Hot Spot Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Hot Spot

The sixth in the popular Mark Manning mystery series has Manning involved in solving the electrocution death of a popular matriarch of the community. Paramount in Mark's investigation is the fact that one of his oldest friends, Roxanne Exner, is considered the prime suspect. Exner, her new husband Carl Creighton (candidate for lt. governor), Manning's life partner Neil, and other friends, race against a political deadline to prove her innocence. A subplot has Mark and Neil bracing for the departure of their ward Thad as he embarks for college life in far-off California.
Click here to see the rest of this review

The review of this Book prepared by Reginald D. Garrard

St. Martins, June 2002, 23.95, 288 pp.
ISBN 0312289006

    Betty Gifford Ashton lives in Dumont, Wisconsin and is one of the town's most beloved citizens's who regularly gives vast sums of money to any philanthropic endeavor. She is invited to and attends the wedding of Roxanne Exner and Carl Creighton, the candidate for Illinois Lieutenant Governor. Mark Manning, owner of the Dumont Daily Register along with his life partner Neil Waite, sponsor the event.

    Both Neil and Mark are close friends of the bride and want her to have a wedding she'll remember for the rest of the life. The wedding planners succeed in their goal though not quite the way they expected. Betty is murdered at the reception and Roxanne comes under suspicion because she has the motive, means and opportunity to commit the crime. To make matters worse, the Democratic candidate for governor plans to drop Carl from the ticket if Roxanne isn't exonerated by the time the debates begin. Mark is determined that Carl and Roxanne will emerge from the experience unscathed so he goes into sleuth mode to find the killer.

    Michael Craft's “Mark Manning mysteries” get better with each book written.   The protagonist has a strong social conscience which serves to make him a great reporter, one the audience can believe in. The relationship with Manning and his partner is a beautiful thing to behold and is a beacon of light in a dark and murky sea of human corruption. HOT SPOT is a one sitting read, impossible to put down until the last page is turned.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Hot Spot

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 65%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 15%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    -   Challenging Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60%    -   90% Special suspect?    -   best friend Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   skilled citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends    -   life in small town Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American    -   Russian


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   homosexuals doing their thing Unusual forms of death    -   frying (electrocuted) Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Hot Spot

Michael Craft Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian