Dying for Mercy (KEY News Series #10)

Dying for Mercy (KEY News Series #10)

3.8 25
by Mary Jane Clark, Isabel Keating

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When death shatters the serenity of the exclusive moneyed enclave of Tuxedo Park, New York, Eliza Blake, co-host of KEY to America, is on the scene. While attending a lavish gala at her friends' newly renovated estate, Pentimento, Eliza's host is found dead—a grotesque suicide that is the first act in a macabre and intricately conceived plan to expose sins of


When death shatters the serenity of the exclusive moneyed enclave of Tuxedo Park, New York, Eliza Blake, co-host of KEY to America, is on the scene. While attending a lavish gala at her friends' newly renovated estate, Pentimento, Eliza's host is found dead—a grotesque suicide that is the first act in a macabre and intricately conceived plan to expose sins of the past involving some of the town's most revered citizens.

Determined to find the truth, Eliza and her KEY News colleagues discover that Pentimento holds the key. The glorious mansion is actually a giant "puzzle house", filled with ingenious clues that lead them, one by one, to the victims of a fiendish killer.

As Pentimento gives up its secrets it becomes clear that no amount of wealth or privilege will keep the residents of Tuxedo Park safe. But just when she unearths one final surprise, Eliza comes face to face with a murderer who believes that some puzzles should never be solved.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

At the start of bestseller Clark's smooth third Eliza Blake puzzler (after It Only Takes a Moment), the KEY to AmericaTV host is looking forward to attending a party to celebrate the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi at Ennis and Valentina Wheelock's newly renovated villa in Tuxedo Park, N.Y. Soon after Ennis's suicide by stigmata in the villa's greenhouse puts an end to the party, someone begins killing anyone who knows too much about the Wheelocks' connection to a 20-year-old cold case involving an abandoned convertible and its missing owner, landscaper Martin O'Shaughnessy. Each murder mimics "aspects of the Passion of Jesus Christ." As Eliza and her three KEY co-workers, who have dubbed themselves the Sunrise Suspense Society, swing into action, Eliza must fight to avoid becoming headline news herself as the killer's next victim. Those curious about Tuxedo Park will appreciate the well-researched portrait of the real-life exclusive community. (Aug.)

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Kirkus Reviews
A penitential suicide opens the door to wholesale homicide in an exclusive suburban enclave. Innis Wheelock, the brains behind wife Valentina's political ascent to the governorship of New York and the ambassadorship to Italy, has always felt guilty about something. As a party dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi winds down in their Tuxedo Park mansion, he does something about it, stabbing himself in the hands, feet and left side in the pattern of Christ's stigmata. But his ritual death is only the first of his posthumous messages. A lesser man might have placed in his safe-deposit box a confession of the conspiracy stretching back over 20 years to an apparently victimless car crash. But Innis, who really liked puzzles, has left behind a series of teasing clues to the secret he took to his grave. As luck would have it, someone else seems bent on scattering those clues through an equally ritualized series of murders designed to keep the secret a secret. Is that someone Innis's best friend Fitzroy Heavener, political operative Peter Nordstrut, Tuxedo Park police chief Clay Vitalli or (horrors!) all of them? And will TV morning-show host Eliza Blake, still fearful in the aftermath of her daughter's kidnapping (It Only Takes a Moment, 2008, etc.), put the clues together in time to save herself from the killer?Clark lavishes all the pointless ingenuity of Who Killed the Robins Family? on a transparent mystery, except there's no cash prize for beating Eliza to the solution. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh/William Morris Agency
Associated Press Staff
Clark’s latest rivals Christie’s best. Her short, to-the-point chapters, lucid prose, numerous suspects and faceless murderer’s creepy monologues keep the suspense at its chilliest level — and move the story forward at a brisk clip. One of Clark’s — and the genre’s — best.
Associated Press
Clark’s latest rivals Christie’s best. Her short, to-the-point chapters, lucid prose, numerous suspects and faceless murderer’s creepy monologues keep the suspense at its chilliest level — and move the story forward at a brisk clip. One of Clark’s — and the genre’s — best.
As always, Clark gives the reader a strong trail of red herrings. This is another satisfying look at the behind-the-scenes world of television network news tied around an intriguing puzzle

