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The Cinderella Murder (Under Suspicion Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

In a first-time collaboration, “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark partners with bestselling author Alafair Burke to deliver a brand new suspense series about a television program featuring cold case murders.

Television producer Laurie Moran is delighted when the pilot for her reality drama, Under Suspicion, is a success. Even more, the program—a cold case series that ...
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The Cinderella Murder (Under Suspicion Series #1)

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Overview

In a first-time collaboration, “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark partners with bestselling author Alafair Burke to deliver a brand new suspense series about a television program featuring cold case murders.

Television producer Laurie Moran is delighted when the pilot for her reality drama, Under Suspicion, is a success. Even more, the program—a cold case series that revisits unsolved crimes by recreating them with those affected—is off to a fantastic start when it helps solve an infamous murder in the very first episode.

Now Laurie has the ideal case to feature in the next episode of Under Suspicion: the Cinderella Murder. When Susan Dempsey, a beautiful and multi-talented UCLA student, was found dead, her murder raised numerous questions. Why was her car parked miles from her body? Had she ever shown up for the acting audition she was due to attend at the home of an up-and-coming director? Why does Susan’s boyfriend want to avoid questions about their relationship? Was her disappearance connected to a controversial church that was active on campus? Was she close to her computer science professor because of her technological brilliance, or something more? And why was Susan missing one of her shoes when her body was discovered?

With the help of lawyer and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley, Laurie knows the case will attract great ratings, especially when the former suspects include Hollywood’s elite and tech billionaires. The suspense and drama are perfect for the silver screen—but is Cinderella’s murderer ready for a close-up?

Together Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke deliver an exciting publishing event: the start of a thrilling new series guaranteed to keep you guessing until the last suspenseful page.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In her latest whodunit, "Queen of Suspense" Mary Higgins Clark is joined by veteran mystery writer Alafair Burke (Angel's Tip; Dead Connection). The Cinderella in this case is a beautiful, talented actress/student whose dead body is found missing a shoe; hence the title. Unfortunately for true crime TV producer Laurie Moran, this case is more knotty than any fairy tale; in fact, suspects in Susan Dempsey's violent demise are much more numerous than a small battalion of evil stepsisters. Luckily, one by one, the clues are unlocked by amateur sleuth Moran and the show's host. A dynamic new author duo adds new verve to a classic.

From the Publisher
"Fans of MWA Grand Master Clark will find plenty of intrigue and excitement in this contemporary thriller...Clark keeps readers guessing and in suspense."
Publishers Weekly

"The snappy pace, layered characters, and many plot surprises will keep readers guessing in this fascinating mystery by two talented writers."
Booklist

"This serendipitous series launch, or continuation, will satisfy Clark's legion of fans and may well win her some new ones."
Kirkus Reviews

