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Still Life with Murder (Gilded Age, Bk 1)
Still Life with Murder - Gilded Age, Bk 1 Author:P. B. Ryan Boston 1868: The wealthy are enjoying the height of the Gilded Age--but not all are wealthy. As governess to the Hewitt family, Irish immigrant Nell Sweeney is sent to discover the truth behind the rumor that their son--thought to be killed in the Civil War--is still alive and in prison.
First in the Nell Sweeney / Gilded Age Series. Nell Sweeney is an assistant to Dr. Greaves, a man that has saved her from her past, when one evening they are called out to assist in a birth that will change Nell's life. Next thing she knows she is a Governess to this child and within 3 years is a trusted companion to the head of the house and is sent on an adventure to save the woman's son, who was thought to be dead, from a hanging for a murder that he is being charged with. From opium dens to high society this book looks at the life of the Hewitt family and their many secrets. This book is more character driven then actual murder mystery, but the characters are very engaging and Nell is a very independent thinking woman for the late 19th Century in which this book takes place.
What a cracking start to a series! This book is so very well researched -- plenty of period detail, fully-fleshed out characters with plausible, intriguing stories. Very well written. This book was a real page-turner, and I can't wait to read the others in the series. What a pleasure to find an intelligent mystery series!
Loved it! Not in the least because I come from the area in which the mystery takes place. Set in the time period of Boston's "gilded age," the descriptive prose is captivating.
Nell Sweeney is a nurse, a governess, and a detective all in one. Although her personal background is seriously questionable, her intelligence and dignity are not. She is hired by a Boston Brahmin family to become the governess/nanny to their adopted 4 year old daughter, Gracie. Two sons of the family supposedly died at Andersonville during the Civil War. But when the parents, the Hewlitts, discover that one is alive and living not far from them in Boston and that he has been accused by Boston police, of a savage murder, Nell soon becomes embroiled in the turmoil. The plot is intelligently written, the suspense builds well, and the end will be, for most, a surprise. Well worth five stars!