Based on the hardcover 1992 edition...
This book is this reader's first exposure to author Ed McBain... even though an older writing, tucked amongst all the books owned by this "biblioholic", it begged to be read regardless of its age!
"MARY, MARY" is Mary Barton -- a teacher by occupation; a outstanding flower & plant gardener by hobby, as witnessed by neighbors of the glory of flora in Mary's yard. Mary Barton is accused of killing three young girls, whose bodies are found buried within her floral domain.
Defense Attorney Matthew Hope, and assistants - Toots and Warren - believe in Mary's innocence - most of the time... With a few credible and non-credible witnesses for defense and prosecution alike, the court game of winning the jury's favor is played to the hilt. Witness, neighbor Charlotte Carmody swears that she saw Mary Barton digging at night, burying bodies in her floral paradise garden. A denim dress and a pair of sneakers come into play and question as to the validity of ownership. Meanwhile, a former student of Ms. Barton's - Melanie Lowndes, from England, comes forward to pay the defense expenses, and to support the "gentility" of Mary, testifying that Mary loves children and would never commit murder.
Although this reader at first did not favor the flavor of the rapid-fire, gunshot writing style, I would do the author an injustice by negating the author's book "MARY, MARY" as a bad read -- IT IS A GOOD READ!
Albeit a sound-story premise, I found it awkward to "digest" the author's method of sliding in non-premise scenery and activity, personal and otherwise, as an interruption to the flow of the story.
After getting used to the "he said", "she said"; and the clipped-style format, I found myself being absorbed into the story, and imaged placement in the jury box and court observers section. Readers will find that author McBain allows for lengthier, vivid descriptions of script in court processes as informative & entertaining, inclusive of the judge's actions, the pro and con attorneys arguments, and the orders to the jury of their duties to reaching a viable verdict.
Any reader knows that an ending is not an ending--- until the story actually ends!
I recommend this author and look forward to reading additional Ed McBain writings.