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
KEY News Series, #10
Edition description:
Unabridged, 7 CDs/8 Hours
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 5.88(h) x 0.80(d)


Meet the Author

Mary Jane Clark worked at CBS News for nearly three decades. Her twelve KEY News media thrillers were inspired by that experience. Envisioning the Piper Donovan/Wedding Cake mystery series, Mary Jane enrolled in cake-decorating classes and researched unique wedding locations. The daughter of an FBI agent and a mother who customized cakes for the neighborhood kids when she was growing up, Mary Jane has two grown children and splits her time between New Jersey and Florida. She is currently concocting her next novel.

Isabel Keating garnered a 2004 Tony® nomination for her role as Judy Garland in The Boy From Oz. She has numerous off Broadway credits, and made her Broadway debut starring in Enchanted April.

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Dying for Mercy 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book has a cool cover.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kiki_Howell More than 1 year ago
Short chapters and multiple point of views make for an interesting compliment to this novel which seems to mix suspense fiction with aspects of both mystery and thriller genres. The story is fast-paced as the author quickly moves you from one head into another. Yet, the puzzle you are trying to get all of the pieces to is very complex. The pages of "Dying for Mercy" are layered with not only slightly obscure, yet auspicious clues, but also a wealth of suspicious characters. One particular, anonymous point of view----always written in italics-who seems to have everything to lose, lends a deeply enigmatic element as well as a spooky touch. Also, Innes Wheelock, the man whose death the puzzle of this novel evolves around, is an elaborately baffling character. He is an enigma in the best sense of the word. The mix of a life of excess and prestige weaves with his religious ideals and goals of justice. With his death, he begins a puzzle for those connected to him in a mind of forcing repentance. Mary Jane Clark has a way of making you question everyone. With her omniscient point of view, all that is purposefully left unsaid along with the little hints the reader does get, makes her excel in her craft. I was even questioning the good guys! Her setting of Tuxedo Park is a wonderful, complimentary backdrop-extravagant-lending wealth, beauty, excess and the illusion of safety. It is rare an author comes up with a setting that so matches the characters, the setting becomes a character in its own right. Thinking back over the story, for a murder mystery, her characters were well-crafted, circling their personalities around the character Innes and his suicide. The story was really about motivations right to the very end. You find yourself questioning not only what motivated the initial suicide and following murders, but, what keeps you reading, is the goal of finding out what is being covered up.
Suzieque More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy a great mystery and Mary Jane Clark never lets me down, can not wait for more books from her.
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TallncurvyinMA More than 1 year ago
It's a fun book for a rainy days that combines the wealthy neighborhood of Tuxedo Park, NY with the reglious symbolism of the Crucifixion and St. Francis of Assisi and puzzle solving. I was hoping for something like Dan Brown's intriguing stories, but instead got just an average mystery. It wasn't bad, just didn't live up to my expectations. One thing though - I wish Mary Jane Clark would stop with all the characters whining about child care and exhaustion. When I read works of fiction, I do it to escape, not to read about potentially interesting characters with dull, mundane problems.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
A favorable review: great storyline; keeps your attention. Another great mystery-suspense thriller by Mary Jane B. Clark. The body count continues. Who is behind each death? What happened twenty years ago that somebody or somebodies do not want you to find out about? Which residents of the Park have secrets? And which residents outside the Park know? Where were the key "players" during each murder? If you are intrigued, check out this fast paced page-turner and it will be revealed to you as Eliza works out this mystery. You will be drawn into the puzzle and want to find out the solution.
IHeart2Read More than 1 year ago
Following the kidnapping of her daughter, Janie, Eliza Blake decides to rent a house in prestigious Tuxedo Park, New York. She's invited to a party and before the night ends, the host commits suicide by stigmata. As Eliza and her colleagues, AKA the Sunshine Suspense Society, begin to investigate, they realize he left clues behind that will piece together a cover-up that happened years ago. Can Eliza and her friends find the killer's identity before they become the next victims?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always, Mary Jane Clark keeps you in suspense to the end. This cast of characters is enjoyable and are now so familiar. Hopefully, she is busy writing another.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I look forward every summer to the release of a Mary Jane Clark mystery because it's so much fun to take it on vacation--like a game of CLUE to play with travel companions! I think DYING FOR MERCY is Clark's best. The clever clues are all there from the get-go, but I was kept guessing until the end. The characters and suspects, in their varied degrees of quirkiness, are well developed and well written. And the attention to detail--the religious symbolism, the locations, e.g.--makes for a vivid, cinematic, intelligent read. I can hardly wait until next summer's release!!
