All By Myself, Alone: A Novel

All By Myself, Alone: A Novel

by Mary Higgins Clark

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From the Queen of Suspense and #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a thrilling mystery aboard a luxurious but deadly cruise.

Fleeing the disastrous and humiliating last-minute arrest of her fiancé on the eve of their wedding, Celia, an expert on gems and jewelry, is hoping to escape from reality on a glamorous cruise ship.

But it is not to be. On board in the most luxurious suite is the elderly and world-famous Lady Emily Harworth. Immensely wealthy, Lady Em is the owner of a priceless emerald necklace that she intends to leave to the Smithsonian on her death.

Three days later Lady Em is found dead—and the necklace is missing. Is it the work of her apparently devoted secretary, or her lawyer-executor, both of whom she had invited on board for the cruise?

Celia, with the help of her new friends Willy and Alvirah Meehan—who are splurging on their wedding anniversary—sets out to find who the killer is, not realizing that she may have put a target on her back.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501131127
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 03/27/2018
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 50,747
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About 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.


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

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.

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All By Myself Alone 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year ago
Wonderful summer book to relax while on vacation!
Anonymous More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 7 months ago
I loved it!
marykuhl 9 months ago
One week on a maiden voyage of a luxury ocean liner with the rich and famous. A priceless ancient artifact makes the journey and someone is murdered for it. I felt like the dialogue in this book, at times, was more like interviewer to interviewee; however, I was able to move past that. I liked this story. Even though I was right about who the murderer was, I found myself wavering throughout guessing is it this person or is it this person? Mary Higgins Clark is one of my favorite authors of all time and I would definitely recommend this book.
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I haven't read anything by Mary Higgins Clark that I didn't like and this book did not disappoint. I absolutely couldn't stop reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not much substance, but an easy read. Ok when nothing else is avail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thrilling story keeping one on the edge of one’s seat. Love the characters of the lottery winners. Can hardly wait for the next one. Mary Higgins Clark is a superb writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quite a cast of characters!
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jesNH More than 1 year ago
I love all Mary Higgins Clark’s books! They are thoroughly entertaining, have well developed characters, with intriguing storylines and fast-paced mysteries. This book has multiple characters and many suspects when there are two possible murders on a new cruise ship, The Queen Charlotte. This was a quick and enjoyable read.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Better than the last few. More like the original Mary Higgins Clark.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Typical for the author. I was a bit disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very fast moving and interesting.
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