Who Killed Marcia Maynard? is a short, easily readable little mystery with a twist: written by a psychoanalyst, it is filled with clinical observations about the criminal mind.
A famous child psychologist called Marcia Maynard has been gruesomely killed in her Manhattan home, and psychoanalyst Mary Wells, together with her lover, Detective John Franklin, are called to the case to find the murderer.
Both Mary and Franklin are devastated by the news, as they knew the victim and had grown to love her. Soon, however, it becomes evident that many people have intensely mixed feelings about Maynard — a controverial person who was both loved and hated.
Who is the killer? And why are people associated with the victim also dead — some by suicide? As Mary and Franklin set out to interrogate the suspects, readers will become more and more perplexed about the outcome.
The novel is interesting in that the narrator stops at times to give insightful descriptions about the criminal mind, giving this author's series an original twist. But the novel, though enjoyable, is not without its minor faults. The interrogations are interesting in the beginning but towards the end they begin to sound a bit repetitive, taking from the story some of the suspense.
At times, the descriptions of the wounded victim sound unnecessarily detailed and gruesome, as if the character is talking to the reader instead of to the other character. Also, the novel maintains the same pace thoroughout. I didn't get the feeling of a climax, which was somewhat disappointing, considering this is a murder mystery.
The characters are symphathetic, though, and Mary and Franklin make an endearing, likable team of sleuths. This is a novel that will particularly appeal to fans of both mystery and criminal psychology.