The Formula for Murder
In 1890, American reporter Nellie Bly travels to England after learning of a friend’s suicide. The bloated body she confronts barely resembles Hailey, a vivacious fellow journalist. Nellie refuses to believe the suicide and delves into the shadowy story her friend was investigating. Her snooping leads her to Hailey’s secret lover, a rejuvenating spa in Bath, and the suspicious death of a socialite. Nellie discovers she’s being followed by a young teacher named H. G. Wells, and the two combine resources. Stalked by killers—with the help of playwright Oscar Wilde and writer Arthur Conan Doyle—Nellie and Wells follow clues that lead them to Dartmoor and an obsessive doctor whose experiments to recreate youth is deadly science.
I have mixed feelings about this book. The coincidences, modern lingo, repetition and awkward info dumps detract from the story. These famous friends show up in improbable places and situations. Nellie could have been kidnapped much earlier in Bath, but that would have prevented her adventure in Dartmoor. I enjoyed learning about the mysteries of the moor and the intrepid real-life reporter Nellie Bly. The novel is entertaining and many will find it a fun, light-hearted romp.