Synopses & Reviews
Proving once again that she is a master of suspense, bestselling author Colleen McCullough returns with a riveting sequel to On, Off.
The year is 1967, and the world teeters on the brink of nuclear holocaust as the Cold War goes relentlessly on. On a beautiful spring day in the little city of Holloman, Connecticut, home to prestigious Chubb University and armaments giant Cornucopia, chief of detectives Captain Carmine Delmonico has more pressing concerns than finding a name for his infant son: twelve murders have taken place in one day, and Delmonico is drawn into a gruesome web of secrets and lies.
Supported by his detective sergeants Abe Goldberg and Corey Marshall and new team member the meticulous Delia Carstairs, Delmonico embarks on what looks like an unsolvable mystery. All the murders are different and they all seem unconnected. Are they dealing with one killer, or many? How is the murder of Dee-Dee Hall, a local prostitute, related to the deaths of a mother and her disabled child? How is Chubb student Evan Pugh connected to Desmond Skeps, head of Cornucopia? And as if twelve murders were not enough, Carmine soon finds himself pitted against the mysterious Ulysses, a spy giving Cornucopia's armaments secrets to the Russians. Are the murders and espionage different cases, or are they somehow linked?
When FBI special agent Ted Kelly makes himself part of the investigation, it appears the stakes are far higher than anyone had imagined, and murder is only one part of the puzzle in the set of crimes that has sent Holloman into a panic. As the overtaxed police force contends with small town politics, academic rivalry and corporate greed, the death toll mounts, and Carmine and his team discover that the answers are not what they seem -- but then, are they ever?
"Set in a Connecticut college town, bestseller McCullough's disappointing sequel to On, Off (2006) starts off with an over-the-top premise and doesn't improve from there. In April 1967, a dozen murders occur in the normally quiet town of Holloman, Conn., in just 18 hours, culminating in the death by bear trap of Evan Pugh, a student at Chubb University with a penchant for blackmail. The disparate victims include a hooker, a college dean and the head of a major corporation; among the killing methods are four poisonings, three shootings and two pillow suffocations. In an unrealistic move, Capt. Carmine Delmonico of the Holloman police, who's in charge of the unwieldy investigation, sends his sergeants home for a good night's sleep while the crimes are still fresh. The solution may elicit unintended giggles as it papers over holes in logic rather than filling them." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Colleen McCullough… has proven abilities to evoke historical eras, and she does so again in Too Many Murders
. McCullough brings her characters alive...and skillfully portrays the Cold War period. But her supreme talent is in her plotting (just ask any reader of The Thorn Birds
), and Too Many Murders
has an addictive storyline. "
--Jay Strafford, Richmond Times Dispatch
"The historical setting gives the novel a fresh feel, and it keeps readers off guard: if the story were set in the here and now, we’d easily be able to anticipate the flow of the plot, but since it takes place in a time before DNA evidence, national computer databases, profiling, and so on, we have no idea how Carmine can possibly find a solution. A thoroughly entertaining crime novel."
— David Pitt, Booklist
"You may need a scorecard to keep track of the perps and vics, but there’s still room for a final twist."
In her riveting sequel to "On, Off," the bestselling author of "The Thorn Birds" proves once again that she is a master of suspense.
• A devoted following: Since her early success with The Thorn Birds,
McCullough has proved herself popular in any genre. Whether she’s writing about a Roman emperor, Mr. Darcy, or an American detective, her fans know they can expect an entertaining page-turner.
• Brilliant characterization: As always, McCullough’s characters have depth and complexity. The well-loved cast of On,Off, including the newly married Carmine and Desdemona, returns in Too Many Murders, along with a new set of charismatic heroes and villains.
• Rich, historical detail: McCullough’s prowess as an historical novelist is in evidence as she paints a rich portrait of a quintessential New England university town during the 1960s. From the stately buildings of the campus to the town’s greasy diner, from gender politics to Cold War tensions, McCullough brings to life a period that many of her readers remember.
• Murder in a small town: Twelve murders have taken place on one day. All are different, and no victim is connected to any of the others. At the same time, Delmonico finds himself pitted against the mysterious Ulysses, a spy giving armaments secrets to the Russians. Are the murders and espionage somehow linked?
About the Author
Colleen McCullough was born in Australia. A neuropathologist, she established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney before working as a researcher and teacher at Yale Medical School for ten years. Her writing career began with the publication of Tim, followed by The Thorn Birds, a record-breaking international bestseller. She lives on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific with her husband, Ric Robinson.