American Black Widow: The Shocking True Story of a Preacher’s Wife Turned Killer

Grand Central. Jan. 2024. 352p. ISBN 9781538767863. pap. $13.99. CRIME
Olsen (American Mother) focuses on the story of Sharon Douglas Nelson Harrelson, who was raised to be the ideal Christian Scientist daughter, wife, and mother. Despite her strict childhood and early marriage to a minister, she determined that the rules ingrained in her upbringing and held dear by her fellow church members did not apply to her. She saw no reason to be bound by any traditional sense of decorum. In the 1970s and ’80s, she chose to pursue a life of hedonism in Colorado that left a trail of debts, broken marriages, and ultimately two murdered husbands in her wake. Originally published in 1998, this book’s latest edition includes updated language to make this story more approachable for modern readers.
VERDICT Fans of true crime tales will enjoy this retelling of the case of a woman whose two husbands mysteriously end up dead.
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