Death Duties Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Death Duties

Perseverance Press, Sept 2004, 13.95, 288 pp.
ISBN 188028474X

Thirty years ago, in Port Silva, California a young girl was raped and killed putting the whole town on edge. A few days later, two anonymous calls were made stating that Edgar Larson, thought to be an upstanding citizen, was seen molesting children. Although the police tried to keep his name out of it while they investigated the charges, pretty soon all of Port Silva Knew about the anonymous calls. Unable to cope with the loss of his reputation, Larson committed suicide. The tragedy is that soon after he died, a drifter was caught molesting a young child.
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Edgar Larson's granddaughter Christine Larson hires Patience Smith, Investigations to find out who the miscreants were that placed those phone call to the police and eventually drove her beloved grandfather to suicide. While Patience and her daughter Verity Mockeller interview people who were living in Port Silva at the time of the tragedy, they also take the case of eighty year old Ruth Ellis who wants them to find out what happened to her only living relative, her niece Toni. Both cases almost get Verity killed by a perpetrator who wants certain skeletons to stay buried.

This small town private investigative mystery is reminiscent of the British Village mysteries. It is filled with eccentric characters, helpful neighbors and a police department that reluctantly gets some evidence needed to solve a case from the proud investigative team of Patience and Verity. They are both strong women who respect each other so much that they are able to happily co-exist in the same house as friends. Janet LaPierre writes novels that the audience wants to read.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Death Duties

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%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:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   80% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   solving long-past murder Kind of investigator    -   hard boiled/private eye 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:    -   private investigator Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   California

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