|Plot Summary of Past Malice|
Avon, June 2003, 6.99, 368 pp.
The Stone Harbor Historical Society wants to build a gift house with bathrooms on the grounds of Chandler Home and they hired archeologist Emma Fielding to set up a site where they want to dig. Emma plans to identify any archeological remains and to learn more about the Chandler family who was a power in the community in the early eighteenth century. Emma lives in nearby Lawton, Massachusetts so this summer dig is an easy commute for her.
The site yields some good artifacts when Emma and her students find the dead body of the security guard. The police temporary halt work at the site so Emma spends time with her sister. The police permit the dig to continue but immediately close it down again when the body of Aden Fiske, the head of the Historical Society is found. When Emma starts asking questions, she discovers that Aden had many enemies. However, the killer goes to far when her sister is poisoned.
The heroine of PAST MALICE is a very likable character who loves her husband and sister more than she does the job. She makes compromises to keep her husband satisfied that she isn't putting herself in danger and is ready to listen to her sister when she is ready to talk about her man troubles. She learns the secrets of the town, which places her in danger from a killer who will go to any lengths to keep them buried. While the story line is fast-paced and exciting it is the heroine who makes this a book to remember.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of Past Malice|
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 - 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?
- Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues
Time/era of story:
- 2000+ (Present)
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Kind of investigator
- amateur citizen investigator
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).
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