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The Death of an Ambitious Woman (Five Star Mystery)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  52 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Acting Police Chief Ruth Murphy of New Derby, a suburb of Boston, investigates the death of prominent businesswoman Tracey Kendall and finds not only a multitude of suspects but a danger to her chance at becoming Chief.
Hardcover, 235 pages
Published August 18th 2010 by Five Star (ME)
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Jan 10, 2017 Michele rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book!
Suspense Magazine
Jun 21, 2012 Suspense Magazine rated it it was amazing
It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a book as much as “The Death of an Ambitious Woman,” the debut mystery by Barbara Ross. It could be termed a police procedural, but with a twist. The opening scene in chapter one grabs the reader instantly, and Ross doesn’t let up until the very last scene in the book. In the process, she takes us on a hair-raising ride (both literally and figuratively).
Acting Police Chief Ruth Murphy is a shoe-in to be named the permanent chief in the small Massachusetts
Aug 04, 2013 Raquel rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, august, mystery, 2013
I don't normally read mysteries or crime stories but I really enjoyed this. Chief Ruth is a fabulous character--love reading about tough, smart women.

Local businesswoman Tracey Kendall dies in a car crash, and Chief Ruth Murphy is immediately suspicious. At the same time, a local car mechanic who regularly serviced her car disappears from town. Putting two and two together, Chief Ruth launches a full-scale investigation even though others would prefer she move on. But Ruth is drawn to the decea
Jul 19, 2014 Kay rated it really liked it
Smooth, well-woven police story--and instead of the bull-headed police boss, there is an antagonistic ego-driven fool of a DA as the thorn in Chief Ruth's saddle--a woman becoming Chief of Police in a town outside Boston--sounds trite, but is not at all--it's fascinating. The tell-all at the end could have been a bit more polished, a bit leaner--there are aspects I still don't clearly get, but it is satisfying and the book is a really good read--seems a first in a series, but does not read like ...more
Sean Cronin
Apr 20, 2011 Sean Cronin rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: procedural mystery fans
Recommended to Sean by: met Barbara at authors conference
Good mystery book firmly in the "who-done-it" genre.
The protagonist is forty-ish police chief Ruth Murphy. He works in a small New England town.
A woman dies in a car crash. The crash looks suspicious. The victim was an ambitious woman, rising star in an investment firm.
As the procedural rolls, we find out more about the victim and a bunch of suspects appear. The writing moves us along; nothing cute or philosophical, no asides. It's a straight, cleanly told mystery.
I enjoyed it. I recommend it
Mar 02, 2011 Tressa rated it liked it
This was a short book, but it still took me some time to read it. The story could be greatly improved by explaining the characters a little more in depth and it would add length to the book. I would have loved to hear more about the bakc stories of Ruth, McGrath, and Moscone.

I can't wait to read more in the series, I just hope that the characters are better explained in the future.
Mar 19, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel - it had the authenticity of a police procedural but also a female protagonist who is tough but vulnerable to self-doubt and contending with the politics of a small town. The puzzle aspects were excellent - the characters were rounded enough to make the reader interested, but Ross never lost her focus on the case, the puzzle, and the unraveling of the clues.
Dec 13, 2010 Phillis rated it really liked it
I think this was a very good effort for a first book (she has written short stories that were published). The only problem I had was tying in two characters together. Maybe I missed it when I was reading it, but I won't go on and have it be a spoiler, maybe next time the author will tie up the loose ends. I would read another book by this author.
Oct 02, 2010 Carla rated it it was amazing
I loved getting to know Acting Chief Ruth Murphy in this book - I'm looking forward to knowing her better in many future books! Great supporting characters, an interesting and sometimes confounding plot, and a comfortably brisk pace made this novel a fabulous read!
Jan 19, 2011 Jason rated it it was amazing
Loved This Book! I hated D.A. Baines-but that's a sign of a well written book-cuz I REALLY hated that man. I Loved all the twists and turns and Ruth is a fabulous protagonist. Can't wait to read more in this series.
Jan 01, 2013 Jen rated it liked it
I couldn't keep the characters straight, but on the plus side, I didn't figure out what happened before I read it.
Dec 19, 2010 Leslie rated it liked it
Shelves: library-books
A very quick and engaging read, so I was tempted to give it four stars, but the mystery wasn't really all that hard to solve, so if we had the options of half stars, I'd rate it 3.5.
Lisa rated it it was amazing
Oct 22, 2010
Alice Taylor
Alice Taylor rated it really liked it
Sep 13, 2015
Jan 08, 2014 Kika rated it really liked it
Great storyline with a twist.
Mary Kay
Mary Kay rated it liked it
Sep 22, 2011
Christine Tsui
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May 31, 2016
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Nov 06, 2011
Ruth L. Lockhart
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Aug 15, 2015
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Nov 03, 2012
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Sarah Burke rated it really liked it
Oct 24, 2014
Carrie Collins
Carrie Collins rated it it was amazing
Sep 29, 2014
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Jul 14, 2010
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Kimberly Hon rated it it was amazing
May 03, 2013
Barbara rated it really liked it
Jun 25, 2011
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Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries--Clammed Up, Boiled Over, Musseled Out, Fogged Inn, and Iced Under.

Her holiday novella featuring amateur sleuth Julia Snowden was published along with novellas by Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis in Eggnog Murder from Kensington Books in October 2016.

Barbara blogs with a wonderful group of Maine mystery authors at Maine Crime Writers and with a
More about Barbara Ross...

Other Books in the Series

Five Star Mystery (8 books)
  • Dazzled
  • Field of Schemes
  • The Devil's Bones
  • Hang Fire
  • Missing
  • Deadly Reunion
  • Bits and Pieces

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