Gift Guide

The Formula for Murder (Nellie Bly Series #3)

( 2 )


The world’s most famous reporter, the intrepid Nellie Bly, hunts down a murderer in Carol McCleary’s The Formula for Murder.


History, mystery, murder, and mad science accompany plucky Victorian newspaper reporter Nellie Bly when she travels to the haunted moors of England to investigate the mysterious death of another journalist.

Refusing to believe the young writer committed suicide, Nellie’s search for the truth takes her from foggy ...

See more details below
Hardcover (First Edition)
$19.45 price
(Save 22%)$24.99 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (18) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $1.99   
  • Used (9) from $1.99   
The Formula for Murder

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - First Edition)
$7.99 price


The world’s most famous reporter, the intrepid Nellie Bly, hunts down a murderer in Carol McCleary’s The Formula for Murder.


History, mystery, murder, and mad science accompany plucky Victorian newspaper reporter Nellie Bly when she travels to the haunted moors of England to investigate the mysterious death of another journalist.

Refusing to believe the young writer committed suicide, Nellie’s search for the truth takes her from foggy Londontown to the ancient Roman ruins at Bath and the eerie landscape of Dartmoor. Stalked by a killer as she unravels the mystery behind a series of deaths, Nellie encounters a handsome young biology teacher named H. G. Wells, whose knowledge leads Nellie into the realm of science gone mad.

Joined by Oscar Wilde, fleeing a sex scandal, and Arthur Conan Doyle, pursuing a legendary beast of the moors, Nellie struggles to stay alive as she hunts down a scientist who is trying to recreate in a test tube the work of God. Join Nellie Bly again in this third installment to Carol McCleary's hit mystery series.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in 1890, McCleary’s exciting third mystery featuring crime reporter Nellie Bly (after 2011’s The Illusion of Murder) finds Nellie in London to bury her protégé, cub reporter Hailey McGuire, an apparent suicide. Nellie can’t help wondering what big story Hailey was working on. Who cleaned out her desk and searched her room? And who is now stalking and threatening Nellie? Relentless prying leads Nellie to a high-end society spa in Bath, where miraculous rejuvenations with peat moss are claimed by the controversial owner, Dr. Anthony Lacroix, who suddenly disappears. Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, and H.G. Wells lend able assistance in the search for Dr. Lacroix and his hidden laboratory. Nellie and company must contend with periodic murders and eerie occurrences on the moors of Dartmoor, where they’re pursued by wild creatures, both animal and human. For all the action, the book’s main draw remains Nellie—brash, confrontational, decisive, and even romantic. Agent: Harvey Klinger, Harvey Klinger Inc. (July)
From the Publisher

Praise for The Illusion of Murder

“A top-of-the-line read from an innovative author.”  —RT Book Reviews

“What a stroke of genius that McCleary chose an early female pioneer of journalism for her sleuth. Nellie proves herself more than capable of racing around the world while solving a couple of murders. Fans of Suzanne Arruda and Rhys Bowen will love this one.”
—Library Journal, starred review

“Delightful and well-researched.”
—Mystery Scene

The Illusion of Murder is a rattling good read and a gripping romp.”
—Reviewing the Evidence

Library Journal
In Victorian reporter Nellie Bly's third sleuthing adventure (after The Illusion of Murder), she is out in Bath and Dartmoor, and, yes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is involved, too.
Kirkus Reviews
With the help of Oscar Wilde, a romantic H.G. Wells and others, intrepid reporter Nellie Bly probes the suspicious suicide of a beloved protégée. Nellie visits the London coroner's office with trepidation to identify the body of young Hailey McGuire, who, after a childhood of poverty and abuse, had been working as a cub reporter for Nellie's boss, Joseph Pulitzer, at Nellie's recommendation. There's a suicide note in Hailey's handwriting, and a motive is provided by the corpse's pregnancy, but many days in the river have made certain identification impossible. In addition, the absence of a telltale birthmark, which the coroner says could have been washed away, gives Nellie a glimmer of hope. Even without it, she feels compelled to learn the truth. A menacing man named Archer dogs Nellie's investigation from its first steps. At Hailey's boardinghouse, Nellie learns of a possible gentleman friend and finds a hidden diary. But before she can read it, Archer steals it. A long and lively late-night meal with Oscar Wilde at the Langham Hotel refreshes Nellie and refocuses her determination to get to the bottom of the mystery. A trip to the Aquae Vitae spa at Bath gets her closer to the truth, but also to danger. Adventurer Herbert George Wells rescues Nellie from a tight spot, briefly serves as Watson to her Holmes, and even tries to woo her. There's also a late assist from Arthur Conan Doyle. Period photos and apt quotations from the roman à clef sidekicks add additional spice to Nellie's third delightful romp (The Illusion of Murder, 2011, etc.).
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765328694
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 7/17/2012
  • Series: Nellie Bly Series , #3
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

CAROL MCCLEARY was born in Seoul, South Korea, and lived in Hong Kong, Japan, and the Philippines. She now lives on Cape Cod in an antique house that is haunted by ghosts. McCleary is the author of The Alchemy of Murder and The Illusion of Murder.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

The Formula for Murder

By Carol McCleary

Forge Books

Copyright © 2012 Carol McCleary
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780765328694

Journal of Nellie Bly, 1890
Before I went to England early in the year, I had heard tales of the haunted moors of Dartmoor, that bleak, windswept land where strange creatures are said to roam on moonless nights, but nothing prepared me for murder and science gone mad as men tempted the heavens by trying to create in a test tube that which only God possesses the right to do.
What I came to witness in these dark days was men of science crazed by their demented dreams of creating something no other mortal has done. It wasn’t the first time murder and madness was born in scientific experiments. And like the question of the chicken and the egg, I wonder—is it the science that drives men mad? Or do the scientists taint their formulas with a bit of their own insanity?
Was Mary Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein insane to have brought the dead back to life with powerful jolts of electricity—or did the monster he created drive him mad when it became murderously uncontrollable?
Victor Frankenstein warns another ambitious man of the dangers of trying to achieve what no one else has ever accomplished, calling his success a serpent that has stung him: “Do you share my madness? Have you drunk also of the intoxicating draught? Hear me; let me reveal my tale, and you will dash the cup from your lips!”
I have no doubt Victor Frankenstein would say that Mr. Stevenson’s ambitious Dr. Jekyll actually was the murderous beast rather than the alter ego he created with a potion, the violent Mr. Hyde.
Be what it may, the matter that was to draw me into the dark side of science in the tors and crags of the moors began, appropriately enough, in a place of the dead.

Copyright © 2012 by Carol McCleary


Excerpted from The Formula for Murder by Carol McCleary Copyright © 2012 by Carol McCleary. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2012

    Great story

    A really great story with a wonderful supporting cast. The story moved along at a good clip and provided many surprises. The only negative is that I was a bit disappointed in the end as it seemed a bit rushed but still provided a satisfying conclusion. Looking forward to the next Nellie Bly story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)