Library Journal
06/01/2014
Reigning queen of suspense Clark joins forces for the first time with the best-selling Burke for another adventure featuring the reality drama Under Suspicion, which asks those involved to re-create the circumstances of unsolved crimes. The victim in the show's latest episode was a talented UCLA acting student whose body was found far from her car, with no indication whether she attended her final audition. Her boyfriend has been pretty close-mouthed, too. Spooky.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-10-02
The team behind Clark's reality TV show Under Suspicion (I've Got You Under My Skin, 2014) returns to dramatize—all right, solve—another cold case, with welcome help from co-author Burke (All Day and a Night, 2014, etc.).Rosemary Dempsey has always hated the references to her daughter, Susan, as Cinderella ever since Susan was found in Laurel Canyon Park the morning after her father's 60th birthday party, a party she passed up for an audition with indie director Frank Parker. Susan made it to within half a mile of Parker's home before she was strangled after losing a shoe, presumably in a futile attempt to outrace her killer. Now that producer Laurie Moran and the rest of the Under Suspicion crew wants to film a series of interviews about the 20-year-old murder, Rosemary sees the TV show as an opportunity to restore Susan's individual identity to the figure of a Cinderella who'd left a shoe behind. Susan's other intimates aren't so eager to participate. Parker, coming off an Oscar nomination, doesn't need the publicity. Susan's old boyfriend, character actor Keith Ratner, has never been very cooperative. Her former UCLA roommates, Madison Meyer and Nicole Melling, have their own secrets to hide. So does her college friend Dwight Cook, who was vaulted into the ranks of Silicon Valley royalty while he was still sitting in professor Richard Hathaway's computer science class with Susan. It's up to Laurie and Alex Buckley, the resident lawyer of Under Suspicion who loves her, to figure out why the necklace Susan was wearing the night she died was so much more important than her shoe. The continuing sleuth easily substitutes for Clark's interchangeable damsels in distress, and Burke brings a sharp legal eye to the proceedings. This serendipitous series launch, or continuation, will satisfy Clark's legion of fans and may well win her some new ones.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476763705
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 11/18/2014
  • Series: Under Suspicion Series , #1
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 24
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Mary Higgins Clark, #1 international and New York Times bestselling author, has written thirty-three suspense novels; three collections of short stories; a historical novel, Mount Vernon Love Story; two children’s books, including The Magical Christmas Horse; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges. She is also the coauthor with Carol Higgins Clark of five holiday suspense novels. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies in the United States alone.
Alafair Burke is the bestselling author of ten novels, including the thrillers Long Gone, If You Were Here, and the latest in the Ellie Hatcher series, All Day and a Night. A former prosecutor, she now teaches criminal law and lives in Manhattan.

Biography

The Queen of Suspense, Bronx-born and -bred Mary Higgins Clark has achieved international success against heavy odds. Her father died when she was 11, and her mother struggled to raise and provide for Mary and her two brothers. Clark attended secretarial school after high school and worked for three years in an advertising agency before leaving to become a stewardess for Pan American Airlines. Throughout 1949, she flew international flights to Europe, Africa, and Asia. " I was in a revolution in Syria and on the last flight into Czechoslovakia before the Iron Curtain went down," she recalls. In 1950, she quit her job to marry Warren Clark, a neighbor nine years her senior whom she had known and admired since she was 16.

In the early years of her marriage, Clark began writing short stories, making her first sale in 1956 to Extension Magazine. Between writing and raising a family, the decade flew by. Then, in 1964, Warren Clark suffered a fatal heart attack, leaving his young widow with five children to support. She went to work writing radio scripts; and, around this time, she decided to try her hand at writing books. Inspired by a radio series she was working on, she drafted a biographical novel about George Washington. It was published in 1969 under the title Aspire to the Heavens. (In 2002, it was re-issued as Mount Vernon Love Story.) Her first suspense novel, Where Are the Children?, appeared in print in 1975. It was a huge hit and marked a turning point in her life. Since then, she has developed a loyal fan base, and each of her novels has hit the bestseller lists. She has also co-written stories and novels with her daughter Carol, a successful author in her own right.

In the 1970s, Clark enrolled in Fordham University at Lincoln Center, graduating summa cum laude in 1979. A great supporter of education, she has served as a trustee of her alma mater and Providence College and holds numerous honorary degrees. She remains active in Catholic affairs and has been honored with many awards. Her publisher, Simon & Schuster, funds an annual award in her name to be given to authors of suspense fiction writing in the Mary Higgins Clark tradition.

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    1. Hometown:
      Saddle River, New Jersey and New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 24, 1929
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      New York University; B.A., Fordham University, 1979
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

The Cinderella Murder

1

It was two o’clock in the morning. Right on time, Rosemary Dempsey thought ruefully as she opened her eyes and stirred. Whenever she had a big day ahead she would inevitably wake up in the middle of the night and start worrying that something would go wrong.

