Time to delve back into a long-loved genre! I used to read a lot of adult mystery/suspense novels in middle school and early high school before I fell too deeply into my young adult sci-fi and fantasy reading hole. I remember especially loving the prolific Queen of Suspense, Mary Higgins Clark. So last week while browsing through audiobooks available from the library, I decided to start my foray back into the genre with one of my old favorites. I picked one of her more recent novels, As Time Goes By, which is part of her Alvirah and Willy mystery series.
As Time Goes By follows the murder trial of wealthy widow Betsy Wright, who is accused of murdering her late husband out of frustration with his early-onset Alzheimer’s. Though her stepson, Alan Wright, stands to benefit the most from his father’s death, his alibi is tight. Television journalist Delaney Wright is covering the trial, and she can’t help but feel that Betsy is innocent, even as she sees the evidence stacked against her. As much as Delaney is invested in Betsy’s trial, she’s also distracted by a mystery of her own: Delaney wants to find her birth mother who may have given her up in an illegal adoption twenty-six years ago. Delaney’s friends Alvirah and Willy put on their sleuthing hats and begin trying to track down the midwife who may have the answers. As if that wasn’t enough going on, an old flame of Delaney’s is back in town, investigating a high-profile prescription drug overdose. This book gives you three mysteries for the price of one! But they are more interconnected than they initially appear.
My feelings about the book were kind of lukewarm, but I was ultimately satisfied with how it all came together. As Time Goes By is primarily a courtroom drama, and has a bit of a slower pace than I’ve come to expect from mystery and suspense. It does pick up a bit toward the end as new evidence comes to light at the eleventh hour before Betsy is sentenced. My favorite thing about the book was the way that three separate investigations all came together into one big denouement at the end, although their mere juxtaposition made some of the solutions a little predictable. There was also a fair amount of romance in the story, which usually I enjoy, but I didn’t quite buy it in this case. Having Delaney enter a relationship with another investigative journalist was a great way to tie their two investigations together, but his sporadic declarations of love at first sight seemed a bit over the top for me.
In the end, it was great to get back into this genre, but As Time Goes By wasn’t quite the right book to reignite my love for Mary Higgins Clark. Did you read As Time Goes By? What did you think? What other books of hers do you think I should try? Let me know in the comments!