LaurenDabney More than 1 year ago
I did enjoy this book. It was not the kind of book I'm used to reading. I was in suspense the whole time.
Ryan_G More than 1 year ago
This was my very first book that I won off a blog once I started blogging and entering giveaways and for that reason alone it will always hold a special place in my heart. I am a humongous fan of mystery novels never strayed to far from Agatha Christie, the Jessica Fletcher books, and a few other favorite authors. So when I received this book I was excited to read it. What I did not know at the time was that it is part of a series and that there are quite a few books that take place before this one, so some of the references flew right over my head. On the good side though, I didn't have to necessarily do the one thing I think a reader needs to do in order to enjoy a long running series that doesn't star a police or professional detective, which is to suspend the disbelief that this many horrible things can happen to and around one character all the time. When you jump into the middle of a series you don't really know all the past stuff so there is nothing to there to jumble your mind. The book actually opens with a unknown male committing the most horrific act of suicide I have ever read in my life. I'm not sure it would even be physically possible for one person to do this to himself without passing out from the pain. That being said, self inflicting yourself with stigmata is definitely going to get you attention. The rest of the book deals with Eliza trying to figure out why he did it and what all the clues he left behind point to. Overall I liked the book and it kept me engaged enough that I'm thinking about going back and reading the first book in the series to see how it all started. The character of Eliza is dynamic enough to make me what to read more about her and her daughter who apparently was kidnapped in a previous book. I did have a few issues with the book, though they tend to be minor. First, I have always felt that the success of The Da Vinci Code has created a need in a lot of authors to write a book that contains a secret code, normally using religious symbolism, in order to drive the plot. Some authors do it well, some horribly, this one was neither. It didn't feel well thought out but I still makes sense within the storyline. My second issue was the motivation behind the suicide. If you really feel that badly about a past crime, would you really kill yourself in such a manner? Why not just tell the truth? The outcome would have been the same either way. The people responsible for the crime would still be held responsible, the loved one you are trying to expose for new crimes wouldn't have been able to do anymore horrible acts, and less people would have died. Like I said they are minor issues though and didn't detract from the story.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
At the doctor today someone saw me with this book and asked it if was any good. I very spontaneously said "no!" I had been thinking of stopping it anyway as the writing is at about the sixth grade level. Each little chapter is written as if by little old ladies at a tea society, each contributing something to their novel of "suspense." But to have suspense, the reader has to care about the story and the characters. I didn't, not in the least.
Nancyj95 More than 1 year ago
Although I enjoyed the book, and will keep on purchasing this author, I just didn't feel it was quite up to some of her others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mary Jane Clark has written another gripping whodunit - this one replete with a gruesome suicide that's hard to get out of one's head. Set in the exclusive gated community of Tuxedo Park, New York, Clark provides an insider's view of what wealth and privilege can offer - and, at the same time, what money just can't provide: health, or happiness or security. The dead man has left behind a giant puzzle house filled with ingenious clues to the facts, 20 years old, that drove him to his death. And those who might be exposed for the part they played in that long-forgotten crime have good reason to keep everyone from solving the giant puzzle he bequeathed to the Park community. That's unfortunate for Eliza Blake, anchor of the country's most-watched morning news program, KEY to America -- and Clark's best-drawn character. She was present when the first body was discovered and, as she and her colleagues (dubbed the Sunrise Suspense Society) follow the clues to their inevitable conclusion, Eliza herself is targeted for death. Mack McBride, our heroine's London-based old flame, is on hand for the murder and mayhem, and he barely makes it out alive. This story had me on the edge of my seat: the chapters just fly by, with suspects (and bodies) littering the landscape, and readers will keep turning the page hoping that Eliza Blake can stay one step ahead of a fiendishly clever killer.