The Chatham School Affair

The Chatham School Affair On a summer morning in a young woman alights from a bus in a Cape Cod village and embarks on an odyssey she cannot foresee Chatham is a tiny seacoast town boasting a main street with a few shop

  • Title: The Chatham School Affair
  • Author: Thomas H. Cook
  • ISBN: 9780575402867
  • Page: 339
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • On a summer morning in 1926, a young woman alights from a bus in a Cape Cod village and embarks on an odyssey she cannot foresee Chatham is a tiny seacoast town, boasting a main street with a few shops, a white spired church, and Chatham School, an elite boys academy dedicated to turning boisterous or insolent boys from good families into dutiful, moral young men The scOn a summer morning in 1926, a young woman alights from a bus in a Cape Cod village and embarks on an odyssey she cannot foresee Chatham is a tiny seacoast town, boasting a main street with a few shops, a white spired church, and Chatham School, an elite boys academy dedicated to turning boisterous or insolent boys from good families into dutiful, moral young men The school s new art teacher, Elizabeth Channing, has come from a world barely imaginable by the townspeople of Chatham to live in a small cottage beside Black Pond She has spent her life traveling with her father, educated by him in the plazas of Madrid, along the canals of Venice, in the apartment overlooking Rome s Spanish Steps where John Keats died Life must be seized, the passion of the artist must be served, morals are a restraint to the spirit these are the lessons her father taught her These are the lessons that will bring catastrophe to Elizabeth Channing, to the Chatham School headmaster s young son, and to Chatham itself.

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    About "Thomas H. Cook"

    1. Thomas H. Cook

      There is than one author with this name on.Thomas H Cook has been praised by critics for his attention to psychology and the lyrical nature of his prose He is the author of than 30 critically acclaimed fiction books, including works of true crime Cook published his first novel, Blood Innocents, in 1980 Cook published steadily through the 1980s, penning such works as the Frank Clemons trilogy, a series of mysteries starring a jaded cop.He found breakout success with The Chatham School Affair 1996 , which won an Edgar Award for best novel Besides mysteries, Cook has written two true crime books including the Edgar nominated Blood Echoes 1993 He lives and works in New York City.AwardsEdgar Allan Poe Best Novel The Chatham School AffairBarry Award Best Novel Red LeavesMartin Beck Award of the Swedish Academy of Detection The Chatham School AffairMartin Beck Award of the Swedish Academy of Detection Red LeavesHerodotus Prize Fatherhood


    1. 5 starsMy (late-blooming) love affair with Thomas H. Cook's sumptuous writing continues with 1996's Edgar award-winner, The Chatham School Affair. This is my third encounter with Cook's 30+ novels (The Orchids andThe Last Talk With Lola Faye were the others, both great) but the first title that would solidly fit into the genre Cook is best known for: mystery-writing. I'm thrilled to say it does not disappoint. (Well, it certainly didn't disappointme, anyway. Cook's verbose, sometimes fussily pre [...]

    2. Henry Griswald narrates the events that make up The Chatham School Affair, beginning with the arrival of Miss Elizabeth Channing, hired as a favor to a family friend to be the new art teacher at the all boys' school. The way Henry's tale unfolds reminds me of Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca or perhaps My Cousin Rachel.Something horrible happened that intimately involved young Henry, Miss Channing and lead to her death and the closure of the school. Over the course of the book through flashbacks, cou [...]

    3. I read my first Thomas H. Cook novel last year when I discovered, by accident, Breakheart Hill. I really liked that book; I liked The Chatham School Affair even more.I am not a mystery connoisseur by any stretch, although I admit that I’ve read a fair amount of suspense thrillers in my day. Cook belongs in another category altogether - sort of in the same way that King belongs in his own special category (and I mean that as a compliment because at the top of his game, there’s no one better t [...]

    4. One from the "dark secret shrouded in the mists of time" department. As a reader, I like framing devices as much as anybody, but they need to have some kind of rules; a modern story can't continually roam around in clouds of fear and suspicion like The Castle Of Otranto or The Mysteries Of Udolfo. It can be done in our day, but just not as the barrage of verbiage it was in yesteryear. The author takes his time (and ours) building the world of this novel, framed within multiple removes and perspe [...]

