Sweet and Deadly Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Sweet and Deadly

Catherine Linton set out early in the morning to go and shoot some cans for target practice. After deciding that the last can deserved to live (having missed it several times), Catherine spotted the hand. It was reaching out towards her from the doorway of an old, rickety shack of a house that hadn't been lived in for years. Catherine took one look at the woman's misshapen head and knew that there was nothing she could do for her. When Sheriff Galton came out to take a look, he thought it was pretty weird that Catherine didn't mention that the body belonged to Leona, her father's nurse for several years. Catherine tried to persuade the Sheriff that she just didn't look at the face, but she knew that she was still a suspect.
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Catherine wasn't too happy that Leona had died, but she and Leona had never really liked each other so she wouldn't exactly miss her. She did miss her parents. She missed them a lot. They had been killed in a freak car accident 6 months previous and the whole town was still reeling from the shock of losing the beloved small-town doctor who had served the community so valiantly for so long. Ever since Catherine moved back to her hometown, she had felt isolated and alone from the people there. Now that she was suddenly involved in something again, Catherine started to live once more. She saw Randall, her editor at the Lowfield Gazette, for what felt like the first time and she had to say that she liked what she saw. To Catherine's surprise, Randall is not the only stranger who reaches out with offers of assistance - even the black community seemed to reach out to help her. Now, if only Catherine could put the clues together, she could solve the mystery of who killed her parents and Leona - and stop him before he killed again...

I enjoyed the book. I thought that the mystery was well developed and had a nice pacing to it. All of the characters were sketched out quickly, but it was easy for the reader to remember who was who. The setting was marvelous - you really could feel the heat coming off of the pavement in a small, still segregated town in the South. Harris' descriptions of the town and the people had to be my favorite part. However, my one complaint with the book is that I felt like a spectator looking in instead of identifying with any of the characters. I didn't have any emotional attachment to any of the characters and I really missed that because I immediately identified with Harris' characters in her Shakespeare, Southern Vampire and Teagarden series, but not here. If the book wasn't so hard to find and so dang expensive I would say that you should read it, but I have to say (since it is hard to find and it is extremely expensive) that you should read it if you find it, but don't kill yourself looking for it...

The review of this Book prepared by Debbie

Chapter Analysis of Sweet and Deadly

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   very upbeat 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?    -   60% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   "All in the family" murder Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in small town Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

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


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Deep South Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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