Symptoms Of Death Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Symptoms Of Death


Berkley, May 2002, 5.99, 240 pp.
ISBN 0425184293

    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.
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    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.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Symptoms Of Death

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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    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899 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 Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

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


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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