Blood on the Wood Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Blood on the Wood

St. Martin's, May 2004, 24.95, 320 pp.
ISBN: 0312331487

Suffragette Philomena Venn donates to the Women's Social and Political Union a valuable painting by renowned French artist Boucher in her will. Member Nell Bray goes to collect the painting so that the group can sell it for a needed influx of cash. When she receives a forgery from the deceased's family and the widower refuses to do the right thing by his wife, Nell takes it upon herself to steal the real one and replace it with the fake.
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Breaking and entering Mr. Venn's house in the middle of the night proves rather easy. However, the switch is deferred when Nell finds a corpse. Someone murdered the victim and as Nell explains to the constable why she was in the house, she vows to herself to uncover the identity of the culprit so can clear her name.

BLOOD ON THE WOOD is an engaging historical mystery that brings to life the early struggles of the surrogate movement in England. The fine amateur sleuth theme is cleverly enhanced by unpretentious looks at early twentieth century society mostly by the extended Venn family, suffragette sisters, or the heroine. Nell as the center of the tale is the real deal so that the audience obtains a wonderful novel that showcases a bygone period in a delightful way as does the previous Bray books do (see DEAD MAN RIDING and PERFECT DAUGHTER).

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Blood on the Wood

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Plot & Themes

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 difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Special suspect?    -   investigator him/herself Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   theft/fraud investigation Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   champion of justice 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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