Dying for Mercy
A Sunrise Suspense Society Mystery by Mary Jane Clark
Review: Mary Jane Clark's latest Sunrise Suspense thriller, Dying for Mercy, is the third entry in this series featuring Eliza Blake, co-host of the KEY Television Morning News. Eliza Blake was also a semi-recurring character in the author's previous series of mysteries, which also featured members of the KEY News team.
Eliza is attending a party on the estate of Innis and Valentina Wheelock in Tuxedo Park, New York. The gala is in honor St. Francis of Assisi, who Innis has accepted as his own saint of redemption. The hosts were so gracious and overjoyed in welcoming their guests that no one suspected it was a sham. They had a secret … an explosive secret. After Innis explained why they were honoring St. Francis of Assisi he left the gala festivities, disappearing through the estate's gardens and fountains, through the aviary and into the greenhouse. There he committed suicide in a ritualistic manner but did not leave a note explaining his action. Innis, always a lover of puzzles, had, however, left clues hidden throughout the house and grounds for someone to find.
When Eliza and her news team start looking through pictures that had been taken at the estate, they notice mysterious markings and numbers on objects and in various places. Eliza meets with Zachary Underwood, the architect who designed the restoration of the estate, but he has no knowledge why Innis wanted the letters and numbers. The next day, Zachary is found dead in his office. A coincidence? Who knew Eliza had talked with him? Eliza and her crew convene at her house to discuss some plans of action, not realizing that her house had been bugged. By the time they find out, Innis's maid had been killed, as was Zachary's secretary. Later, while driving around the lake at night, Eliza's car is forced off the road into a ravine, meaning she's now a target as well. But of whom and why? Was Innis's secret really worth all the sorrow and death?
Dying for Mercy is an exceptional novel, superb in so many ways, combining the best of a manor house mystery with a life-size puzzle, the clues to the solution of which are in plain sight. The well-drawn characters, steady pacing, posh setting, and intriguing plot all contribute to a very satisfying, most enjoyable thriller.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Dying for Mercy.
Acknowledgment: Wiredset provided a copy of Dying for Mercy for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Dying for Mercy:
— ♦ —
Dying for Mercy by Mary Jane Clark — A Sunrise Suspense Society Mystery
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: July 2009
List Price: $24.99