Why Isn't Becky Twitchell Dead? Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Why Isn't Becky Twitchell Dead?

Tom Mason is a teacher at Grover Cleveland High School. He teaches remedial English and has gotten to know most, if not all, of the slower students in the area. One of the families which he has constantly been trying to help, both inside and outside of the classroom, was the Trasks. Tom had helped Eric Trask avoid a drug charge and get his life back together, a feat for which Mrs. Trask was eternally grateful. Mrs. Trask never forgot Tom's involvement and help, so when her younger son, Jeff, was arrested for murdering his pregnant girlfriend, she immediately came to Tom for help.
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Tom was certain that Jeff couldn't have killed Susan. Jeff seemed to have genuinely cared for Susan and was stunned when he discovered that she was pregnant when she died. He spilled his guts to Tom and begged for his help. The last time Susan was seen alive was leaving a party with Jeff, but Jeff had a fight with Susan later on and she left him and headed out on her own. Tom followed his instincts and tried to interview Jeff's friends and fellow students who were at the party. There was Paul Conlan, gorgeous jock, student body president, the perfect son and best friend; Becky Twitchell, the daughter of the school board president, beautiful but vicious, she made life miserable for everyone and always got revenge; Doris Bradford, the junior prom queen who was just happy to go along with everyone else; and Roger Daniels, the consummate class clown who could turn mean when someone got him angry on the football field. As Tom tried to put pressure on the kids to find out who really killed Susan, he soon discovered that there was a major drug ring going on at school, with students both dealing and using, as well as supplying to teachers like Pete Montini and George Windham. However, as Tom tried to push harder with the help of his lover, famous pitcher Scott Carpenter, he quickly discovered that someone was willing to do anything to keep their secrets buried...

This is the second book in the Tom & Scott mystery series after A Simple Suburban Murder.
The review of this Book prepared by Debbie

Chapter Analysis of Why Isn't Becky Twitchell Dead?

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   very upbeat How difficult to spot villain?    -   Somewhat obvious Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   40% 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?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   teacher Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest City?    -   Yes City:    -   Chicago

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Mark Richard Zubro Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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