|Plot Summary of Symptoms Of Death|
SYMPTOMS OF DEATH
Berkley, May 2002, 5.99, 240 pp.
In Victorian England, the latest London season ends and the nobility retires to their country estates. In Newton, the fifth Earl of Dunsford hosts a house party and the cream of society is there. One night at dinner, a hysterical kitchen maid threatens the earl with a knife until one of the guests Dr. Alexandra Gladstone calms her down.
The next morning, Alexandra is called to the estate to assist the coroner in figuring out how Dunsford was murdered. Everyone thinks it was the maid who threatened him the night before but the doctor says somebody strangled him. The knife wound happened after he was dead. Circumstantial evidence forces the local magistrate to arrest the maid but he doesn't know that every guest at the earl's house wanted him dead for one solid reason or another. Alexandra intends to see that justice is done even if it means putting her own life in danger.
The villain of the piece is actually the deceased who had so many enemies, including a cuckolded husband, an adulterous wife, a sodomist and a man who was fleeced by the victim, that the audience won't be able to decide who had the best motive. The heroine of SYMPTOMS OF DEATH is not the typical Victorian society woman but a woman who could have thrived in today's enlightened atmosphere. Readers will look forward to seeing her in future tales.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of Symptoms Of Death|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
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
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
How difficult to spot villain?
- Difficult, but some clues given
Time/era of story:
- 19th century
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Misc. Murder Plotlets
- Proving innocence of very obvious suspect
Kind of investigator
- amateur citizen investigator
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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