The Cruellest Month Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Cruellest Month

Journalist Sheila Malory is looking forward to being at Oxford again. She is bringing her son, Michael, there for his undergraduate studies, and will take the opportunity to do some research at the Bodleian Library. She is staying with an old friend, the mother of her godson, Tony. She is very fond of Tony and is dismayed that he seems upset about something. Wanting to help, she finds out that there has been a death at the Bodleian Library, where Tony also works, and that he was the one that found the body, that of a woman recently returned to Oxford after having been away for years. Probing a little more into why Tony is so upset, and the history of this woman, makes Sheila think it may have beem murder. Many people in the area have reason to dislike her, some even to get rid of her because of some of the things she has done, including blackmail.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Meanwhile, Sheila is also meeting old friends and some new friends, having a pleasant time with them and with her son, who is a very likeable young man with a loving sense of humour towards his mother's escapades. One of Sheila's escapades, scouting out someone's bedroom, leads her to a picture of a young man who looks rather familiar. Putting two and two together leads her to the killer, and solves the mystery of another tragic death that happened years ago.
The review of this Book prepared by Tena van't Foort

Chapter Analysis of The Cruellest Month

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 40% How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Murder of certain profession?    -   librarians/book industry Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   40's-50's


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK City?    -   Yes

Writing Style

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

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Cruellest Month

Hazel Holt Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian