Black Gold Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Black Gold

Poisoned Pen Press, June 2002, 24.95,496 pp.
ISBN: 1590580109

In 1787 France, Colonel Paul de Saint-Martin, a provost of the royal highway patrol, is directed to find and arrest Captain Maurice Fitzroy for the rape and assault on a French noble woman. After making several inquiries he learns that his quarry has escaped to England and is residing in his cousin's home in Bath.
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At the request of her host to teach how to read lips, sign and speak to the master's son, a deaf child, Anne Cartier (see MUTE WITNESS) temporarily resides at the same Combe Park home as Fitzroy. Anne and Paul are good friends on the verge of becoming even closer and she is only too happy to help to help Paul with his efforts to kidnap Fitzroy and bring him back to France. Their efforts are sidetracked when Anne's worst enemy is killed on the grounds of Combe Park. Paul, Anne and a Bow Street runner work together to find his killer, no easy task because the man had more enemies than a street dog has fleas.

Fans of Iain Pears rich historical mysteries will want to read BLACK GOLD, a work rich in period detail with characters that are unique to the era. Charles O'Brien is a gifted storyteller who writes about the aristocracy of the late eighteenth century from a commoner's point of view. The novel takes the moral high ground, which helps explain why the protagonists are so appealing.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Black Gold

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 40% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Kind of investigator    -   skilled citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book The crook is....    -   Get treasure/money from another criminal    -   on the run from the law Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in that culture Crime Thriller    -   Yes Is MAIN CHARACTER an EVIL criminal?    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   teacher Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Charles O'Brien Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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