The Grenadillo Box Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Grenadillo Box

Simon & Schuster, Jan 2004, 25.00, 352 pp.
ISBN: 0743246861

On January 1, 1775, master cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale sends his apprentice Nathaniel Hopson to complete the installation of a library in the home of acrimonious Lord Montfort. As is the lot of the working class including wannabe artisans, Lord Montfort forces Nathaniel to serve as a footman at the dinner in which the lofty aristocrat shows off his lavish new Chippendale bookshelves. However, someone fires a shot and soon afterward once the chaos died down, Nathaniel discovers the corpse of Montfort.
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Though it appears that the man committed suicide perhaps over gambling debts he entailed that has ruined his family, Nathaniel believes otherwise. The weapon seems in the wrong place for killing oneself and bloody footprints lead to a window. Unable to resist, Nathaniel begins investigating at the crime scene seeking other anomalies and clues to who killed the odious lord. When he finds two more corpses on the estate, Nathaniel widens his inquiries with the encouragement of another aristocrat.

Though much of the cast seems more like a blueprint than a blueblood, fans of Georgian mysteries will enjoy this delightful tale due to the antics of the lead protagonist. Using his mechanical skills and his artisan eye for balance, Nathaniel is the one complete player who keeps the tale moving forward and focused. The descriptions of life in the late eighteenth century England is as vivid as they come perhaps because of Janet Gleeson's knowledge of the era (see the author's nonfiction THE ARCANUM) that she cleverly imbues throughout the novel. The audience will appreciate THE GRENADILLO BOX and hopefully Ms. Gleeson will write additional Georgian investigative tales.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Grenadillo Box

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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:    -   1600-1899 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% 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:    -   servant Age:    -   20's-30'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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Janet Gleeson Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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