It had always been like this, even when she was a child. And now, fifty-five years old, happily married for thirty-two years, with one child, beautiful and gifted nineteen-year-old Susan, Rosemary could not be anything but a constant worrier, a living Cassandra. Something is going to go wrong.

Thanks again, Mom, Rosemary thought. Thanks for all the times you held your breath, so sure that the birthday upside-down cake I loved to make for Daddy would flop. The only one that did was the first one when I was eight years old. All the others were perfect. I was so proud of myself. But then, on his birthday when I was eighteen, you told me you always made a backup cake for him. In the single act of defiance that I can remember, I was so shocked and angry I tossed the one I had made in the garbage can.

You started laughing and then tried to apologize. “It’s just that you’re talented in other ways, Rosie, but let’s face it, in the kitchen you’re klutzy.”

And of course you found other ways to tell me where I was klutzy, Rosemary thought. “Rosie, when you make the bed, be sure that the spread is even on both sides. It only takes an extra minute to do it right.” “Rosie, be careful. When you read a magazine, don’t just toss it back on the table. Line it up with the others.”

And now, even though I know I can throw a party or make a cake, I am always sure that something will go wrong, Rosemary thought.

But there was a reason today to be apprehensive. It was Jack’s sixtieth birthday, and this evening sixty of their friends would be there to celebrate it. Cocktails and a buffet supper, served on the patio by their infallible caterer. The weather forecast was perfect, sunshine and seventy degrees.

It was May 7 in Silicon Valley and that meant that the flowers were in full bloom. Their dream house, the third since they’d moved to San Mateo thirty-two years ago, was built in the style of a Tuscan villa. Every time she turned into the driveway, she fell in love with it again.

Everything will be fine, she assured herself impatiently. And as usual I’ll make the birthday chocolate upside-down cake for Jack and it will be perfect and our friends will have a good time and I will be told how I’m a marvel. “Your parties are always so perfect, Rosie . . . The supper was delicious . . . the house exquisite . . . ,” and on and on. And I will be a nervous wreck inside, she thought, an absolute nervous wreck.

Careful not to awaken him, she wriggled her slender body over in the bed until her shoulder was touching Jack’s. His even breathing told her that he was enjoying his usual untroubled sleep. And he deserved it. He worked so hard. As she often did when she was trying to overcome one of her worry attacks, Rosemary began to remind herself of all the good things in her life, starting with the day she met Jack on the campus of Marquette University. She had been an undergraduate. He had been a law student. It was the proverbial love at first sight. They had been married after she graduated from college. Jack was fascinated by developing technology, and his conversation became filled with talk of robots, telecommunications, microprocessors, and something called internetworking. Within a year they had moved to Northern California.

I always wanted us to live our lives in Milwaukee, Rosemary thought. I still could move back in a heartbeat. Unlike most human beings, I love cold winters. But moving here certainly has worked out for us. Jack is head of the legal department of Valley Tech, one of the top research companies in the country. And Susan was born here. After more than a decade without the family we hoped and prayed for, we were holding her in our arms.

Rosemary sighed. To her dismay, Susan, their only child, was a Californian to her fingertips. She’d scoff at the idea of relocating anywhere. Rosemary tried to wrest her mind away from the troublesome thought that last year Susan had chosen to go to UCLA, a great college but a full five-hour drive away. She had been accepted closer to home at Stanford University. Instead she had rushed to enroll at UCLA, probably because her no-good boyfriend, Keith Ratner, was already a student there. Dear God, Rosemary thought, don’t let her end up eloping with him.

The last time she looked at the clock, it was three thirty, and her last impression before falling asleep was once again an overwhelming fear that today something was going to go desperately wrong.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2014

    Not nearly as good as the books Ms. Clark has done on her own.

    I have been a fan of Mary Higgins Clark for many years, but The Cinderella Murder was quite disappointing. The characters seemed shallow, especially the main character who seemed willing to do anything to show she was smarter than the police just so she could get her story.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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