    5. First of all, this book was mistitled. It should have been called The Chatham School Tease, because the author teases the reader every few pages with his ham-handed foreshadowing. How about a little foreshadowing at the beginning and then just telling your story, hmm? Instead Cook spends way too much time with his mopey old narrator who as a young boy had some part in the Affair. I'll tell you about that again in a few pages.Secondly, all of the characters are undermotivated. It is not credible [...]

    6. Here is a book that could be used for a Psychology class read. I would have given it 5 stars if it had not plodded a bit much in some of its pace within the telling- just after midline it bogged a bit. Became a little redundant in description at the least.But perhaps that is what was needed to suggest the school year's time in which these events occurred. And the changes in these characters! And the slow and gradual switch of loyalty and emotional attachments too- not just for the two protagonis [...]

    7. On the cover, this is described as a "novel of suspense." I didn't know what that was before reading this -- and I am still not sure I do know what it means generally -- but if this is an example of it, give me more. Thomas Cook weaves together an incredible tale about a small town out on Cape Cod. The book starts in the present many years after a horrendous incident and slowly returns to memories of the year of the incident. Cook does a great job of dribbling out details here and there. You are [...]

    8. Un roman noir comme il se doit d'être. Tragique, avec des personnages vrais et attachants, avec leurs forces et leurs failles, le tout écrit dans un style et une ambiance sombre et romantique, un peu gothique que j'adore terriblement! Un pur chef-d'oeuvre et un auteur que j'aurais dû découvrir plus tôt!

    9. This book won an Edgar? What am I missing? I have a vision of an author trying to make something out of nothing by adopting a creaky writing device of foreshadowing. All it did for me was make me wish he would get on with the story, for goodness sake, so I could finally finish the foolish thing and start something more interesting. Maybe the Edgar committee was sorry for Mr. Cook because he had come up short in previous years, and threw him this bone. Or maybe the Edgar isn't that reliable as a [...]

    10. This book was recommended by the author of "The House at Riverton". The Riverton book is a much better read. The Chatham School Affair is harder to read, with heavy foreshadowing where the The House at Riverton had a lighter touch and smoother narrative. Interesting to read of events in our region, but might not have finished it if not stuck on a plane with only this to read!

    11. The twist at the end of this mystery elevates it from a "2 star/it's ok" sort of book to a solid "3/I liked it". I was sure of path the plot was taking, was only wondering about the particulars of the method, when - boom - something totally different happened. That's always a plus in a mystery.In terms of the setting and the characters, eh, I wasn't too impressed. I wish the setting had been elaborated on. the story felt like it could be set anywhere. As for the narrator, I never felt any sort o [...]

    12. Σε αρκετές κριτικές διάβασα ότι θυμίζει την "Ρεβέκκα", αλλά προσωπικά όσο περισσότερο διάβαζα τόσο έρχονταν στο μυαλό μου οι Μπροντέ (διαλέχτε όποια θέλετε δεν έχει σημασία), κυρίως λόγω της κλειστοφοβικής, γοτθικής ατμόσφαιρας παρόλο που το χωριό Chatham περιγράφεται ως ένα ή [...]

    13. I bought this book because I was vacationing in Cape Cod, in a town that was a bike's ride into Chatham. A local used book seller highly recommended it. I couldn't figure out what the appeal was until the last 5 pages. Though well written, the plot moves along slowly and I am surprised that I didn't abandon the novel at the beginning. But it does build The story is essentially about the teen son of the Chatham School headmaster, who ends up caught in the middle (privy to many secrets) of an affa [...]

    14. This mystery wasn't bad, but honestly I was expecting more from an Edgar winner. I think it was trying for some kind of stylised romanticism, and it mostly succeeded but sometimes just came off as old-fashioned and melodramatic. There was too much build up before we finally find out what "crime" happened, so that it is a bit anti-climactic when what happened it revealed. The whole book kind of plays with ideas of practicality vs. romance and reality vs. fantasy. Since everything is told from the [...]

    15. As I was browsing the shelves at the Bar Harbor library, I overheard a conversation in which one older patron was telling another that The Chatham School Affair by Thomas Cook was one of her all time favorite reads. I'd never heard of the book or the author, but decided to give it a try.In some ways, the book reminds me of Water for Elephants; a very old man recalls events of a tumultuous year of his youth which very much shaped the person he was to become. The narrative goes back and forth betw [...]

