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Ransom at Sea Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Ransom at Sea



St. Martin's, Apr 2003, 23.95, 272 pp.
ISBN: 0312300662

Chicago senior citizen Emily Charters takes her grieving friend Lynn Francis on a Great Lakes cruise to help the younger woman cope with the recent death of her lesbian lover. On board the same ship is nasty and dictatorial Marcella Hemsley who has no qualms at being the queen of mean and abusing her reticent companion, her young niece Rebecca. Surprisingly since she seems to still be grieving her loss, Lynn finds herself attracted to Rebecca. Perhaps as shocking, Rebecca responds, at least to the friendliness offered especially by Lynn but Emily too.

However, someone murders Marcella whose corpse is found in her cabin. The police arrest Rebecca who had motive and opportunity. Unable to resist especially since Lynn is interested, Emily begins investigating. Helping her is police detective Jeremy Ransom, her partner on several other cases.

RANSOM AT SEA is a classic investigative tale that runs the inquiry gamut but is at its best while the lead couple interviews potential witnesses and suspects. The who-done-it story line dominates the tale as the elderly Emily and her junior “colleague” question an amusing ensemble to uncover who actually killed the offensive victim. Lynn's sexual preference is not hidden and handled with dexterity by Fred Hunter, as he provides a delightful mystery that readers will appreciate.

Harriet Klausner
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of Ransom at Sea

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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% Murder of certain profession?    -   cruise ship Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in that culture Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   wealthy Age:    -   60's-90's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American

Setting

Water?    -   Yes Water:    -   pleasure/love boat

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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