Ghost of a Chance: A Marjorie McClelland Mystery

Written by Amy Patricia Meade
Review by Myfanwy Cook

Marjorie McClelland, the mystery writer, her fiancé police detective, Robert Jameson, and Creighton Ashcroft, her wealthy English editor, are all at the 1935 carnival of the First Presbyterian Church of Ridgebury, Connecticut, when there is an unexplained death of a man on the Ferris wheel. The murder investigation that follows takes them to Boston, and reunites Creighton with Vanessa, his old childhood flame, and owner of the chemical firm Alchemy. Murder, love, industrial espionage and bigamy are the ingredients blended together in this well-devised mystery story. The combination, though, is more explosive for Marjorie and her planned marriage than she expects.

The plot has all the Agatha Christie hallmarks of twists, turns and dead ends that are needed for an effective murder mystery. The characters are believable: sixteen-year-old Herbert Nussbaum, with his ambitions to become a criminologist being one of the most original, along with overweight Miss Schutt, who is hunting for a husband. Creighton Ashcroft is particularly endearing, especially in his willingness to part with a one-dollar bill to buy twenty kisses from a young blonde woman whom he assumes is the object of his affections.

This novel, which is the second in the series, will undoubtedly be welcomed both by readers who enjoy novels set in the 1930s and murder mystery lovers.