The Fourth of July Wake Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Fourth of July Wake

Five Star, Apr 2003, 25.95, 172 pp.
ISBN: 0786230002

Former TV news anchor Kyle Champion reluctantly accepts the invitation from his old college buddy Matt Kreuger to attend a memorial service for the latter's deceased dad. Actually, the invitation was offered because Matt's sister-in-law Marcia demanded he ask Kyle. She knows Kyle has had some success in solving homicides and Marcia wants Kyle to investigate the death of her father in law, P.J. Though officially P.J. died of a heart attack, Marcia feels his four-decade younger second wife Sorah killed him because she inherits everything in his revised will.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Matt drives the three hours from Minneapolis to the remote “Kreugerland” cabins near Bent Line Lake. There he meets the family he met several years ago when he stayed at the cabins. He also finds Sorah to be quite charming. As he unenthusiastically discusses the death with everyone remotely involved, Kyle begins to uncover disturbing discrepancies that makes him wonder if perhaps P.J. was murdered.

THE FOURTH OF JULY WAKE is an interesting amateur sleuth mystery that readers will enjoy because of the depth of the ensemble's secondary characters. In spite of his TV exposure, Kyle remains a charming idealist though he loses some of rosy optimism due to the results of his inquiries. Though why the dominating Marcia would stay as a second fiddle seems stretched, this cozy will delight fans that will wonder along with Kyle whether a homicide occurred and if so did Sorah really murder her elderly spouse?

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Fourth of July Wake

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

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:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Murder of certain profession?    -   "All in the family" murder 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    -   Male Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American Unusual characteristics:    -   Cynical or arrogant


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Fourth of July Wake

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

Our Chief Librarian