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All by Myself, Alone

All by Myself, Alone

3.9 19
by Mary Higgins Clark

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A glamorous cruise on a luxurious ocean liner turns deadly in the latest mystery from “Queen of Suspense” and #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark.

Fleeing a disastrous and humiliating arrest of her husband-to-be on the eve of their wedding, Celia Kilbride, a gems and jewelry expert, hopes to escape from public attention by


A glamorous cruise on a luxurious ocean liner turns deadly in the latest mystery from “Queen of Suspense” and #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark.

Fleeing a disastrous and humiliating arrest of her husband-to-be on the eve of their wedding, Celia Kilbride, a gems and jewelry expert, hopes to escape from public attention by lecturing on a brand-new cruise ship—the Queen Charlotte.

On board she meets eighty-six-year-old Lady Emily Haywood, “Lady Em,” as she is known throughout the world. Immensely wealthy, Lady Em is the owner of a priceless emerald necklace that she intends to leave to the Smithsonian after the cruise.

Three days out to sea Lady Em is found dead—and the necklace is missing. Is it the work of her apparently devoted assistant, Brenda Martin, or her lawyer-executor, Roger Pearson, and his wife, Yvonne, both of whom she had invited to join them on the cruise? Or is it Professor Henry Longworth, an acclaimed Shakespeare scholar who is lecturing on board? Or Alan Davidson, a guest on the ship who is planning to spread his wife’s ashes at sea? The list of suspects is large and growing.

Celia, with the help of her new friends Willy and Alvirah Meehan, who are celebrating their forty-fifth wedding anniversary, sets out to find the killer, not realizing that she has put herself in mortal danger before the ship reaches its final destination.

Never, in all her long career as a #1 bestselling suspense novelist, has Mary Higgins Clark been in better form.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this lesser effort from MWA Grand Master Clark, lottery winners Alvirah and Willy Meehan, last seen in 2016’s As Time Goes By, celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary by taking a luxury cruise aboard the Queen Charlotte, which is making her maiden voyage from New York to Southampton, England. Limited to only 100 guests and boasting world-class accommodations and entertainment, the ship welcomes A-list luminaries such as 86-year-old Lady Emily Haywood, who possesses a fabulous emerald necklace once owned by Cleopatra. Lady Emily is accompanied by her assistant, Brenda Martin; her investment manager, Roger Pearson; and Roger’s avaricious wife, Yvonne. Other passengers include gemologist Celia Kilbride, attorney Ted Cavanaugh, and thief Devon Michaelson. Each has reason to covet the necklace. When a murderer strikes, Alvirah slips into sleuthing mode. The sweet relationship between Alvirah and Willy is some consolation in this formulaic thriller that’s short on suspense. Agent: Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (Apr.)
Library Journal
When her husband-to-be is arrested, Celia Kilbride escapes public scrutiny by hopping on the newly minted cruise ship Queen Charlotte as a lecturer. Onboard, she befriends the monstrously wealthy Lady Emily Haywood, who soon turns up dead, with her ravishing emerald necklace missing.
Kirkus Reviews
The latest from Clark (The Sleeping Beauty Killer, 2016, etc.) is retro even for her: the maiden voyage of a trans-Atlantic ship crammed with more beautiful people, gossips, thieves, and killers than Death on the Nile—or her own daughter Carol Higgins Clark's 1992 debut, Decked.If you don't already know, billionaire owner Gregory Morrison will be happy to tell you that the Queen Charlotte is the most luxurious ship to take to the seas since the Titanic. Among its stratospherically upscale appointments are invited lecturers Henry Longworth (Shakespeare) and Celia Kilbride (gemology) and a passenger list that includes Lady Emily Haywood, who owns the fabulous but famously cursed Cleopatra emerald necklace; her companion, Brenda Martin; her investment adviser, Roger Pearson, and Roger's wife, Yvonne; Kansas divorcée Anna DeMille, who won the cruise in a church raffle; Ted Cavanaugh, an attorney trying to get Lady Em to return the necklace to Egypt; "the man with one thousand faces," who's bent on stealing the necklace; and Devon Michaelson, the Interpol agent charged with protecting the necklace. How does this all work out? After two murderous attacks, Morrison tells Michaelson in some exasperation, "Well, I must say you've done a lousy job," and it's hard to disagree. On the other hand, the accommodations are superb, the food and drinks unexcelled, the lectures informative, and the necklace safer than you might think because the thief keeps attacking its keepers just after they've passed it off to someone else. Long-ago lottery winners Alvirah and Willy Meehan, familiar to Clark fans (The Lottery Winner, 1994, etc.), are on hand to celebrate their 45th anniversary and provide what Alvirah considers great detective work, though even fans may be unimpressed on this score. The mixture is as before, with a bit less of everything except suspects and red herrings.

Product Details

Simon & Schuster
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6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

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Read an Excerpt

All By Myself, Alone

  • The magnificent cruise liner Queen Charlotte was about to leave on her maiden voyage from her berth on the Hudson River. Promised to be the epitome of luxury, she was compared to both the first Queen Mary and even the Titanic, which had been the height of luxury one hundred years earlier.

