The Sculptress Mass Market Paperback – Oct 1994
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Convicted of the brutal ax murders of her mother and sister, Olive Martin spends her days in prison carving tiny human figures out of wax. Rosalind Leigh is a best-selling author whose publisher jolts her out of writer's block by telling her to research a book about Olive and the murders, or else. Though repelled by the idea at first, Rosalind soon becomes intrigued by her subject and begins to believe she may be innocent. She soon uncovers plenty of reasons to doubt the official police version of the killings and with Olive's help, untangles a sinister cover-up. The Sculptress won the 1994 Edgar Award for best mystery novel. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
This Edgar Award-winning mystery turns on the relationship between a troubled journalist and a woman convicted of a gruesome murder.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book revolves around two main stories that become by necessity intertwined. One is that of a morbidly obese, young woman, Olive Martin, who is imprisoned for the brutal and grisly murders of her mother, Gwen, and beautiful, younger sister, Amber, whose butchered bodies shocked even the most jaded of folks. On the eve of trial, Olive made a full confession to the crime and received a prison sentence of not less than twenty-five years for her butchery. Known in prison as "The Sculptress", she passes the time making miniature, carved, wax images, a delicate and sensitive pastime for one with a reputation for such primal savagery.
Enter Rosalind "Roz" Leigh, a thirties something author suffering from writer's block, who accepts a commission to write about the Olive Martin case. After meeting Olive, she becomes intrigued by her, finding her to be other than what she had expected, and a symbiotic relationship develops between the two. As she delves into the facts of the murder case, and as her interviews with Olive reveal, all is not quite what it seems. The more that Roz sorts through the facts and the more people that she interviews who were in some way associated with the Martin family, the more she becomes convinced that a miscarriage of justice has occurred and that the wrong person is paying a horrific price for the grisly murders of Gwen and Amber.Read more ›
It all sounds painfully standard I know, but it made for a very good BBC adaptation which was shown here on PBS and the book is terrific too. As always in these things, Olive is the most interesting character in the book, but her relationship with Rosalind is especially well done and there are enough surprises to offset the somewhat formulaic basic plot.
This book won the 1994 Edgar Award for best mystery novel and it is no surprise why. The real surprise is how deft Minette Walters is at making this gruesome story come alive. It is filled with darkness, tension and sensitivity to the protagonist. Can Minette Walters write a bad book -- I don't think so. She's obviously a master of her craft.
Most recent customer reviews
While this is a thriller that isn't gripping, it is a lovely read and a good study. I really enjoyed the characters and the gentle twists that kept inviting me back to the page. Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2013 by Deb Dorsey
As this book begins, author Rosalind Leigh's world is falling apart. Torn up by a failed marriage, she develops writer's block and is unable to pursue her career. Read morePublished on March 18 2004 by Karen Potts
The story of the book is very different from almost all the books that I have read and I have my own questions of the veracity of the facts when they happened 6 years before, but... Read morePublished on Jan. 31 2003 by Jorge Frid
I couldn't wait to get this book ! I had read so many good reviews. The first 200 pages were so good that I could not read fast enough. Read morePublished on July 15 2001 by Annette Sonnenberg
I liked reading that book very much. The plot is complex and full of twists and turns and it leaves the reader more than once in complete disbelief and surprise. Read morePublished on June 19 2001
I loved it.I think I've read it a hundred times and every time it 's gotten better.The problems of olive are described well but not yellow press like. Read morePublished on Oct. 11 2000 by anonymous
This was the first Minette Walters book I have read and I have bought all her others since reading The Sculptress. Read morePublished on July 12 2000 by capricious