In ‘Victorian Psycho’ Novel, ‘Fleabag’ Meets ‘A Christmas Carol’ (Exclusive)

The chills are coming from inside the house in Victorian Psycho, a deliciously devious new book from Virginia Feito, author of 2021’s Mrs. March.

Out Feb. 4, 2025 from Liveright Publishing, Feito’s new book follows Winifred Notty, who plans to play the perfect Victorian governess to her charges, Drusilla and Andrew. But the longer she spends at the dreary Ensor House, and the more she gets to know the perversions and predilections of the Pound family, the harder she finds it to contain the darker impulses that stem from her torrid past.

‘Victorian Psycho’ by Virginia Feito.

Liveright Publishing Corporation


Soon, Winifred’s creeping around the grounds at night in her underwear, tormenting the household staff and, by the time Christmas Day rolls around, having a hard time separating her chilling imagination from reality.

What results is a “gorgeously macabre” tale, according to the book’s synopsis, rife with Feito’s “signature sardonic wit.”

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“I wasn’t initially looking to write a story set in the Victorian era, although I grew up loving the gothic literature from that period, but the voice suddenly came to me — it was sardonic and violent and inappropriate — and I couldn’t help following the voice,” the author says in a statement shared with PEOPLE.

The author likens Victorian Psycho to “a Fleabag sort of personality stuck in the world of A Christmas Carol. But, you know, with more cleavers.”

Feito took her inspiration from research on female psychopaths who she says “have always appealed to me.” She found reading about psychpaths raised in a time when violence toward women was “universally de rigueur” especially enticing.

“While I was doing research on the Victorian era, I kept coming across these ridiculous anecdotes and beliefs from the period which were so cruel towards women and children, so violent to almost absurd degrees, I felt myself growing increasingly angry,” she explains.

Feito adds, “Together with the global pandemic that was breaking out as I was starting to outline the first draft, it just got me in this very aggressive, sinister mood.”

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Victorian Psycho comes out Feb. 4, 2025 and is available now for preorder, wherever books are sold.

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