The Death of an Ambitious Woman

The Death of an Ambitious Woman

by Barbara Ross

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594148989
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 08/18/2010
Series: A Chief Ruth Murphy Mystery
Pages: 236
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)

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Death of an Ambitious Woman 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In New Derby, Massachusetts businesswoman Tracey Kendall is on her cell phone with her four years old son Carson when she curses just prior to crashing into a stone wall. She is dead on impact. The assumption is she was driving too fast, but no one knows why. Ruth Murphy knows the risk to her career especially since she made the final cut for the permanent position of town Police Chief. She was warned by Mayor Rosenfeld to behave especially since she and the District Attorney are far from allies. Still acting Police Chief Ruth Murphy investigates the death. She, and Detectives McGrath and Moscone interview the spouse Stephen a prominent artist who finds his muses with affairs and the avaricious sleazy business partner at Fiske and Holden. Ruth believes a clever homicide occurred especially when Tracey's mechanic vanished even as the D.A. wants her to end the inquiry. The Death of an Ambitious Woman is a superb police procedural starring a dedicated cop who knows her chances of becoming chief are diminishing with each step in the investigation while her self esteem and the respect of the department conversely grows. Fans will appreciate this entertaining investigation as the cops methodically seek a clever killer while the mayor and the D.A. demand they end their inquiry. Harriet Klausner
imsodion on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The best part of this book is the title. Acting Police Chief Ruth Murphy is awaiting confirmation of her position as the Chief of Police in fictitious New Derby, a suburb of Boston. Murphy's husband has convinced Ruth to move to New Derby with their two children because he grew up there and his large extended family still reside there, in fact that's how she got the job. Don't expect to run into any of his relatives as that is the last that they're mentioned - WHY? Furthermore, Murphy's husband has left an extremely lucrative law practice in Boston because they moved a few miles out of the city - WHY? Mr. Murphy, the lawyer, has apparently been born without a spine yet he is ever devoted to being Mr Mom and endlessly supportive his wife - WHY? The story circles (the drain) around a traffic accident that Ruth suspects is so much more - WHY? - must be her female intuition, huh? There are innumerable opportunities throughout in which to digress upon and weave some meat into the story, yet instead focuses upon (and stretches throughout the entire book) a very petty interaction between Murphy and the district attorney Baines that has dragged on for y-e-a-r-s - Get over it already. Murphy proves to be emotionally infantile on many levels and there is absolutely zero groundwork laid to even hint at Murphy's abilities or why everyone but Baines wants her to be "The Chief." The previous chief of police had personally hand cultivated her for promotion for several years - WHY?, enlisting the mayor - WHAT'S IN IT FOR HIM? and a local moneyed widow - WHO WOULD ONLY BE BELIEVABLE TO A 9 year old - as her oh so supportive pals? And she has the unconditional respect of the entire police dept. though she's an outsider and even assumes the entire investigation while her detectives are sent on assorted errands - now that's believable! Murphy has a heartfelt connection to the orphaned toddler, spending more time with little Carson than her own - remember how unconditionally loving - family - go figure.This might be described as a pre-teen girl's fantasy of what her life will be like and grants authority and competance to a character that has no substance. Pass the peas, please.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
The car crash that killed Tracey Kendall was looking suspicious from the start. She was driving way too fast and didn’t break at all for example. Then the mechanic who serviced her car vanishes, which definitely makes acting police chief Ruth Murphy suspect there is more going on than a simple accident. Unfortunately, this comes at the worst possible time with her permanent promotion to police chief about to go through. Can she navigate internal politics and still uncover the truth? I was thrilled to finally make it back to Barbara Ross’s debut mystery. The mystery is strong, and the internal politics adds a nice layer to an already complex mystery. Ruth and her fellow police officers are strong characters, and I also felt the main suspects were well developed. Some of the supporting players got a little lost, but that is my only complaint about the book. This is a step away from the author’s normal cozy mysteries, with a few four letter words and a touch more description of the aftermath of violence. Still, most of her readers will do just fine with this soft-boiled or traditional tale. Anyone who enjoys a good mystery should pick up this book.