Hanging By A Thread Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Hanging By A Thread

Berkley, Jan 2003, 6.50, 272 pp.
ISBN 0425187144

Betsy Devonshire owns Crewel Jewel, a needlework craft shop located in Excelsior, Minnesota, that is doing quite well. Thanks to the old Minnesota winters, Betsy needs extensive roof work done and she hires general contractor Foster Johns to perform the roofing. All her friends, workers, and customers are appalled and concerned because everyone believes Foster murdered his mistress Angela and her husband Paul.
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After the roofing job is completed to Betsy's satisfaction, Foster asks her to find the evidence that will clear his name. He swears he killed neither of them and Betsy intuitively believes him. During her questioning she learns that Paul was an abusive husband and Angela was a battered wife who had an affair with Foster. She also learns that Paul's airtight alibi doesn't hold up which means that he could have killed his wife. Now she has to prove it as well as find the weapon that killed both victims in the hopes that clues will lead to answers.

This is the sixth installment in the popular cozy series and it is every bit as good, if not better, than the first five novels. The heroine has shown tremendous growth as a character and the support cast makes the story line both colorful and humorous. There is no way anyone will guess how the victims died but once presented to the audience it becomes understandable and believable. Instead of knitting on a Minnesota wintry night, this a perfect work to read.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Hanging By A Thread

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator 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:    -   small businessman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

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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