The Affair of the 39 Cufflinks Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Affair of the 39 Cufflinks

Poisoned Pen Press, Dec 2003, 24.95, 330 pp.
ISBN 1590580982

Every time the Earl and Countess throw a house party, somebody prominent gets murdered and the whole affair becomes a media event. Lord and Lady Burford have not sponsored a social event in their Carolean mansion Alderley in over six months, but when a distant relative asks, they agree to have the reading of a will read in their home and have the heirs stay overnight.
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When the will is read Clara Saunders is furious that she is left with only 100 pounds and she believes that the other beneficiaries conspired against her. She threatens to reveal their dark secrets before retiring for the night. Hours later, she screams; when the houseguests go to investigate, they find Claire smothered to death. Since the alarm was already set, and there is no evidence of an intruder, the killer must be one of the guests. The police have to discover who had a secret they would kill to keep quiet.

James Anderson has written another fantastic who-done-it that takes readers in Great Depression England inside a comedy of manners who-done-it. The characters (police, suspects, and servants) are eccentric in an endearing way and readers will hope that the killer is not somebody they like. Fans of British closed door cozies will want to read this delightfully funny historical mystery.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Affair of the 39 Cufflinks

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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:    -   1930's-1950's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Murder of certain profession?    -   "All in the family" murder Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, British Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in that culture Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK

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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