|Plot Summary of Out On A Limb|
St. Martin's Nov 2002, 23.95, 272 pp.
Farberville, Arkansas is usually a quiet little town but every once in a while trouble seems to erupt and everyone just knows crime solver Claire Malloy will be in the middle of it. To make way for more housing, a group of trees have to be cut down but environmentalist Miss Emily Parchester plans a protest by living in a tree until she wins her point. Claire, who aided and abetted the elderly woman before with a false murder charge, tries to talk some sense into her but fails in the face of the Emily's determination.
When she returns home, Claire finds her sixteen-year-old daughter nearly hysterical. A newborn baby only four weeks old has been put on Claire's doorstep. Clair delivered the baby whose the teenage mother lived in the streets but she has no idea who she was. Anthony Armstrong, the developer who wants to cut the trees down, is murdered and his daughter, arrested for the crime. Claire recognizes her as the baby's mother and enlists her friends into helping her prove the young mother is innocent.
OUT ON A LAMB is an entertaining and poignant cosy that intertwines several social issues into the main story line. Joan Hess is a witty writer who uses subtle touches of humor to diffuse the tension when it reaches too high a level. The author is an expert at characterizations and readers are pulled into the plot because they want to know what the characters will do next especially since they are so unpredictable.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of Out On A Limb|
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 - 50%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 30%
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?
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?
- minority/women/homosexual issues
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
- small businessman
- 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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