A Simple Suburban Murder Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Simple Suburban Murder

Tom Mason, remedial English teacher at Grover Cleveland High School in Chicago, walked into his classroom and found the dead body of a math teacher, Jim Evans, sitting at a desk in the back. Tom didn't know Jim well, but he had his son, Phil, in his class one year and found himself sucked in to the whole mess to try and clear Phil's name. Tom quickly discovered that Jim Evans had a lot of secrets worth killing for - and a lot of people who would be happy to see him dead. There were the female students who slept with him for passing grades, his son Phil whom he used to beat regularly, the people who owed him money on bets that he ran through a math lab program and a host of others. Tom realized early on that he was in over his head when every answer simply brought up more questions, but he was determined to find out who killed Evans and left him in his classroom - especially after Phil disappeared.
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Dragging his closeted lover, Scott Carpenter, a famous baseball player, along for the ride, Tom started looking for Phil out on the streets, well aware that Phil was hustling to bring in money. He got a solid lead at The Womb, a popular bar, when Daphne, the bar's owner, agreed to let them see Phil so that they knew he was all right. However, Tom was unable to persuade Phil to return home and Phil wasn't able to give Tom a lot of information about his father's death. Tom kept pushing forward, interviewing whomever he could to try and pry more information out of them, but all the people that he interviewed had their own secrets to keep. With his supervisors at work pressuring him to stop his investigation or resign, the policemen assigned to the task force belittling his efforts at solving the case, and random attacks on his person and property, Tom knows he should listen to Scott's pleas to let the case go, but Tom has always been known for his stubbornness.

The review of this Book prepared by Debbie

Chapter Analysis of A Simple Suburban Murder

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   very upbeat How difficult to spot villain?    -   Challenging Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   local police w/ IQ of a houseplant    -   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 lover Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   teacher Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest City?    -   Yes City:    -   Chicago

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references    -   homosexuals doing their thing Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Mark Richard Zubro Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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