    One by one the passengers filed aboard, checked in and were invited to the Grand Lounge, where they were met by white-gloved waiters offering champagne. When the last guest had come aboard, Captain Fairfax gave a speech of welcome.

    “We promise you the most elegant voyage you have ever or will ever encounter,” he said, his British accent adding even more luster to his words. “You will find your suites furnished in the grand tradition of those of the most magnificent ocean liners of yesteryear. Queen Charlotte was constructed to accommodate precisely one hundred guests. Our eighty-five crew members are committed to serving you in every possible way. The entertainment will be worthy of Broadway, Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera. There will be a wide range of lectures to choose from. Our presenters include celebrity authors, former diplomats, and experts on Shakespeare and gemology. The finest chefs from around the globe will conduct farm-to-table cooking presentations. And we know that cruising is thirsty business. To remedy this hardship, there will be a series of wine tastings hosted by renowned connoisseurs. In keeping with the spirit of this cruise, one day there will be a lecture from the book of Emily Post, the legendary social arbiter of a century ago, illuminating the delightful manners of the past. These are only a few of the many activities you may choose from.

    “In closing, the menus have been chosen from the recipes of the finest chefs the world over. Now, once again, welcome to your new home for the next six days.

    “And now I would like to introduce Gregory Morrison, the owner of the Queen Charlotte. It was his vision that this ship would be perfect in every detail, and that is why you will enjoy the most luxurious cruise you will ever experience.”

    Gregory Morrison, a stout, ruddy-faced, silver-haired man stepped forward.

    “I want to welcome all of you aboard. Today is the realization of a young boy’s wish that began over fifty years ago. I stood next to my father, a tugboat captain, as he guided the most magnificent cruise ships of his day in and out of New York harbor. Truth be told, while my father was looking forward, toward where we were heading, I was looking back, watching in awe as spectacular cruise liners sliced elegantly through the gray Hudson River water. Even then I knew I wanted someday to build a ship even more awe-inspiring than the vessels I admired all those years ago. Queen Charlotte in all her majesty is the realization of the dream I dared to dream. Whether you are with us for five days to Southampton or stay with us for ninety days around the world, I hope today marks the beginning of an experience you will never forget.” Raising his glass, he said, “Anchors away.”

    There was a smattering of applause, then people turned to their nearest fellow passengers and began to chat. Alvirah and Willy Meehan, celebrating their forty-fifth wedding anniversary, were relishing their great fortune. Before they won the lottery, she had been cleaning houses and he had been repairing overflowing toilets and broken pipes.

    Thirty-four-year-old Ted Cavanaugh accepted a glass of champagne and looked around. He recognized some of the people on board, the chairmen of General Electric and Goldman Sachs, several Hollywood A-list couples.

    A voice next to him asked, “By any chance would you be related to the ambassador Mark Cavanaugh? You bear a striking resemblance to him.”

    “Yes, I am,” Ted smiled. “I’m his son.”

    “I knew I couldn’t be wrong. Let me introduce myself. I am Charles Chillingsworth.”

    Ted recognized the name of the retired ambassador to France.

    “Your father and I were young attachés together,” Chillingsworth said. “All the girls in the embassy were in love with your father. I told him no one deserved to be that good-looking. He served as ambassador to Egypt for two different presidents as I recall, then to the Court of St. James’s.”

    “Yes, he did,” Ted confirmed. “My father was fascinated by Egypt. And I share his passion. I spent many years growing up there. Then we moved to London when he became ambassador to Great Britain.”

    “Have you followed in his footsteps?”

    “No, I am a lawyer, but a good part of my practice is devoted to recovering antiques and artifacts that have been stolen from their countries of origin.” What he did not say was that his specific reason for being on this voyage was to meet Lady Emily Haywood and persuade her to return her famed Cleopatra emerald necklace to its rightful owners, the people of Egypt.

    Professor Henry Longworth overheard the conversation and leaned in closer to hear the exchanges better, his eyes sparkling with interest. He had been invited aboard as a lecturer. A renowned expert on Shakespeare, his presentations, which always included renditions of passages, never failed to delight his audiences. A medium-sized man in his sixties, with thinning hair, he was a sought-after speaker on cruises and at colleges.

    Devon Michaelson stood a short distance apart from the other guests. He had no need or desire for the banal small talk that was the inevitable result of strangers meeting for the first time. Like Professor Longworth, he was in his early sixties with no outstanding height or remarkable facial features.

    Also standing by herself was twenty-eight-year-old Celia Kilbride. Tall, with black hair and sapphire-blue eyes, she did not notice, nor would she have cared about, the admiring glances that were cast at her by her fellow passengers.

    The first stop on the round-the-world voyage would be Southampton, England. That was where she would disembark. Like Professor Longworth she was an invited lecturer on the ship. A gemologist, her subject would be the history of famous jewels through the ages.

    The most excited passenger in the room was fifty-six-year-old divorcée Anna DeMille of Kansas, who had been the grand-prize winner of this trip in a church-sponsored raffle. Her dyed black hair and matching eyebrows were bold against her thin face and body. Her prayer was that this would be her opportunity to meet Mr. Right. Why not? she asked herself. I won the raffle. Maybe this is finally going to be my year.

