Murder In A Mill Town Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Murder In A Mill Town

Berkley, July 2004, 6.30, 272 pp.
ISBN 0425197158

As a child she lived in the poor house until she met Duncan who took her out of there. Neither Duncan nor Nell Sweeney had enough money to live on his salary so she started picking pockets and became known as Cornelia Catpurse because she was so good at it. After Duncan was found guilty of theft and thrown in jail for thirty years wealthy Bostonian Viola Hewitt hired her to be a governess for her adopted daughter Gracie.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Viola asks Nell to find out where Bridget Fallon and her boyfriend Virgil are and because she loves her benefactor Nell agrees. Viola's son, Will, an opium and morphine addict who makes his living as a gambler helps Nell. When they find Bridget and Virgil, the pair has been dead for a few days, the victim of murder with the evidence pointing to Will's brother Harry. While trying to clear Harry, Will and Nell become captives of the perpetrator.

Nell is one of the strongest, most honorable and dearest heroines to grace the pages of an amateur sleuth novel. She doesn't let anyone stop her from doing what she believes is right even if it means putting herself in danger. She plays many roles and can fit in as the mistress of a mansion or a pick pocket, which makes it easy for all types of people to confide in her. The mystery is well constructed and the revelation of the killer will come as a shock to readers. P.B. Ryan knows how to write a tale that will grip and keep readers interest throughout the novel.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Murder In A Mill Town

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 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:    -   1600-1899 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 that culture Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   servant Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Murder In A Mill Town

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

Our Chief Librarian