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Murder in a Mill Town (Nell Sweeney Mysteries, #2)
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Murder in a Mill Town (Nell Sweeney Mysteries #2)

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  2,283 Ratings  ·  153 Reviews
For Nell, tracing the path of a missing woman through the seedy parts of 1868 Boston just may be the death of her.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 6th 2004 by Berkley
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(showing 1-30)
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Susan in NC
May 23, 2008 Susan in NC rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Historical mystery buffs
Recommended to Susan in NC by: Amazon
Good, not great; I wouldn't rank these with Anne Perry's best, but they are on a par with Victoria Thompson's Frank Malloy/Sarah Brandt mysteries - enjoyable, but I pretty much forget the plots a week after reading them. At least Ryan doesn't drag out the relationship between the female and male lead characters as Thompson has done - I understand **SPOILER ALERT** from reading Amazon reviews that she wraps this series up with "Bucketful of Ashes" and Nell Sweeney and Will Hewitt end up together. ...more
Apr 08, 2010 Tina rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2010-reads
Although GR calls this the 3rd book in the series, it isn't it is really the 2nd.

When Bridget 'Bridie' Sullivan goes missing, no one believes that anything untoward has happened to her. She is a bit of a good time girl and everyone thinks she just ran off with her ex-con boyfriend. Everyone, that is, except her mother. Mrs. Fallon knows that Bridie wouldn't just run off, but no one will believe her. Desperate she turns to Mrs. Hewitt who is known to have a compassionate heart. And Bridie worked
Aug 15, 2010 Estara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Judy Iliff
Aug 16, 2011 Judy Iliff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
P. B Ryan's Gilded Age Mystery series continues with the 2nd book entitled Murder in a Mill Town. With well developed characters and setting descriptions of Boston during the late 1800s, it's easy to escape into a world of not only the Brahmin society but the seedy side of Boston as well.

When a couple comes to Viola Hewitt asking her to help them find their daughter, Bridget, who has disappeared, Viola asks Nell Sweeney, the governess of of her adopted daughter, to help them. This search takes N
Aug 22, 2011 Sharanya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, historical
Not quite as explosive as the first book, but still an extremely enjoyable read! Nell's relationship with Will progresses and becomes a firm friendship (with the hint of something more!), as they try to find the killer of one of Harry Hewitt's mill workers, Bridget Sullivan. Again, the characters are engaging and Will/Nell's relationship is wonderful to follow! I love Will as a character, especially. His teasing ways with Nell, the clear affection and joy he feels for Gracie. The added intrigue ...more
Jan 25, 2012 ~Leslie~ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book-nook
This is the second book in the series about Nell Sweeney, who is a governess in Boston who solves crimes with the help of an opium addicted former Civil War surgeon named Will Hewitt. He is a son of the family she works for. The mystery in this story is much more straight forward but the ending is quite a surprise. The author does a wonderful job of moving the story along and her characters are complex and interesting. The relationship between Nell and Will continues to develop at a realistic pa ...more
Feb 29, 2012 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 29, 2012 Bridgett rated it really liked it
This is the second instalment of the Nell Sweenie mystery series.
Yet again I have to say: I UTTERLY LOVED IT!

I have actually shelled out the $6 for this book from the gift card I got!!! This is a big deal, since I am on a strict budget and think about everything I buy at least three times LOL

It was so totally worth it, that I went ahead and bought the next book in the series as well! (and am reading it now.. I think you can say I am hooked!)

I just love Nell! She is trying so hard to be respect
Adrienne Testa
Jun 21, 2012 Adrienne Testa rated it really liked it
Nell Sweeney,the governess for the rich and conservative Hewitt family is asked by Mrs. Hewitt to learn what happened to one of the mill girls who suddenly disappeared. Nell is hesitate but can't say no to Mrs. Hewitt. Nell has secrets, she has not shared with her friends Detective Cook or Will Hewitt. Duncan the man in prison for armed robbery is writing from prison, asking to see her. The prison priest is learning all about Nell from his Bible studies with Dunce. When Birdie and Virge, come up ...more
Jul 17, 2012 Marla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-library
I bought this as soon as I had finished the first one and tore through it like I did the first one. I haven't bought the next one yet, I don't want to go through them too fast so I'm going to re-read the first two before moving on to the third one. Plus now that we've gotten more of Nell's past, some surprising to me and some not, that had been hinted at in the first book, I want to re-read with that knowledge in mind.

