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The Paperwhite Narcissus Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of The Paperwhite Narcissus



Dunne, May 2005, 22.95, 224 pp.
ISBN 0312339836

On Martha's Vineyard, ninety two year old Victoria Trumbull is fired from her job at the Island Enquirer where she has been writing the West Tisbury column for over a half a century. Publisher Colley Jameson feels he can get someone to work the section cheaper. Shortly thereafter, he gets a fake obituary notice that he believes Victoria sent to him but she denies it vehemently. Instead the nonagenarian goes to work for the West Tisbury Grackle a one page broadsheet published by William Botts.

When Colley's biggest advertiser is killed, a second obituary notice arrives. When one of his ex-wives gets shot, he receives a third obit. Colley hires Victoria to find out who the writer is even though she has increased the circulation of the Grackle forcing Mr. Botts, who wanted to do the paper as a retirement hobby, to hire more staff. When Colley's ex-wife is shot and then killed in the hospital by candy laced with cyanide is killed by candy laced with cyanide another obituary notice arrives. Victoria figures out who the obituary writer is but believes that person is not the killer. The last obituary notice happens when Colley's lawyer is murdered. The crime wave comes to a climax when the two suspects meet with Victoria because they need her help.

The protagonist may be ninety-two but she has more energy than people half her age. The authorities think that none of the murders are linked but Victoria is determined to prove otherwise and ends up saving Colley's life when someone lures him into a trap.

Harriet Klausner
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of The Paperwhite Narcissus

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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:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   80% Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in small town Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   unemployed Age:    -   60's-90's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American

Setting

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