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The Sculptress Audio, Cassette – Audiobook, Unabridged

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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Bookcassette; Unabridged edition (December 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561006076
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561006076
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 4.5 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,755,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

For those who enjoyed the book, I highly recommend the film as well.)
Baking Enthusiast
At the end, when the tension should be building, the exposition becomes confusing and story oddly boring.
A. Kelly
It is a gripping story full of interesting subplots that twist into the story giving the plot life.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 28, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an intriguing, well written mystery which garnered the 1994 Edgar Award for best novel of the year for British writer, Minette Walters, who has written quite a number of excellent books. She is a writer in the tradition of that other great British novelist, Ruth Rendell, known also as Barbara Vine. The comparison by those who are familiar with the works of both Ms. Walters and Ms. Rendell is inescapable.
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.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 19, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Minette Walters' The Sculptress, which deservedly won the 1994 Edgar Award for best mystery novel, is that rare book that deftly interweaves many different elements into one convenient package without sacrificing any of its remarkable qualities or losing sight of its identity. It's a book as multi-faceted as it is satisfying, and as an English mystery it packs a surprisingly savage bite.
Rosalind Leigh is a likeable young journalist with a tragic past and an uncertain destiny who is sent to interview Olive Martin, a monstrously obese woman sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for the grisly murders and mutilation of her mother and younger sister. The tension and chemistry between Roz and Olive is somewhat reminiscent of that between Starling and Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. It soon becomes clear, however, that Walters is taking a different and more ambitious direction than Harris. As Roz researches Olive's dark past, she uncovers numerous inconsistencies that escaped the attention of the police, her defense attorney, and even her tight-lipped solicitor. That and a genuine liking for the mysterious "Sculptress" are enough to persuade her that Olive is innocent, and is concealing more than she lets on. From there Walters, demonstrating masterful control of pace and plotting, slowly and with infinite cunning unravels a web of subtle intricacy. The details of the crime are meticulously worked out; each new plot complexity fits seamlessly into place with each subtle nuance of character in a way that reminds one of Ruth Rendell, one of the few writers who actually rivals Walters.
The characters are wonderfully engaging.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By TheReader23 on June 18, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is an intriguing story about Olive Martin, who is in prison for murdering and cutting up the bodies of her mother Gwen and her sister Amber. Enter Roz, an author who is not really interested in writing any longer. Her publisher gives her an ultimatum and an assignment to write a book about Olive and the murders. She reluctantly agrees and once she sinks her teeth into this task, she is no longer convinced that Olive really committed the murders that she has confessed to. Walters' portrayal of Olive as an obese, unkempt woman adds to the story as she allows the reader to want to believe that Olive is in fact the murderer, while at the same time, the story that Roz is unraveling could perhaps tell us otherwise.
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Baking Enthusiast VINE VOICE on March 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
The Sculptress is a superbly plotted and terrifyingly good read from one of the UK's reigning mystery goddesses, Minette Walters. As inept as I am in composing plot synopses, I'll give it my best shot here. I apologize for its length, but rest assured I have no spoilers to diminish prospective readers' enjoyment of this novel.

After a profound personal loss, Rosalind `Roz' Leigh, an author of some renown, is finding it difficult to carry on with her writing and life in general. She's entertaining thoughts of suicide and agent and friend, Iris, would like her to get on with it, at least to assuage Roz's publisher. Reluctantly, Roz accepts the publisher's ultimatum--a book covering the grisly story of Olive Martin, who's incarcerated after confessing to the slaughter of her mother, Gwen, and her sister, Amber. Olive earned the nickname "sculptress" for having rearranged her victims' body parts after cutting them up and a later penchant for carving small wax figures in prison. Roz is put off at her initial sight of Olive. Olive is described as a "grotesque parody of a woman," and is made even more repulsive by the very gruesomeness of her crime. As the singsong rhyme of Lizzie Borden reverberates in her head, Roz soldiers on, and as she painfully coaxes bits of information from Olive, becomes convinced that Olive is innocent. What ensue are her all-consuming attempts to piece together an intricate puzzle out of the morass of characters, primary of which is Olive's dysfunctional family. Adding to the challenge is the abundance of conflicting and puzzling accounts of those whose lives were in one way or another connected to the tragedy.
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