    16. One of the most interesting suspense novels I've ever read I love it when I jump into a great book and I don't pay attention to how much I have to read. This book captured me! I was at once taken by the beautiful language and hints of tragedy that did surprise me in the end. This was a nearly flawless book-- 4.75 stars. And It's only give five stars to books I want to build my life around. This one, a book about regret and passion, comes awfully close.

    17. Being from Chatham, I am a bit biased. In all fairness this must be stated up front. I was hoping for more Chatham geographical and historical references but it was not necessary for the plot. I found this book slow yet strangely appealing. It creeps on you like a vine pulling you deeper and deeper into it's thick ravines. The story seems simple enough, and in ways it truly is, yet the ending provides a gem that catches you off guard and leaves you satisfied that you did the right thing in keepi [...]

    18. Perhaps I am too new to the mystery genre, but I always expect more of a Sherlock Holmes style or even The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo rendering where the excitement of the mystery is uncovering the clues and piecing them together to find the culprit, or perhaps that is my analytically trained mind that wishes for it. Either way, I found Cook's style of reminiscing and only providing a glimpse of a detail here and there quite maddening. Although I suppose in a way, this also leads you through th [...]

    19. The cover of this book characterized it as "A Novel of Suspense." Couldn't prove it my me. I thought this book was a slog and rather indulgent. While the ending had surprises that were not foreshadowed by the many red herrings that Mr. Cook strew about, I thought the conclusion was contrived in a way and rushed. I wound up reading it for his tidbits about Chatham, MA from 85 years ago and got some enjoyment from that, but I'd not recommend this book to others unless they were low on alternatives [...]

    20. Even though Thomas H Cook seemed to be a bit of a tease with his "ham-fisted" suspense (as another reviewer put it), it worked out OK in the long run because although I was saying "yeah, yeah, I know what'll happen in the end" - I didn't.Well done, Thomas H Cook for another suspenseful novel, but in all honesty I think I'll give him a bit of a break for a while. He's good, but like a good whiskey, if I left it alone for a while I would enjoy it more.

    21. A well written novel, absorbing, with a very quiet kind of suspense: what happened on the lake in Chatham? All we know from the beginning is that there were deaths on the lake and a woman goes on trial, facing hanging if found guilty. It was good enough that I finished it in three days but there was one important aspect to the ending I did not like. That's why I gave it four stars instead of five.

    22. Set during the later 1920’s, story of a love affair at a small private New England boys’ school and the fall-out, largely due to the misunderstandings of a romantic teenage boy. Suspenseful and well-written, the novel keeps you turning the pages. Love, betrayal, loyalty, and consequences are the major themes.

    23. I really enjoyed this book. It was sort of an old-fashioned whodunnit but with lots of plot twists. (Many of the twists are pretty easy to predict but I enjoyed the book a great deal. I can't wait to read another of Mr. Cook's books. (But not one his cookbooksI heard he isn't a very good cook.)**That was a joke. Not a very FUNNY joke, but, a joke, nonetheless.

    24. A first rate mystery novel which will leave you hanging till the very end. It's not really a "who done it" type, but rather the author plays you along about what really happened with a young, very attractive teacher at a boys academy.

    25. This book changed how I look at affairs. I went into this book thinking it would be told one way, and I was blown away with the perspectiveness of it. It's great.

    26. Beautifully written story of an elderly man looking back on the part he played as a young boy in a scandal that rocked a small town in America in the 1920s.

    27. (No Spoilers.) Instruments of Night was my first experience of Mr. Thomas and what a good meeting it was. Then Mortal Memory was disappointing and draggy. The Chatham School Affair, the Edgar Award winner should at least pleasantly surprise me, or so I hoped. For a major chunk of the book, the dread that was to come was hinted of and belabored again and again without any major or fast plot development. It was more of curiosity, not mystery that kept me going, hoping the big reveal at the end wou [...]

    28. I would probably give this book a 5 Star if I were basing it on the last 1/3 of the book alone. Early on I was bothered by the format, if that is the right word. It skipped around in time, always eluding to an incident, no matter where they were in the order of the story, always hinting but never coming out with it. It just took a very long time to actually say what happened and it was not totally cleared up until the very dramatic ending. Looking back on it I think this style of telling the sto [...]

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