The Castlemaine Murders Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Castlemaine Murders

Poisoned Pen, Sept 2004, 24.95, 248 pp.
ISBN 1590581172

Unable to please her father and fit into 1928 English society Phryne Fisher makes her home in Melbourne, Australia with her two adopted daughters and her faithful friend Dot. Her sister Eliza is banished from England and sent by her father to live with Phryne, but acts snooty and above it all. To get her out of the house, she takes her entire family and her Chinese lover Lin Chung to the Luna Park amusement park.
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While she is riding the ghost train, she touches what she thinks is a paper made ghost only to learn it is a mummified body almost eighty years old. While Lin Chung tries to find the 400 ounces of gold that was stolen from his family in 1858, Phryne inquires into the identity of the corpse. Someone is trying to stop her investigation by sending her harmless letter bombs with warning notes inside. Her search takes her to Castlemaine, the former gold camp when Lin Chung and her await the answers to the mummy with a bullet hole in his head, but danger by some very ruthless individuals also is there.

Everybody who reads a Phryne Fisher mystery will adore the heroine, a free spirited individualist who lives life by her own rules. Both the protagonist and her lover have their own individual mysteries to solve involving family honor. Readers quickly get caught up in the who-done-it because it is exciting and a great reading experience for historical armchair travelers.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Castlemaine Murders

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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 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   1900-1920's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   90% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   solving long-past murder Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator 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 Is Romance a MAJOR (25%+) part of story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   wealthy Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Australia

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