The full study guide for Dinner at Antoine's by Frances Parkinson Keyes is available to people with full rather than trial memberships in eNotes. It includes an extended summary, critical notes, educator insights, and recommendations for further reading.
The novel revolves around a party at Antoine’s, a famous restaurant in New Orleans' French Quarter founded in 1840 that still is a major tourist attraction. It occurs during the celebration of Mardi Gras. The plot centers around the death of Odile St. Amant, who is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Although she appears to have committed suicide with a gun borrowed from her ex-lover Sabin Duplessis, Toe, the detective is convinced that her death cannot have been suicide. Although the murder is initially believed to have been committed by Tossie Pride, since Tossie was illiterate, despite her fingerprints on the gun, she could not have committed the murder because she was unable to write a suicide note that was seen near the body. After several red herrings and related subplots, we discover the actual murderer.