Shadows at the Fair Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Shadows at the Fair

Scribner, July 2002, 24.00, 288 pp.
ISBN 0743225538

It has been a long hard winter for Maggie Summer. Her husband died of a heart attack at the same time she learned he was having an affair with another woman. Now she is trying to get her life back on track by entering the Rensselaer County Springs Antiques Fair. She sells antique prints and knows many of the other dealers since she has been doing the shows for years.
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When she arrives on the fairgrounds she learns that a dealer was poisoned at an antique fair a week ago. Security is so beefed up that all the dealers feel safe until somebody kills Harry Findley. At first the police arrest Ben, a man with Down's Syndrome. Maggie, who has known Ben for a long time, is convinced he didn't do it; the police become convinced as well when Harry's wife Susan dies under mysterious circumstances while they retained Ben. Maggie, being a curious sort, decides to do some sleuthing and almost gets killed in the process.

This is the first entry into what looks to be an intriguing series. The heroine is a likable person who has a natural talent for snooping and is not the kind of person who stands idly by when an injustice is about to occur though she starts her sleuthing after the police know Ben is innocent. Lea Wait takes readers into the world of antiquities and makes it seem so interesting that readers will want to visit their local antiques store or fair.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Shadows at the Fair

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   very upbeat 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?    -   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 Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

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


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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Lea Wait Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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