A Detective at Death's Door Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Detective at Death's Door

Dunne, May 2005, 23.95
ISBN: 0312342063

Detective Superintendent Harriet Martens was sunbathing sipping a drink while her husband John Piddock was relaxing nearby when she suddenly turned icy cold and her tongue tingled before she collapsed. John, an avid Christie fan, recognized the symptoms as aconite poisoning, having just read that scenario in an Agatha tale. He reacts quickly and when Harriet next awakens she is in a hospital room, the first victim of the Birchester Poisoner. Others did not have a Christie expert nearby and died.
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Harriet is on sick leave recovering from her ordeal, but still tries to help Detective Superintendent Pat Murphy solve the case before more die. When the Birchester Poisoner expands his or her area of operation to London, the National Crime Squad (NCS) takes charge of the case. Though no longer welcomed, Harriet develops a profile from what knows and a letter the Birchester Poisoner sent to the media demanding one million pounds. While the NCS ignores her, Harriet, over the objections of a concerned John, conducts her own investigation.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of A Detective at Death's Door

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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?    -   60% Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, British Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   British


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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