I had two characters I was suspicious of this time and one of them turned out
Jun 03, 2015 Cheryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It only gets better and better.

I have been looking forward to read every single line of every book of the entire series. The Nell Sweeney mysteries introduced me to a completely new world of mystery novels. I have now finished the series, but I chose to write a review for this particular one because it is where I fully recognized the true potential of this saga.

Nell Sweeney is a strong-willed, brave and wicked-awesome female lead. I despise reading books which give me the urge to say "grow a b
Nov 27, 2013 Diana rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who like intelligent historical mysteries without glaring anachronistic elements
This second book in the Nell Sweeney series did not disappoint. It was grittier than the first, but there was even more satisfying character development. The relationship between Nell and Will gets deeper in this novel, but Ryan has not fallen to the temptation of sending them into a physical relationship too soon. It seems obvious they will eventually, but in this one the intimacy is emotional. Nell's darker past surfaces here and Will becomes the only one she will trust with the information, a ...more
Daria Loginova-edwards
Jan 14, 2013 Daria Loginova-edwards rated it it was amazing
Nell what did you get your self into this time... Oh she s just one hell of a character! Absolutely loved it! And I cannot wait for more ...
As you can tell from my rating, I really enjoyed "Murder in a Mill Town", by P.B. Ryan. The detecting governess, Nell McSweeney is back, along with many of the characters we met in the first book, "Still Life With Murder". It is important I think, to read these books in order. "Murder in a Mill Town" provides many new elements in Nell's back story, some of which were quite surprisiing. The plot moves quickly along, as Nell tries to find out what happened to a young Irish girl named Bridie. Dr. W ...more
Dec 29, 2013 Li rated it really liked it
The twists and turns continue in this second installment of PB Ryan’s Gilded Age mystery series. A good mystery + the beginnings of a romance = what more could I ask for?
Gayle Francis Moffet
Mar 22, 2014 Gayle Francis Moffet rated it really liked it
A charming second book to follow Ryan's first in the series. Nell Sweeny is clever and good at sleuthing. Will Hewitt is less of a cad but still working on it, and they are, as a team, pretty damned good at solving mysteries.

The second book builds nicely from the first, introducing us to Nell's estranged husband Duncan while also continuing to paint an interesting picture of Boston in the late 1800s. Propriety is a major touchstone in the second book, and Ryan handles the balance of explaining
I really enjoyed the first book in this series (Still Life With Murder), and I'm really glad to find out the second book continues all the things that I liked in the first. By a series of luck and coincidence Nell Sweeney has managed to rise from the Irish ghettoes of Boston to become the governess for one of Boston's Brahmin families and a bit of a private investigator for her boss. In this book we find out more about Nell's background - which I won't go into here as it would involve spoilers - ...more
Edward Beavers
Jun 11, 2014 Edward Beavers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mystery is a treat

PB Bryan gets better as this book shows at intricately spinning a story to add surprise at the last second with an ending to please the reader.
I never do this anymore. There are too many things to do in the day (not the least of which are looming academic deadlines) to even contemplate this. But yesterday I finished Still Life With Murder and immediately bought this book, the sequel, and proceeded to read it in a day. Granted, it was not exactly a long book, but in order to complete this feat of a book and a half in one day I had to forgo my daily research/writing goal, lunch, email, and laundry. I refuse to name which of those was the ...more
I enjoyed the first book in the Nell Sweeney series so much that when I finished it, I immediately downloaded this next book in the series and read it in a few short hours. Big mistake. I loved the first book so much that this one was a disappointment. That disappointment might have been mitigated if I’d not read it in such quick succession.

Many of the aspects of the first book that I loved were present - the rich characters, particularly Nell and Will, the post-civil war setting, and the spark
Cathy Cole
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Still Life with Murder, but this second-- while good-- just isn't as dynamic as its predecessor. The mystery itself is tissue paper thin, and even with some misdirection added, the killer is rather obvious. As I kept reading, it became clear to me that Murder in a Mill Town isn't really about the mystery, it's about the growing relationship between Nell and Will and about Nell's past. A few of her secrets were revealed in Still Life with Murder, bu ...more
Marguerite Kaye
Oct 22, 2014 Marguerite Kaye rated it really liked it
My second Nell Sweeney book followed very quickly from the first, something I don't usually do, but I loved the first story so much I jumped straight in. And I loved this one even more! Now that the scene is set, and we've been introduced to Boston, Nell, Will and the Hewitts in the first book, there was more of a murder/mystery in this one, and much more time to concentrate on Nell's background. In fact, her past plays a major role in this story, and it's fascinating. I don't want to spoil it, ...more
Dec 20, 2015 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I flew through this, partially because it was so short and partially because the characters are quite engaging.

