Death Splits a Hair Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Death Splits a Hair

Dunne, March 2005, 22.95, 224 pp.
ISBN: 0312327811

In the small town of Post Oak, Texas, barber Joe Junior McBride is revered and respected by the townsfolk for his kindness to those less fortunate than himself. He adores his wife Marlene and her daughter Ashley and spoils his son Trey who is hateful to his stepmother and stepsister. The town is shocked when it is discovered that Joe Junior was killed in his very own home.
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At first the sheriff and Judge Jackson Crain assume it was a robbery gone bad but physical evidence points to the fact that it was an inside job. Marlene says she was upstairs taking a shower when her husband was killed while Trey who was supposed to be out of town was spotted by numerous people. Just when it looks like her life couldn't get any worse for Marlene, who was cut out of her husband's will, her daughter goes missing and as days go by, hopes for her safe return diminish. Joe's brother, who was in love with Marlene, is murdered and Trey avoids coming in for questioning to the sheriff who starts to believe that he might be the killer.

Nancy Bell portrays what it is like living in a small Texas town off the beaten track where everyone knows their neighbor and a stranger is immediately recognized. Judge Jackson is the person everyone goes to when they have a problem because if he can't solve it professionally, he acts as a friend to those in need and leaves them feeling better about the situation.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Death Splits a Hair

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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% Special suspect?    -   relative Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American 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    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Texas

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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