and many more outlets‭. She is a member of PEN America.

This is her first book‭.

It took her a very long time to write it.


Please note: This class or event is in-person. Currently, you do not have to show proof of vaccination to attend events or visit our center. Please read all our re-opening guidelines and important information before you visit.