|Plot Summary of Who Invited the Dead Man?|
Signet, July 2002, 5.99, 272 pp.
Judge MacLaren Yarbrough has her hands full running Yarbrough's Feed, Seed, and Nursery, managing her magisterial duties, keeping care of her home and taking care of her husband Joe Riddley. Joe is recovering from a head injury and has to relearn how to care for himself as well as read and write. His memory is cloudy and he is prone to violent episodes.
To show their support for Joe, two hundred people come to his birthday party and he enjoyed it as much as a kid would. Only a very few knew that in the house was the body of a dead man, shot to death by a bullet to his head. The sheriff conspired with MacLaren to keep it quiet until the guests left and they succeeded. Once the investigation got underway, MacLaren does her best to find out who the killer is and to prove to the authorities that Joe had nothing to do with it.
Patricia Sprinkles has created a complex mystery with many viable suspects who had ample reason to see the victim dead. Life in a small southern town where everyone knows their neighbor and a stranger sticks out is seen as a positive thing. The heartache of living with someone who has undergone severe brain trauma is shown in agonizing detail and readers can't help but empathize with the protagonist for caring for her man.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of Who Invited the Dead Man?|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 60%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 20%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 10%
Tone of story
- very upbeat
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?
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 small town
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
- champion of justice
- Deep South
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Amount of dialog
- significantly more dialog than descript
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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