Series: Murder She Wrote #10
Published by Signet Book on May 1, 1998
Source: On shelves
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Mystery writer and amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher visits Moscow as part of a United States publishing group to help Russia succeed as a democracy. But the poisoning of a Russian publisher, who possessed information which could topple the government in power, places her in a dangerous situation. Jess turns to the American Embassy for help, only to discover that the United States government is involved...
Jessica is part of a delegation of publishers and writers meeting with their Russian counterparts, first in Washington, then in Moscow. This is just after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the goal of the gatherings is supposedly to help Russian publishers deal with the change to democracy and the free market. One of the government people attached to the group is found dead in Washington, but everything proceeds according to schedule. One of the Russian publishers dies at a dinner in Moscow, later in the week. Jessica finds herself entangled in what is more of a spy story than a mystery.
The story was well-written and moved quickly. There are several bits left unanswered, governments on both sides want to keep their secrets. It was not the story I was expecting though. Jessica is mostly just a pawn, one with a lot of questions but who can’t get any real answers. She’s in danger, but has no control over her fate. It didn’t feel like a Murder, She Wrote mystery. We don’t get to see Jessica doing any detecting. She also makes several questionable decisions. It just didn’t feel like the right story for her character.
International intrigue and spy games are not what I’m looking for when I pick up a Jessica Fletcher book.