Shades of Murder Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Shades of Murder

St. Martin's, Oct 2001, 23.95, 288 pp.
ISBN: 0312284454

    In 1889 at Fourways house in the English village of Bamford, Cora Oakley informs her spouse William she wants a separation. Ailing from an extracted tooth, Cora uses medicine to ease her pain. The next day she is found dead apparently poisoned. The police arrest William who stands trial for her murder.
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    In 1999 William's descendants, two elderly sisters Damaris and Florence, are trying to sell their ancestral home Fourways. However, a Polish veterinary surgeon claiming to be William's great-grandson arrives. Jan demands half the profit from the sale of the house. Not long afterward, he is found dead from the same poison used to kill Cora. Superintendent Alan Markby and his significant other Meredith Mitchell lead the investigation into whether two senior citizens pulled an arsenic and old lace operation that requires looking into the century plus old mystery as well.

    SHADES OF MURDER, the thirteenth Cotwolds village mystery, is a wonderful double murder story as Ann Granger effortlessly moves back and forth between the two centuries. The story line is cleverly designed, but the tale, as is the case in most of these novels, belongs to the lead couple, having moved forward in their relationship and by doing so freshening up the plot.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Shades of Murder

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Plot & Themes

How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   50% Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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