Monday, December 29, 2014

Review: The Cinderella Murder by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke (audio)

Title: The Cinderella Murder    
Author: Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke   
Series: Under Suspicion, #1   
Narrator: Jan Maxwell  
Published: November 2014, Simon & Schuster Audio  
Length: 8 hours 40 minutes   
Source: Personal copy via Audible 

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?

My thoughts: I had no idea when I listened to I've Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark earlier this year that it would be the springboard for a new series or that she would be collaborating with Alafair Burke in the subsequent books. It wasn't until I had just started this book that I found that out - the familiar characters definitely had me thinking I'd read something similar and then I saw an interview with MHC and put it all together! I was pysched as I really enjoyed the other book and now that MHC is working with Alafair Burke, an author who I've heard nothing but good things about - I couldn't wait to see how it would all come together!

This story starts with Laurie looking for a new case to highlight now that her series, Under Suspicion, has been given the green light after a successful pilot. Having found one, the cold case of Susan Dempsey, which has been dubbed the Cinderella Murder, she begins to gather all the necessary people in one place. Of course, as the show gets rolling, it becomes evident that someone is not happy that this case is being looked into.

I was also glad to see that Alex Buckley was back. I really liked the interactions between him and Laurie in the first book - there was something just starting to happen between them and I think it's going to be fun watching whatever's brewing between them. I also enjoyed the scenes with Laurie's father and how he's not afraid to use his cop connections even across the country!

What I loved is, much like the previous book, there are quite a few red herrings thrown in to keep you guessing who is behind the murder. A few times I thought I had it figured out only to be proven wrong. As the taping continues, secrets are revealed and very slowly we get the entire picture of what really transpired the night Susan Dempsey was killed - who killed her and why. 

I think this is going to be a fun series and adding Alafair Burke into the mix, who apparently has a legal background, can only make the series that much better! I've never read anything by her before, but I definitely plan on changing that soon!

Audio Thoughts: Jan Maxwell does a great job narrating this book. She is able to give all the characters unique voices and stays consistent throughout. I hope she continues to narrate this series for as long as it goes on - I like when they use the same narrator whenever they can. This is definitely a fun series to listen to and I think one that I will continue to do on audio.

Books in this series:

     .5  I've Got You Under My Skin
     1.  The Cinderella Murder


  1. You liked this slightly more than I did but I do like the collaboration between the two authors. I hope that it continues. I need to check out the novella :)

    1. Oh, it's not a novella - it's a full-length book! If I still had the audio, I would totally send it to you, but I must have given it away. Jan Maxwell narrates it & it was good!

  2. I haven't read MHC in years but this reminds me of why I always enjoyed her books. I'll have to look for this one! Thanks for sharing!

  3. It's always fun to discover a new series. I'm not a huge mystery reader but I know MHC is very popular.

  4. I enjoyed this as well. The perfect holiday read!

  5. I haven't read MHC in many years either, but I'm glad to hear this was a good audio.

  6. I'm glad you enjoyed this, Kristin!


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