Die Once Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Die Once

Dunne, June 2002, 23.95, 272 pp.
ISBN 0312283601

Dido Hoare's Antiquarian Books and Prints store is doing well and the associated mail order business and website is increasing profits for the single mother and her son. One of her best customers is Timothy Curwen who usually buys her expensive Victorian books whenever she gets them into stock. Over the last year he has spent thousands of pound in her store so she's very surprised when his two hundred pound check for Charles Dickens THE HAUNTED MAN AND THE GHOST'S BARGAIN bounces.
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She learns that Tim is dead, so she writes to his solicitors and next of kin for remittance on the book she just sold him. They hire her to appraise Tim's book collection, but she is surprised to find that the books in his home are worthless. She does find her book hidden away and takes it home with her. She learns that Tim was involved in a drug selling operation and that the body was not Tim, but instead a police man “minding” the collector who was going to turn state's evidence. Dido's natural curiosity pushes her into the middle of the investigation.

A Dido Hoare mystery is always fun to read and DIE ONCE is no exception. It's always interesting to watch the heroine balance her business, her interfering but concerned father, and her son's needs while she is in the middle of the case that she knows she should stay out of it. This is a delightful amateur sleuth novel that has plenty of action but is not all gory. Marianne MacDonald creates a warm cozy that will have a large fan following.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Die Once

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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 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% 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    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   search for gems/treasure/money Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   small businessman Age:    -   20's-30'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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