|Plot Summary of And A Puzzle To Die On|
Bantam, Nov 2004, 24.00, 320 pp.
Cora is known as the puzzle lady but it is really her publicity shy niece who is the puzzle constructor. Cora's favorite pastime is solving real life murder mysteries, which is why she agrees to lawyer Becky Baldwin's proposition. Becky wants Cora to find out if convicted murderer Daryl Daigue really killed seventeen year old Anita Dryer two decades ago. Depending on what Cora digs up, Becky will decide whether she wants to take the case.
Sara visits Darryl in prison; he acts like a criminal but insists that he was working at the time Anita was killed and he was covering for Ricky Gleason, the actual killer. Before leaving the prison, Warden Profack subtly warns Cora not to work on Darryl's case. Sara find that admonition suspicious and keeps digging which leads to her being followed by a private detective who is murdered at Cora's birthday party. Later, someone throws a rock through her window and she is arrested for absconding with a toy poodle which belongs to a woman who was also murdered because she had something that the killer wanted. The truth about who hired Becky and the two murders comes out when Cora has her day in court.
The protagonist is in fine form as she breaks into offices and homes, steals what turn out to be significant, winds up spending a night in jail, and refuses to conform to court etiquette.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of And A Puzzle To Die On|
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 - 40%
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
- 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 family/friends
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
- champion of justice
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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