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Cold Flat Junction Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Cold Flat Junction

A 12-year-old girl follows instincts and intense curiosity about old and new deaths. She risks to hunt for clues to old and new deaths/murders. Other characterizations in book are hilarious... ther many odd characters, some lovable, some hateful. It's a perfect sequel to "Hotel Paradise".
This report prepared by David Tucker





Viking, Feb 2001, 23.95, 390 pp.
ISBN: 0670894915

    Twelve-year old Emma Graham recognizes that her small Maryland hometown is a boring COLD FLAT JUNCTION that travelers pass through with a thank you prayer that they do not live there. Besides toiling at the family hotel and attending school, Emma gains her only pleasure from investigating mysteries (see HOTEL PARADISE) especially since she is convinced that the kind sheriff can never correctly solve them.

    Just after Ben Queen is released from prison after two decades of time for the murder of his wife Rose, he quickly falls under suspicion of killing their daughter. Emma knows Ben did not commit the current homicide and begins to believe he did not do the other either. She starts her own inquiries going back to the original event that occurred over forty years ago that she feels triggered the subsequent homicides.

    The second Emma Graham amateur sleuth investigation is a charming tale that cleverly uses a who-done-it to provide a coming of age novel. The story line is fun, amusing, and entertaining as readers observe Emma playing her trade in an innocent air while doing her hotel chores. Detective purists may not enjoy Emma's introspective asides, but those who want a wider plot will find her internal comments quite enlightening. Martha Grimes shows the depth of her talent as she takes a different kind of hero than her Richard Jury books, but turns her into an appealing investigator.

Harriet Klausner
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of Cold Flat Junction

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   very humorous How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999    -   1960's-1970's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   50%    -   80% Special suspect?    -   relative    -   chronically deranged person Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   "All in the family" murder    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in small town Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a kid Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast    -   Southeast Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   dumb rednecks, like Gomer Pyle Misc setting    -   resort/hotel

Writing Style

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

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Cold Flat Junction

Martha Grimes Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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