|Plot Summary of On The Chopping Block|
Librarian Penny Penelope has been found dead at the town's bookstore, Brickley's Books. She was struck several times in the head by an axe and based on the lack of blood at the scene, it is clear that her body was moved and later dumped at the bookstore. It is bad enough to have a dead body in a bookstore on any day, but even worse when the Fair is about to open and the bookstore is set to host Miss Holly LaFrance who will be signing copies of her new book. The very same book that was blasted in a scathing syndicated review column that happened to run in the local paper today.
Retired detective Brady Kincaid is needed and despite some misgivings about being paired with Officer Alice Drinker, he is glad to assist. He misses serious police work and this case intrigues him from his first visit to the crime scene. As the fair opens and the investigation moves forward, they find that the killer wasn't the only one with secrets to hide. Public image is one thing but as so often the case, private reality is far different.
The focus in this “cozy” style murder mystery is primarily on Brady Kincaid and the case as well as some important decisions about his future that he needs to make. As such, there is less romance than in the previous book. Not to say there is not a romantic element, there certainly is, but the primary element in this novel is the mystery.
This synopsis report prepared by Kevin R. Tipple
|Chapter Analysis of On The Chopping Block|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 30%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 50%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 10%
Tone of story
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
How difficult to spot villain?
- Very obvious
Time/era of story:
- 2000+ (Present)
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Murder of certain profession?
- librarians/book industry
Misc. Murder Plotlets
- local police w/ IQ of a houseplant
Kind of investigator
- husband/wife boy/girlfriend investigators
Any non-mystery subplot?
- life in small town
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
General Crime (including known murderer)
Small town people:
- nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee
- dumb rednecks, like Gomer Pyle
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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