Poison Heart Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Poison Heart

At a breakfast get together with friends, Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins is told about the problems Margaret Underwood is having with her stepmother, Patty Jo Tilde, now that her father, Walter, has had a stroke and is in a nursing home. Later, Margaret calls Claire and asks her to go to Margaret's family home with her to speak with Patty Jo. Patty Jo is not keeping up the farm and plans to sell it to Daniel Reiner and auction off the household. Margaret doesn't think she has that right. Claire and Margaret plan to stop her.
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During the night, neighbors spot the Tilde barn in flames. The fire department arrives in time to save the other farm buildings, but the barn is lost. Margaret and Claire suspect arson and begin to suspect Patty Jo might be the culprit. Meanwhile, Claire's sister Bridget has separated from her husband and moves into Claire's old place of residence with her daughter Rachel. This home is also set on fire, a case of arson. Walter, although beginning to get well, suddenly dies. Are all these instances coincidence? Claire means to find out.

The review of this Book prepared by Jan Lamers

Chapter Analysis of Poison Heart

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 50% Tone of story    -   Dry-cynical How difficult to spot villain?    -   Somewhat obvious Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Special suspect?    -   relative Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   "All in the family" murder Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in small town Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

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


Farm/Ranch?    -   Yes Farm/Ranch:    -   farm Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Unusual forms of death    -   poisoning Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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