Mary Ann Scott has had many careers: mother of five, teacher, mature student, family-law lawyer, divorce mediator, multi-cultural and race relations worker, and immigration lawyer. In her spare time she is a voracious reader of suspense fiction. Her first Jessica March Mystery, Ear-Witness, was released to critical acclaim in 1996, and was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Novel.
The Extortionist and his Dolls
Jessica March is back, sleuthing in Parkdale. Sheâ€™s on the trail of an extortionist whose known victims are young refugee women students at her school. If the extortionistâ€™s victims refuse his demands for money he hurts them, or he shows them the doll. No one who has seen it is unaffected, and no one will explain its power.
Jess and a group of female students are chosen to find out if there are other victims, too traumatized to complain. But the group is almost paralyzed by problems of its own: hot disagreements, personality clashes, jealousies, and worst of all, the possibility of an infiltrator. Someone (wittingly or unwittingly) is warning the extortionist. He evades every potential trap.
Jessâ€™s "sort-of" boyfriend is also giving her trouble. Excluded from the hunt for the extortionist, Jon feels discriminated against. Jess tries to placate him, but in doing so wonders if sheâ€™s telling him too much. She wonders if heâ€™s passing the information on to his friends, including the very attractive and likeable Anthony, who almost fits the description of the extortionist. Or does he?