2018 Critiques: Book Critique – All By Myself, Alone

For review of all books in this series: Go here

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: A simple and easy plot with hardly any bumps for those lazy days.

All By Myself, Alone is a thriller by Mary Higgins Clark published in April of 2017. This is again a plot that has Alvirah Meehan in the middle of it along with Celia Kilbride - a gemologist - and Lady Emily Haywood "Lady Em" - an immensely wealthy 86-year old woman - aboard the maiden voyage of Queen Charlotte across the globe.

Celia Kilbride is a gemologist who is aboard the Queen Charlotte on her maiden voyage. A cruise that Celia took up to be on only until all the hubbub surrounding the scandal died down.. Aboard the ship are Ted Cavanaugh (Lawyer dealing with antiquities and restoring them to the rightful owner), Charles Chillingsworth (retired ambassador of France), Professor Henry Longworth (invited aboard to give a lecture on Shakespearean works), Devon Michaelson (A fellow tourist), Anna DeMille (a 56-year old who won the cruise trip in a raffle), Lady Emily Haywood "Lady Em" (immensely wealthy 86-year old woman), Brenda Martin (Lady Em's assistant and companion), Roger Pearson (Executor of Lady Em's estate), Yvonne (Roger's wife) and of course last but not least Alvirah and Willy Meehan (celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary aboard the cruise ship). Before the cruise had started, Lady Em mentions that she would be wearing her legendary Cleopatra necklace for the first time in public. 

Stage is set, characters are in place and now only a murder has to take place for Clark's plots to have Alvirah Meehan jump to action. Accordingly first Roger Pearson disappears from the ship. And then Lady Em gets murdered and her famed or doomed Cleopatra Necklace goes missing. Are the two incidents connected? Or are they totally different incidents? What about the deadly curse the necklace came with? Is it true? And now Celia has been caught in cross-hairs of the killer just because she was close to Lady Em. Is her life in jeopardy? Or was she being lured to a certain doom by someone else?

As much as I don’t like Alvirah Meehan books by Mary Higgins Clark, lately looks like she has been having a sort of Alvirah Meehan Series in parallel to the Under Suspicion Series (My review this series here). And I must say as I read more and more of Alvirah and Willy I am beginning to like them a little although they irk me most times. As like any Alvirah Meehan book, this is also a breezy thriller although it has a little bump that cautions you of the thriller being not so breezy. A quick read for those who want a fast book.

Spoiler Alerts:

1) Incidentally this time around Mary Higgins Clark's title is very close to a Ray Charles Song titled All To Myself Alone. You can listen to the song below.

2)  Mary Higgins Clark brings up a reference to the great American filmmaker Cecil B. Demille who had made 70 features in both silent and sound. Interestingly enough his 1934 film Cleopatra was nominated for Academy Award for Best Picture. And what a coincidence that Clark has a plot revolving around Cleopatra’s necklace. Anyway Cecil seemed to have made some really impressive films, something to add to my list for future watch. More about Cecil here.

3) One of the minor character is mentioned as being a direct Mayflower descendant. And this got me a pause to find out who or what are Mayflower descendants. Seems to be they are the descendants of the 102 passengers who had reached Mayflower – aka Plymouth as it is called now – in Massachusetts in 1620 in the ship Mayflower. They are what called as Pilgrims of United States. More about them here

4)  I had never come across any author referencing to the 1971 American musical-comedy drama Fiddler On The Roof before until now. Mary Higgins Clark’s character Alvirah Meehan mentions the song “Matchmaker Matchmaker, Make Me A Match” in this plot. I had seen that movie last year when it aired on TV and also posted my review as part of my 366 Critiques by Amateur blog post. My review can be found here. And now the song in question. It is such a simple one filled with hope and dreams by the young daughters who dream of a wonderful match in husband. I actually loved the movie too.

5) Grammatical / Character / Historical / Geographical Errors

a. On Pg. 134, third para, it should be “I don’t want to hear one word…” but it is printed as “I don’t want to hear word one…” The words “one” and “word” are transposed.


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