Can a serial knitter be a serial killer?

     “The world shall hear of me again!”—the last cryptic lines of a book.

These are the words of a serial killer. The killer turned and said this dramatically to the small crowd of gawkers that had gathered to see her cuffed and taken into custody by a team of constables.   She admitted that she had borrowed the line from a favorite Fu Manchu movie, and her own arrest seemed like a good time to use it.

The lethal lady is a little old lady that only stands about 5’ 4” and not only is she a serial killer, she is a serial knitter. Her name is Hilda Hopkins and she is addicted to knitting. She has a knitting machine that will do all the knitting and purling for you. But this is an unusual twist—Hilda Hopkins knits a doll that resembles each of her murder victims and saves it for a memento. She has a special cabinet.

Her methods of murder are creative and diabolical. She tries to off her victims in such a way that they will get justice for the evil they have done to others. She is sort of a one-woman vigilante committee. But I have forgotten to tell you something that may be important. Hilda Hopkins is a fictional character, we hope, in a series of brilliantly written, often hilarious books by a British woman named Vivienne Fagan. Hilda is the star of Hilda Hopkins Mysteries and Hilda is horrifyingly entertaining.

In looking at a huge booklist, I was distracted by an exceptionally odd book cover. I took a closer look. The covers are not what you would call slick, or pretty. They were a little bit unsettling. I took a chance and got an e-book. I was stunned. It was some of the best reading I have done lately. One reason these covers are so strange—it took me awhile to figure out—is that they are photographs of the knitted effigies of the murder victims.

I have read two-thirds of The Hilda Hopkins Mysteries. There are nine that I know about: # 1, Murder She Knit, # 2, Bed and Burial, # 3, Domi-Knit-Rix, # 4, M.I. Knits, # 5, For Queen and Country, # 6 Saints and Sinners, # 7, Day of the Mo Bots, # 8 Mother Wouldn’t Like It, and # 9 Revelations. You can read them randomly, but they are better read in order, and save Revelations for last. Revelations explains more of the background of Hilda Hopkins and ties all of the books together.”

I believe Vivienne first published the books on Smashwords, but they are now on Amazon, and Kindle has a special deal where you can bundle them all together in a set. Most reviewers rave about them—five star reviews with words of admiration for the author. They are short books, but so good I don’t know why they have not been grabbed up to adapt for television.

I am now trying to solve a mystery of my own: who is this Vivienne Fagan? Smashwords has a short bio with photo. “Vivienne lives in London and is a retired Civil Servant and former member of the Intelligence Corps. She is an award-winning machine knitter and a mother of three who knows just how to handle Hilda’s next victims!” Both Vivienne and Hilda Hopkins have Facebook pages.”

One of the book blurbs on Amazon says: ‘Britain’s one and only machine knitting serial killer is on the run and desperate to stay free…’ Did I mention Hilda is a master of disguise?

Hilda Hopkins, is she good or evil? You be the judge.”

Sara Marie Hogg is the author of Curious Indeed. Click HERE to read more about the book.

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  • Sara Marie Hogg

    I have to admit I am very jealous that I did not write these Hilda Hopkins books, myself.

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