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The Formula for Murder (Nellie Bly #3)

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  128 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
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. Her search for the truth takes her from fog
Paperback, 464 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Forge Books (first published July 17th 2012)
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Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another rollicking mystery following the fictional sleuthing of girl reporter Nellie Bly. This time Nellie teams up with HG Wells and Arthur Conan Doyle for a dangerous adventure that takes her from London, Bath and finally the murky moors of Dartmoor (the setting for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic "The Hound of the Baskervilles") Fans of Ms. McCleary's two previous Nellie Bly. mysteries will not be disappointed!
Neil Campbell
This has been my first series that I have to read as soon as possible. Nellie's adventures rank up there with many of my favorite action/adventure heroes. Add to the mix the mystery and historical references and I have my favorite genre now headed by a heroine. The only problem I have is that these stories essentially take place out of the states, yet Nellie is a New York reporter. But the books mention that Nellie actually wrote books concerning her time undercover as a prostitute in the States ...more
Feb 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a murder mystery set in the late nineteenth century and the heroine is Nellie Bly, a famous American newspaper reporter who is looking into the death of her friend and fellow reporter in London. Along the way, Nellie teams up with various historical figures (Oscar Wilde, HG Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle) who help her solve the mystery. I liked this for the most part, but found the dialogue a little far fetched for the times, while the actions of most of the supporting characters seemed about ...more
Kim McGee
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whoa Nellie! I have always been fascinated by the real Nellie Bly and Carol McCleary's depiction of her and other very famous people like H.G. Wells, Oscar Wilde and Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle cannot be touched.
Once again Nellie is off on a journalistic adventure off to London to investigate the murder of her friend who supposedly killed herself while investigating a story about ladies spas. Nellie knows the young woman would not have killed herself and begins to uncover a horrific plot to kidnap y
Apr 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the first three of McCleary's Nellie Bly stories one after the other in the space of a few weeks. I like the original premise and setting, though I think they are too long and rely too heavily on extensive historical research which breaks up the flow of the mystery. I had hoped that this third entry would continue the trend of improving slightly over the previous entry, as the second had over the first. I just wasn't as enthralled by this story, though, as I had been by Nellie's mad dash ...more
Nov 17, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
- Quite disappointing, as I thought the premise sounded really good and the book started off seemingly very well-written, but then went downhill after that.
- All of the foils and ploys and "plot twists" just seemed a bit cartoonish and the dialogue was really not well-written and unnatural.
- And although I adore literary figures: Oscar Wilde, Sir Conan Doyle and H.G. Wells, I found it a bit outlandish that Nellie would actually encounter and/or know any one of them! I don't know if this was a hi
Elaine Pease
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Discovered McCleary and now I'm on her third history mystery "The Illusion of Murder," p.217 (and what does it mean if I look at the clock after checking what pg. I'm on and it's 2:17??).
The Formula for Murder follows reporter Nellie Bly (and I love this real life character thrust into these murders, without it being a stretch) and other real life characters like Jules Verne (love interest) etc. and a Jack the Ripper type. It's eye candy for the Victorian mystery starved reader.
Margaret1358 Joyce
The novelty of 1st-person narrative related by 19th century newspaperwoman Nellie Bly is captivating, as is the setting ( London, Bath and the Dartmoor Moors), the interwoven history, and the well-plotted unfolding of 'murder most foul.' In all, an entertaining read, however emotionally cool as a consequence of the victorian language.
Just didn't work for me. The novel was okay but (aptly) it did feel too formulaic as it managed to cram in historical figures including Oscar Wilde, H.G. Wells, and Arthur Conan Doyle. It also didn't entirely manage to avoid the trap of inserting travelogue/ into character dialogue which always feels unnaturally stiff and a break to narrative flow to me.

Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved that Oscar Wilde was back, and the addition of Arthur Conan Doyle and H. G. Wells as new compatriots for the intrepid Nellie B! Could have done without (or at least much less)inner monologue from Nellie about sex, should she, shouldn't she, blah blah blah.
Sep 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nellie Bly is at it again and I really enjoy the over table dialogue with Oscar, Conan and HG. This was a great pace, good story line and I liked the characters....cause they are based on real people.
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great story with a strong supporting cast. Well paced with lots of surprising twists and turns. The only negative is that the end seemed a bit rushed but still provided a satisfying conclusion. Looking forward to the next Nellie Bly mystery. Highly recommended.
Erin H.
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked the depictions of historical characters and how well they were integrated into this fictional story, but the ending was kind of predictable and tired. The build up was wonderful but the resolve was completely what I expected.
I enjoy this series alot & have to go back & catch up on the few that I missed at the beginning!!
Wen Cameron
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wen by: no one, I just noticed it at the library.
I enjoyed The Formula for Murder very much. A great story with a lot of twists and turns. First book I,ve read of Carol McCleary can't wait to read more.
Sep 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like it as much as the second one.
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun, engaging mystery based on real-life historical figures like Nellie Bly, Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells and Oscar Wilde.
Aug 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked how the book was based on real people, like Nellie Bly, H.G. Wells, Oscar Wilde, and Arthur Conan Doyle. It made the plot more interesting to me.
Feb 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
British who-dun-it. Decent read.
It was fun reading about a tuff young female reporter meeting Mr O Wilde, Mr HG Wells and even Mr Arthur C D.
rated it really liked it
Nov 04, 2013
rated it liked it
Jul 17, 2013
Rob Roeder
rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2013
rated it liked it
Jul 20, 2012
rated it really liked it
Sep 30, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jun 20, 2016
Julie Cernanec
rated it it was amazing
Mar 26, 2015
rated it really liked it
Sep 11, 2013
Christy Wahl
rated it it was ok
Mar 27, 2013
Cynthia Kramer
rated it really liked it
Dec 07, 2015
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Carol McCleary was born in Seoul, Korea and lived in Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines before settling in the USA. She now lives on Cape Cod in an antique house that is haunted by ghosts.
More about Carol McCleary...

Other Books in the Series

Nellie Bly (4 books)
  • The Alchemy of Murder (Nellie Bly, #1)
  • The Illusion of Murder (Nellie Bly, #2)
  • No Job for a Lady