I don't even mind that mystery was secondary to the character development because both Nell and Will seem to have many layers to explore. Their burgeoning relationship, too, already feels complex and deep.

While I realize the power dynamics at play during this time period, having the very real threat of rape come so heavily into play again stalled the story a bit for me. (view spoiler)
Jan 03, 2016 Erica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh Nell. You disappoint me a little more every book. While I appreciate the mystery in these books, and the characters continue to develop, there are fewer surprises every time.

In this one, Nell is asked to look into the disappearance of an Irish mill girl. The story is intriguing, and brings back the characters from Nell's past that she (blatantly and all-the-time) races to hide from her employers. Nell continues her sweet but implausible quasi-relationship with Will, the son of her employer, a
Murder in a Mill Town
4 Stars

When a young woman working at the Hewitt family mill disappears, her parents approach the Hewitt matriarch for help locating her and Viola, in turn, enlists the aid of her inquisitive governess, Nell Sweeney. As Nell begins to investigate, she finds herself confronting shadows from her past that not only put her position at risk, but endanger her life as well.

The mystery is well-paced with Nell following clues and questioning witnesses. The identity of the villain is
Nov 01, 2015 Lisbeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being in Mallorca my reading habits is slightly different. More like; you take what you have. I do have a small library here, but most of the books I have already read, but there are of course still some. It would not be me if there wasn’t a TBR shelf or two!

Then there is the iPad where I save books for a day when no actual paper books are appealing. Being on a holiday it is nice with some easy going novels to spend the days in the sun. I subscribe to some newsletters who offers free or very che
Theresa Brandt
Mar 21, 2016 Theresa Brandt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good entry...

We get to know Nell Sweeney and Will Hewitt a little better in this second entry to the Nell Sweeney mystery series. I really like these two characters and was pleased to find that there are several more books in the series.

While I didn't feel that this book was as tightly plotted as the first book it was still a very good read. The red herring suspect was a bit of a repeat from the first book and the surprise culprit felt a little too much of a stretch. That said, it does
Review written June 12, 2016

4.4 Stars - Another terrific installment. I'm a sincere Ms Sweeney Mysteries fan by now.

Book #2

Eight audiobook hours in a historical mystery series narrated by Leigh Ryan. I very much liked, both this narrator, the characters and the story itself, in first part Still Life With Murder. 4.5 stars (rounded to 5) from me. — Glad to say; this sequel was as good.
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Boston 1868...

Cornelia Nell Sweeney is a Irish immigrant and governess for the 4 years old adopted daughter of
Tony Hisgett
I thought the first book in the series was Ok but I probably wasn’t going to try the second book. However looking back at this book I realised I still quite liked Nell and it was the other characters that really annoyed me, so I decided to give the series another chance.

I enjoyed this book more than the first but I still don’t think it has anything that makes it stand out from the numerous other historical mystery books. Many of the characters, including Nell are very stereotypical, the religiou
Oct 25, 2016 Annette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books-read
Another good book in the series! It had some twists that I wasn't expecting. On to the next one in the series
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Historical Myster...: Nell Sweeney by P.B. Ryan 1 8 Sep 18, 2015 01:48AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Murder in a Mill Town by P B Ryan 1 4 Oct 27, 2012 03:04PM  
  • A Regimental Murder (Captain Lacey, #2)
  • Murder on St. Mark's Place (Gaslight Mystery, #2)
  • Iron Ties (Silver Rush, #2)
  • The Dark Enquiry (Lady Julia Grey, #5)
  • Game of Patience (Aristide Ravel, #3)
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Other Books in the Series

Nell Sweeney Mysteries (6 books)
  • Still Life with Murder  (Nell Sweeney Mysteries, #1)
  • Death on Beacon Hill (Nell Sweeney Mysteries, #3)
  • Murder on Black Friday (Nell Sweeney Mysteries, #4)
  • Murder In the North End (Nell Sweeney Mysteries, #5)
  • A Bucket of Ashes (Nell Sweeney Mysteries, #6)

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