Death in Zanzibar Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Death in Zanzibar

This is a 1950s British murder mystery with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure. Dany Ashton is traveling alone (gasp!) to meet her stepfather and mother at the family home in Zanzibar. She stays in a hotel overnight in London before flying out, gets accidentally locked out of her room, meets a man in the hallway who assists her only to find that her room has been ransacked, someone has stolen her passport and planted murder evidence there. Dany tells Lash (who is on a drunken binge) and he helps her by allowing her to use his secretary's passport, airline seat and accommodations to Zanzibar. They color and cut her hair and away they go. When Lash awakens many travel hours later, he does not remember his plan to get Dany to Zanzibar.
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Dany's stepfather had asked her to pick up a packet at his attorney's office before meeting them and this attorney was killed shortly after her visit. There is a seemingly unconnected murder of a fellow passenger at an airport on the way to Africa. After the pair arrived in Zanzibar, there is yet another murder on the first evening in the family home. Dany is the first to discover it. Lash is staying in the guest house so he is suspect. Many of the guests at the family home may have their own reasons for murder - 3 million of them. This is the amount that was suspected to be buried somewhere on the stepfather's property in Zanzibar by a relative over 70 years ago. The map of the buried treasure is only to be released after his death and was in the packet that Dany picked up from the solicitor. But that packet is now missing.

As Dany travels around Zanzibar trying to figure out who is capable of these cold acts, various suspects arise only to be abandoned until a bonfire on the beach.
The review of this Book prepared by Jody T. Bixby

Chapter Analysis of Death in Zanzibar

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   very upbeat How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   searching for $$$/treasure Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Africa    -   Yes Island?    -   Yes Island:    -   on vacation

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Unusual forms of death    -   poisoning Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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