Set in the affluent town of Hamilton, Austin’s classic presents a whodunit mystery focusing on a crime involving a young woman who has been murdered under mysterious circumstances during a game of Bridge, with no hard evidence pointing to the perpetrator. Accordingly, the townspeople are also affected by the mystery and they refuse to play the dummy in fear of sharing the same fate as the unfortunate victim. A gripping mystery crime novel, Murder at Bridge evokes feelings of suspense, awe, mystery and puts to the test the crime solving capabilities of the audience as they take up the role of detective.
The novel begins when Broadway dancer Nita Selim moves to Hamilton, which is regarded as a prosperous neighborhood, and upon settling in she inveigles herself within the circle of high society. Taking up the role as hostess, she organizes a bridge party for high class locals in her home for a chance to mingle with the crowd. Subsequently, during the dummy hand in the game she excuses herself and heads to her bedroom to freshen up for the cocktail party which is to follow. However, while absent, Selim is murdered by a fatal shot in her very own bedroom with little clues tracing back to the murderer. Consequently, investigator Bonnie Dundee comes into the picture when he is assigned to investigate the mystery and put together the pieces of the puzzle. Dundee goes about various approaches to solving the mystery, one method of which is re-enacting the night’s events as they unfolded. The investigator must interview suspects and search for the murder weapon, while additionally try to determine the motive behind the murder. Fortunately, Austin is generous with descriptive detail, dialogue and imagery, which gives the novel a personal touch and encourages the reader to join in and assist in unraveling the baffling crime.
An engrossing case of parlor mystery, Murder at Bridge presents an intriguing plot with multifaceted characters and unanticipated twists that additionally amplify the suspense as it is heightened with every turn of the page.
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