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A Puzzle In A Fear Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of A Puzzle In A Fear



Bantam, Dec 2002, 23.95, 352 pp.
ISBN 0553802429

Everyone in the town of Bakerhaven is caught up in the holiday season from the people taking part in the Christmas pageant to the folks posing in the live nativity. One of the highlights of the poignant is the humorous take on The Twelve Days of Christmas directed by Broadway producer, Rupert Winston.

Cora's niece Sherry is one of the women starring as the Virgin Mary. She receives quite a jolt when the actress playing the role before her is murdered. The girl that was killed was a high school teen who had every privilege and was one of the most popular students in her school. The father of Dorrie's best friend is visiting while on vacation from Scotland Yard and takes an active role in the investigation. All the circumstantial evidence leads him to Sherry as the perpetrator. Cora is not about to let her niece be tried for murder so she goes into sleuth mode to ferret out the murder.

Parnell Hall has written another excellent amateur sleuth novel starring his recurring character the Puzzle Lady. Cora is a natural comedienne who lightens the plot up when the action becomes very intense. This is a very convoluted mystery with so many twists and turns, dead ends, and viable suspects that readers will want to finish the book in one sitting so they can puzzle out who did what to whom.

Harriet Klausner
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of A Puzzle In A Fear

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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 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   very humorous 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?    -   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 Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   wealthy Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American

Setting

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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