|Plot Summary of Past Imperfect|
Poisoned Pen, July 2002, 24.95, 302 pp.
He left St. Adele, Michigan as a boy and returned to it as a man, having served in two world wars in military intelligence. Now John McIntire and his British wife are trying to become a part of the community. He becomes the town's constable and she is the publisher of the local newspaper.
John looks forward to some serenity, but almost immediately he investigates a homicide that he quickly solves. A year later, fisherman Nels Bertelsen is found dead aboard his boat, the victim of a bee bite. At first it appears to be a tragic accident, but John uncovers evidence that leads him to conclude that someone placed the bee in the victim's clothing while the medicine that would have saved Nels was replaced by something useless. The only problem is nobody had a motive to murder the man.
PAST IMPERFECT is a very well written regional mystery starring an enigmatic hero who is readjusting to life in the USA. The supporting cast is colorful and eccentric while the plot is fast-paced and exciting. Katherine Hills makes the 1950's in the peninsula of Northern Michigan seem real in the mind's eye of the reader, who along with reviewer, looks forward to more works starring the True Grit like character of John McIntire.
Harriet Klausner, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Past Imperfect|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
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?
- Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues
Time/era of story:
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Kind of investigator
- police procedural, American
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Any non-mystery subplot?
- life in small town
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- significantly more dialog than descript
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
Use our site!
Search for your favorite town
Trade Links with Us!
Most recent discussions:
General Book Talk
Book writing discussion
Off-topic message board
Aline Countess of Romanones
Mark C. Ross
David R. Palmer
Graham D. Watson
More message boards
Our Chief Librarian