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Edgar winner McCrumb's beloved heroine Elizabeth MacPherson continues to chase down murder and mayhem in this intriguing sequel to The Windsor Knot. Elizabeth is visiting some of England's most famous crime scenes on a guided tour, when one of the tourists adds murder to the itinerary.
Posted October 29, 2000
All Sharon McCrumb's books show merit. I cannot wait to read her latest, 'The PMS Outlaws'; however, 'Missing Susan' was possibly the funniest of the Elizabeth McPherson series that I have yet read. McCrumb's great sense of humor and irony are well shown in this suspense novel. The plot is fast paced. A guide, Rowan, of Mystery Tours of England is offered a great deal of money to murder the said 'Susan.' He is not a bad person; he has a lot of qualms, but he also has a great many bills, so he accepts the job. And when he gets to know Susan, he becomes positively eager to kill her as do almost all the characters on the Mystery Tour. Elizabeth McPherson is on the tour for something to take up her time while her new husband is checking on seals in the Atlantic. She is particularly interested in the real life mystery places that are included on the tour, and as usual, she finds a mystery 'bone' to chew on. This is one of the parts of the book which makes it so interesting. The locale is basically on a bus and at hotels in the South of England, The West of England, and Wales, culminating in a trip around Jack the Ripper's beat in Whatechapel. Rowan does not care for the job of guide as he is an expert on unsolved real mysteries, including Jack the Ripper, but he does an admirable job of showing the members of the tour all the places where their favorite authors lived, or placed their plots, old castles, cathedrals, medieval cities, the wild Cornish coast. The tour members' biggest problem is Susan who knows the plot of every mystery novel, relates them on the bus tours and evening meals ad nauseum--spoiling the endings for many--and her constant disdain of every famous site described in the book, Winchester, Exeter, Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor, holding them as inferior to similar places in Minneapolis. During this time Rowan does concoct several plots to 'off' Susan, but hilariously, something happens to spoil his plan each time, and in one case, almost causes his own demise. After several attempts on Susan's life, Rowan is desperate enough to think of giving up. And Elizabeth starts putting the facts together and guesses his intention. But to say more would be to spoil the book's ending. I enjoyed this book as I am a great admirer of Sharon McCrumb, and I love her humor as well as the 'darker' books she has written. I found myself laughing throughout. Also, for me in particular, knowing most of the mystery writers mentioned on the tour, and a great deal of the countryside, especially Exeter where I spent my childhood years, was an added pleasure, and the ending was wonderful! I am so glad that McCrumb has written a new Elizabeth McPherson book. It is long overdue!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.