The Death of an Ambitious Woman

deathofambitiouswomanfront.jpgWhen is the cost of a dream too high? In The Death of an Ambitious Woman, the murder of one ambitious woman forces another to decide what price she is willing to pay for success.

The Death of an Ambitious Woman is Barbara’s first published mystery novel.

Available in hardcover and ebook


It’s the first warm day of spring, and Acting Police Chief Ruth Murphy is in a terrific mood. She’s just made the final cut in the selection process for permanent chief of police in New Derby, a large, economically divided suburb of Boston.

Then Tracey Kendall, a prominent New Derby businesswoman, slams her luxury SUV into a scenic New England stonewall. Because Tracey was talking on her cell phone with her young son seconds before impact, obvious causes like heart attack, falling asleep, and suicide are ruled out. When the handsome mechanic who worked on Tracey Kendall’s car disappears, a world of suspects opens up, including Tracey’s unfaithful artist husband, her greedy business partner, a jealous best friend, and the husband’s desperate art dealer.

“Acting Chief of Police Ruth Murphy is suspicious about the fatal car crash of a successful businesswoman and mother who was speaking to her son on her cell phone moments before her death. As the investigation moves forward, Murphy draws criticism from the city council and flack from her nemesis, the prosecutor. Time is running out, and Murphy must take risks to trap a deadly killer. VERDICT While not as complex as J.A. Jance’s books, this debut mystery is just as satisfying.”

Library Journal Review (August 2010)

“Excellent writing, believable characters, and terrific plotting make The Death of an Ambitious Woman a must-read for all lovers of good mysteries.”

  Susan Santangelo, author of MOVING CAN BE MURDER for Suspense Magazine, November 2011/vol. 02

“Because the opening of the story went so well, I expected The Death of an Ambitious Woman to be a fully enjoyable story. By the time the story was done, however, I realized it was one of the best stories I’ve read this year.”

Theresa de Valence, Reviews by T de V,

“First timer Ross writes like a pro, and fans of the complex female protagonist will be delighted by Chief Ruth Murphy-a touchingly human combination of a woman challenged by duty to job, family, and truth, and her own ambition. “

Kate Flora, Edgar® Award- nominated author of FINDING AMY

“Classic, classy and absolutely first class. Police Chief Ruth Murphy is genuinely wonderful-achingly honest and brilliantly believable. There’s a memorable cast of characters in a small town taut with tension and secrets. In her fast-paced, timely and original mystery, Barbara Ross has written a gem of a debut. “

Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha Award-winning author of PRIME TIME

“The Death of an Ambitious Woman is an impressive debut from a new writer with an accomplished and confident voice. Ms. Ross weaves together all the elements of a excellent whodunit but, always keeps her eye on the real lives of all her characters. It crackles with smart, witty dialogue and the plot has plenty of twists to keep readers guessing until the very end.”

Rosemary Harris, Agatha Award- nominated author of PUSHING UP DAISIES

“Crystal-clear writing, an intricate puzzle, and complex, appealing characters make this exactly the kind of book I love to read. The Death of an Ambitious Woman is an accomplished debut!”

Roberta Isleib, author of ASKING FOR MURDER

“Elegant writing, wry humor, and a strong yet sympathetic protagonist combine to make Barbara Ross’s The Death of an Ambitious Woman a stunning debut novel.”

Leslie Wheeler, author of MURDER AT SPOUTERS POINT