Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



Melody Malone: Private Detective in Old New York Town (PROSE: The Ruby's Curse) was a memoir and guide, posing as a pulp detective novel in the Melody Malone novels.

The book[]

The book centred on an investigation into Weeping Angels in New York City by hotshot female private detective, Melody Malone, (in reality, future time-travelling archaeologist River Song).

Melody described herself as having "ice in her heart, a kiss on her lips, and a vulnerable side which she [kept] well hidden." Her "lipstick was combat ready" and she "pack[ed] cleavage that could fell an ox at twenty feet."

In chapter 7, "The Skinny Guy", it mentioned that on the night of 3 April 1938, Melody spied a familiar skinny guy, Rory Williams, whom she followed for two blocks before he turned around and told her that he had just gone to get coffee for her husband, the Eleventh Doctor, and her mum Amy Pond. They greeted each other, "Hello, River." "Hello, Dad".

The book went on to tell of Melody and her father Rory Williams being taken to the home of mobster Julius Grayle at 406 94th Street, in Manhattan, her restraint by Grayle at the hand of an Angel, Rory's basement imprisonment with cherub Angels, and her rescue by her husband and her mother, who knew where and when to arrive by having found the book in the Doctor's coat pocket and having read up to that point in Chapters 8 and 9, "Julius Grayle" and "Calling the Doctor". Fearful of reading something undesirable and thus creating an unalterable fixed point in time, they proceeded to obtain further insight by reading only the chapter titles in the book's table of contents. Even doing that, however, devastated the Doctor when he saw the final two chapters were titled "Death at Winter Quay" and "Amelia's Last Farewell".

After living through the events and twice witnessing her parents disappearances through time while risking their lives, River Song proceeded to write the book. River gave the manuscript to her mother, Amelia Williams. River also told her grieving husband that she would instruct her mother to write him an afterword, whereupon he flew the TARDIS to Central Park to retrieve the final page which he had earlier discarded. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)


  • Chapter 1 The Dying Detective
  • Chapter 2 The Angels Take Manhattan
  • Chapter 3 Missing in New York
  • Chapter 4 Taking the Case
  • Chapter 5 Night in the Statue Park
  • Chapter 6 The Gargoyle
  • Chapter 7 The Skinny Guy
  • Chapter 8 Julius Grayle
  • Chapter 9 Calling the Doctor
  • Chapter 10 The Roman in the Cellar
  • Chapter 11 Death at Winter Quay
  • Chapter 12 Amelia's Last Farewell
  • Afterword

Afterword, by Amelia Williams[]

Hello, old friend.

And here we are. You and me on the last page.

By the time you read these words, Rory and I will be long gone, so know that we lived well and we're very happy, and above all else, know that we will love you. Always.

Sometimes I do worry about you, though. I think; once we're gone you won't be coming back here for a while and you might be alone, which you should never be.

Don't be alone, Doctor.

And do one more thing for me: There's a little girl waiting in a garden. She's going to wait a long while, so she's going to need a lot of hope.

Go to her. Tell her a story.

Tell her that if she's patient, the days are coming that she'll never forget. Tell her she'll go to sea and fight pirates, she'll fall in love with a man who'll wait two thousand years to keep her safe, tell her she'll give hope to the greatest painter who ever lived, and save a whale in outer space.

Tell her this is the story of Amelia Pond, and this is how it ends. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)


Bertie Potts asked Marcus Gifford if he had ever read any Melody Malone, in order to convince him that River was the best person to investigate Jenkins' murder. (AUDIO: I Went to a Marvellous Party)

Behind the scenes[]

  • Though barely legible in The Angels Take Manhattan itself, production design artwork on the BBC website shows the novel's subtitle as "Private Detective in Old New York Town". The title was eventually used in a valid source in The Ruby's Curse.
  • The production artwork shows "Pond River" as the publisher on the spine of the book, ensconced between two pairs of wavy lines symbolising water. The publishing stamp appears on the prop shown in the episode, but the words are too small to read on screen.
  • While "reading" the afterword, Matt Smith had to hold a blank page to avoid people taking pictures of it before the actual episode aired.