|Plot Summary of Shadow of Doubt|
|"Stan Shepherd, a police officer in a small town of Newpointe, has terrible stomach pains. His wife Celia is trying to help him with what they think is food poisoning, but things get worse and worse. Celia calls for help, and Stan is rushed to the hospital, where a shocking discovery is made: he has been poisoned with arsenic. Stan survives, but he is in a bad shape.
Celia is questioned. At first, all of her friends stand by her, convinced that she couldn't have done it. Then they learn that Celia's first husband had died of arsenic poisoning, and she had been the primary suspect as well, although she was acquitted. That fact, and the fact that Celia had kept the story secret since she had moved to Newpointe, causes many to doubt her. The police do not think that two husbands poisoned in the same manner is a coincidence, either. Celia is arrested. She is devastated; she says that she loves Stan and has no reasons to kill him, but no one believes her, especially after the house is searched and some arsenic is found hidden in the attic – while Celia claimed that they didn't have any of it. Celia's own parents turn their backs on her, convinced that she is a murderess.
When it turns out that Celia is pregnant, the police begin to wonder about her motives. A box of new baby clothes was found in the house, showing that Celia wanted this baby and was preparing for its arrival. That confirms her claims of being happy with Stan, so why would she try to kill him? The answer may come in the form of Celia's ex-boyfriend suddenly showing up in town. He says that she had contacted him and asked him to come, and even sent him some money to rent an apartment. This seems to be true: he did pay for the apartment rent by a check written by Celia. However, further investigation shows that Celia's checkbook had been lost (or stolen?) some time ago, and the signature on the check in question is not hers, although very close.
Laura Southcombe, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Shadow of Doubt|
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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 - 20%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 40%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 20%
Tone of story
- very upbeat
How difficult to spot villain?
- Moderately Challenging
Time/era of story:
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Misc. Murder Plotlets
- Proving innocence of very obvious suspect
Kind of investigator
- police procedural, American
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Any non-mystery subplot?
- feelings towards family/friends
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
How much violence does he/she use?
- a little
How sensitive is this character?
- sensitive to others' feelings
- emotionally unstable
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- a moderate amount
Motive of antagonist
How sensitive is this character?
- hard edged
Part of a series?
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
How many deaths?
Unusual forms of death
Unusual form of death?
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog