A Superior Mystery Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Superior Mystery

Top, 2003, 14.95, 302 pp.
ISBN: 1929976178

Near Ashland, Wisconsin, Chequamegon Resource Recovery Company plans to salvage lumber that sunk to the bottom of Chequamegon Bay off Lake Superior in the 1890s. The firm offers a public relations job to Seattle based Michael Tanner claiming that their concept is economically sound in terms of profit and local jobs and ecologically superior to cutting down trees.
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Michael wonders why a small Wisconsin firm would turn to Washington State for a minor leaguer like he knows he is. More surprising is how far his client dug into his life. They know his beloved Mary Whitney has ties to the area and needs a sailboat that they offer as part of the deal.

Life in the northern Midwest seems idyllic to Michael until the crew brings up the skeletal remains of a person starting with a detached skull. Soon it becomes obvious that the victim was shot in the back over a century ago. Though planning to stay out of the 1890s murder, Michael is forced to investigate to keep his beloved Mary and himself safe from a modern day felon.

The second Tanner ecological mystery (see the vividly descriptive INNER PASSAGES) is a superb who-done-it starring a delightfully reluctant hero. The story line is straightforward in terms of the modern day shenanigans though the use of flashbacks interspersed throughout the novel brings 1890s Wisconsin to life inside a murder subplot. Carl Brookins does not beat around the bush as he targets a college graduate save the environment audience with this well written, picturesque novel that lucidity uses a murder theme to render a strong ecological message.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of A Superior Mystery

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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?    -   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    -   solving long-past murder Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   white collar fraud or theft Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes If story PRIMARILY about main chr. being hunted...    -   hunted by killer/stalker

Main Character

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


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

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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