The Maltese Manuscript Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Maltese Manuscript

Poisoned Pen Press, Feb 2003, 24.95, 266 pp.
ISBN 1590580397

She was brought up in a rough and tough neighborhood, got the valedictorian award taken away from her because she became pregnant but didn't let her past influence her future. Karen Pelletier went on to become an assistant English professor at ritzy Enfield College in Massachusetts. In the spring, she is going to give a talk at the mystery conference sponsored by the women studies group.
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She is asked and reluctantly accepts hosting the guest of honor, best-selling author Sunnye Hardcastle and her Doberman Trouble. It is difficult for her to write the paper as the reference books were stolen from the library, as were many other valuable works. When the body of Bob Tooey is found in the stack Sunnye comes under suspicion because she was the last person who was seen talking to him but Karen, who by now thinks of the author as a friend, is convinced she is innocent. Karen and Sunnye sneak into the stacks one night after the library closes looking for clues and almost gets themselves killed.

Whoever thinks academics are peaceful gentle souls have not read one of Joanne Dobson's exciting academic mysteries. The protagonists is a very independent woman who will not be dissuaded once she decides on a course of action. THE MALTESE FALCON is the best work in this series because there are many smaller who-done-its that have to be solved so that the bigger mystery can be cracked open.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Maltese Manuscript

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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?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   80% Murder of certain profession?    -   students/teachers Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect 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 Crime plotlets:    -   search for valuable art/artifacts    -   white collar fraud or theft Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   teacher Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

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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