|Plot Summary of The Affair of the 39 Cufflinks|
Poisoned Pen Press, Dec 2003, 24.95, 330 pp.
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.
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.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of The Affair of the 39 Cufflinks|
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 - 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:
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
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
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- significantly more dialog than descript
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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