O' Artful Death Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of O' Artful Death

St. Martin's, Jun 2003, 23.95, 304 pp.
ISBN: 0312307640

Boston based Professor Sweeney St. George is considered an expert on Victorian burial practices and rituals, especially the art representations including gravestones. Her friend Toby DiMarco persuades Sweeney to spend her Christmas vacation with his relatives at Byzantium, Vermont, a town that once hosted a former artists' colony.
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Sweeney immediately accepts the invitation. She wants to know about the unknown artist who carved a highly artistic but strange looking tombstone commemorating the death of Mary Elizabeth Denholm by drowning in 1890. Sweeney's efforts to identify the stone's sculptor seem about to be rewarded when a descendent of the deceased Ruth Kimball offers to provide information. However, before Ruth can deliver, someone kills her, but no one seems too excited over the homicide. Sweeney, assisted by another visitor, turns to Tennyson in a quest for a clue to a killer who will murder again to keep some things secret.

Sarah Stewart Taylor's debut novel is entertainingly refreshing because the who-done-it plays a secondary role to the in depth look at the art of death. Cleverly intertwined into the investigative plot is an intriguing analysis of Tennyson, as well as other artists especially from the Victorian period. Fans will appreciate this cleverly crafted fine arts mystery.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of O' Artful Death

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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?    -   Difficult, but some clues given 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?    -   art/artifacts Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   teacher Age:    -   20's-30's


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

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