|Plot Summary of Shadows in Scarlet|
Amanda Witham is a graduate student working Virginia's Melrose Hall. She doesn't enjoy the heat of her authentic 18th century clothes, but she does enjoy playing the part of Sally, the plantation owner's daughter, while she takes tourists around the house. Everything is running smoothly until the archaeologists find a skeleton buried in the garden. That same night, Amanda sees a ghost in the hall and knows that it is James Grant, a dashing British soldier who mysteriously disappeared right before a local battle. Suddenly, Amanda finds herself searching for James Grant instead of working on her thesis. It is true that she hasn't had a boyfriend in a long while, and who can turn away such a dashing and handsome man? Amanda finds herself romantically involved with a ghost - a ghost who wants to return to his native Scotland.
As Amanda flies to James' ancestral estate, which was inherited by his cousin upon his death about 150 years ago, Amanda has no idea what to expect. She certainly doesn't expect the charming Malcolm, who is the spitting image of James. She also doesn't expect to find such a disparity between James' version of his death and his cousin, Archibald's account. Amanda begins to suspect that James is not quite the hero he has made himself out to be. And, as she falls in love with Malcolm, she knows that she will have to find a way to exorcise James - or join him in the afterlife...
This was a very entertaining paranormal mystery with great characters and a wonderful setting. I enjoyed learning about the Scottish regiments based in Virginia during the Revolutionary War and about that time period in general. The author has a knack for slipping historical background information into the story without boring the reader, which was wonderful. The characters were good - very strong and easy to empathize with. I also enjoyed the sudden plot twist and Amanda's growing suspicions about James. My only complaint with the book, aside from the cost, of course, was that the ending was quite abrupt. There is a lot of action packed into the last 50 pages or so, which was quite startling considering the slow build up to James' appearance at the beginning of the book. I would have liked to have seen more time in Scotland and more time between Amanda and Malcolm, rather than falling back on the old 'love at first sight' routine. Still, it is a well written book with a nice little mystery that fans of Carl will enjoy and people who have never read anything by her should be excited to discover!
This synopsis report prepared by Debbie
|Chapter Analysis of Shadows in Scarlet|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 20%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 30%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 30%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 20%
Tone of story
- very upbeat
How difficult to spot villain?
- Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues
Time/era of story:
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Misc. Murder Plotlets
- solving long-past murder
Kind of investigator
- amateur citizen investigator
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Any non-mystery subplot?
- feelings towards lover
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
Is Romance a MAJOR (25%+) part of story?
Has special powers?
- Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin
- fancy mansion
Accounts of torture and death?
- moderately detailed references to deaths
Explicit sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- vague references
- descript of kissing
- actual description of sex
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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