    Eighty-six-year-old Lady Emily Haywood, famed for her wealth and philanthropy, was attended by the guests she had invited: Brenda Martin, her assistant and companion over the last twenty years, Roger Pearson, who was both her investment manager and the executor of her estate, and Roger’s wife Yvonne.

    When interviewed about the cruise, Lady Emily had stated that she intended to bring her legendary Cleopatra emerald necklace and wear it in public for the first time.

    As the passengers began to disperse, wishing each other “Bon voyage,” they could not know that at least one of them would not reach Southampton alive.

  • Meet the Author

    The #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has written thirty-seven suspense novels, four collections of short stories, a historical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels, and also wrote The Cinderella Murder, All Dressed in White, The Sleeping Beauty Killer, and Every Breath You Take with bestselling author Alafair Burke. More than one hundred million copies of her books are in print in the United States alone. Her books are international bestsellers.

    Brief Biography

    Saddle River, New Jersey and New York, New York
    Date of Birth:
    December 24, 1929
    Place of Birth:
    New York, New York
    New York University; B.A., Fordham University, 1979

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    All By Myself Alone 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
    Anonymous 8 months ago
    Well written Mary Higgins Clark mystery. Keeps you guessing. Author first used lottery winners Alvarado and Willie Meehan in 1986. The characters would be in their late nineties. Author is good story teller. Needs to QUIT using the lottery winners
    Anonymous 3 months ago
    Very interesting story of intrigue as you discovered the thief and killer. I loved the history of the jewels as told by one of the lecturers.
    Anonymous 3 months ago
    Wonderful summer book to relax while on vacation!
    Anonymous 5 months ago
    As always, Mary Higgins Clark provided an entertaining read. I always enjoy reading about Alvira and Willy, and the other characters included rounded out a good story. The story line kept me guessing on which guest was the culprit. I look forward to more of her books!
    Anonymous 2 days ago
    I have read all of Mary Higgins Clark novels but one and that is next. In this novel, I had everything figured out until, she did it again. I loved this novel and have recommended it to other mystery lovers. I hope she has many more coming.
    Anonymous 13 days ago
    Typical for the author. I was a bit disappointed.
    Anonymous 25 days ago
    Anonymous 27 days ago
    Very fast moving and interesting.
    Anonymous 3 months ago
    Best to get your "honey do" list completed, before starting this awsome & exciting thriller. As a fan of John Lutz and James Patterson's thrillers, I find it difficult, to find another exciting thriller writer. I cannot, and will not, waste my time, or money,on a book that is slow and boring. Mary Higgins Clark knows, how to keep the reader, so excited, and "into the story." She actually, will bring the reader, into her novels! I love this lovely and gifted writer! She is a blessing , to all of us, that love to go on a fantastic trip, without leaving the house!
    Anonymous 6 months ago
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    Anonymous 8 months ago
    Great mystery! Mary Higgins Clark still can write a mystery that keeps you guessing until the end. I always enjoy reading about Alvirah and Willy. It was interesting how Mary Higgins Clark wove the history behind the different gems into her storyline as lectures given by Celia. It didn't take me long to read it because I didn't want to put it down.
    SusanSnodgrassBookworm 8 months ago
    There is a reason Mary Higgins Clark is called the Queen of Suspense. Because she is. I have been reading her books since her very first, Where Are The Children?, when I was in high school. I have never missed a one of her books. Ever. And I don't intend to. This time the reader finds themselves on the high seas as a guest on the Queen Charlotte, an impressive luxury liner to rival all luxury liners. Only 100 guests have been invited, among them, a distinguished aristocratic British lady who is dripping in jewels, one necklace that everyone wants to get their hands on. It has never been worn in public, but Lady Em has stated that she will wear it on this voyage. Other guests include a professor, a companion, an Interpol agent, a lawyer and a gemologist. Each have their reasons for being on the maiden voyage of the Queen Charlotte. But are those reasons suspect? They haven't been to sea long before Lady Em turns up dead and the emerald necklace gone! Thus begins the game of whodunit that Mary Higgins Clark is famous for. AND guess who else in on board? Alvira and Willy Meehan! Two of the best characters ever created by MHC. In my opinion. Alvira and Willy won the lottery 5 years ago, forty million, and Alvira is now a pretty good sleuth. Will she be able to solve this murder (s) before someone else gets killed? I thoroughly enjoyed this and absolutely could not figure out the culprit until he/she was revealed and then it was with a loud gasp. I was completely taken aback at the culprit's identity. Mary Higgins Clark's books have always been #1 on the New York Times bestseller lists for good reason. She's a mighty good mystery writer. She is nearly 90 and still going strong! I look forward to her next book.
    Anonymous 8 months ago
    Above book is good but, The Perfect Author is best fiction book I ever read. https://www.theperfectauthor.in/ Really breath holding... Waiting for the next release !
    Anonymous 8 months ago
    Anonymous 9 months ago
    Would like to see Christian books
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago