When 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. 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 stone wall. 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. The very public search for the mechanic and the prominence of the people being interviewed inflames the already troubled relationship between Ruth and her District Attorney. They share a secret from their past so dangerous that Ruth imagines them in a macabre dance, each with a pistol aimed at the other's head. As the D. A. escalates his campaign against her appointment and withholds resources from the investigation, Ruth is forced to decide - is finding the truth worth losing the job of her dreams? Barbara Ross is the mother of two children and lives with her husband in Somerville, Massachusetts. Like her character, Chief Ruth Murphy, she knows something about the stresses of being the boss.